Sustainable Health-related Resolutions for the New Year
With 2022 almost upon us, it is time to consider how to make the coming year a better one for us and our loved ones. This can be accomplished in many ways, but perhaps one way that promises to pay dividends for years to come is to resolve to get healthier.
In another year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic again, it is only reasonable that many of us have grown weary of focusing on our health, but the New Year is an excellent time to re-commit to keeping ourselves at peak fitness so that we can stave off COVID-19 and many other medical conditions.
Some Great Health Resolutions to Adopt
If you would like to see improvements in your health, you can’t really go wrong with these New Year’s resolutions:
- Get 8 hours of sleep—it is far too easy to sacrifice an hour or two of sleep-in order to take care of one more task, but this can quickly become a very unhealthy habit. Sleep is vastly important for healing your body, boosting your immune system, maintaining emotional equilibrium, and optimizing cognitive function, so make sleep a priority.
- Squeeze in a regular workout—you have probably made similar promises to yourself in years past but make 2022 the year that you fully integrate a 15-to-20-minute workout into your daily routine. You don’t need to make a workout a major event; taking a short walk or climbing some stairs for just a few minutes can make a significant health improvement.
- Stay hydrated—this is an easy way to keep your body functioning optimally, but many of us ignore it. Although only you can know how much water is right for you, in general, you should be drinking about 8 cups a day. Some of this can be coffee or soda, but these drinks carry their own potential health risks.
- Find a health partner—whether it is your spouse, friend, or coworker, find someone who can keep you accountable. Discuss your goals and commitment level at the outset so that you are on the same page.
- Eat more vegetables—the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that men eat 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily. While most of us consume enough protein, fat, and carbohydrates, we often miss out on key nutrients found primarily in vegetables. Just as important, vegetables are full of water to help maintain hydration levels and limit calorie intake.
- Cook at home more often—getting takeout may be a necessity from time to time, but restaurants are notorious for loading their meals with sugar and salt. Not only can you better control what goes into your body, but you burn some calories preparing your own meals.
- Cut your alcohol intake—although there is some evidence that red wine in moderation has some health benefits, alcohol in general should be treated like a toxin. There are strong links between alcohol and many kinds of cancer, so do your best to limit your alcohol intake, or even better cut it out completely.
- Remove stress—it may not be possible to completely eliminate all of the stressors in your life, but you should make every effort to minimize the impact of stress. You may find that activities like prayer, meditation or listening to music help you manage your stress.
- Take dietary supplements—many people think that eating well is enough to optimize their nutritional health, but adding supplements for vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and turmeric can help improve overall health and manage various health conditions like digestive disorders and chronic pain.
- Avoid sitting for long periods—you may have heard that sitting is the new smoking. While sitting isn’t quite that bad, it has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and cancer, as well as obesity. If you can, spend less time in a chair and more time being active. You may want to invest in a treadmill or standing desk.
- Reduce your sugar intake—your doctor has probably been telling you to lose weight for years, but 2022 could be the year that you make it happen. One of the best ways to do this is lowering the amount of carbohydrates that consume. You don’t have to dramatically alter your diet; start by cutting back on soda and sugary snacks, then move on to staples like white rice and bread.
- Enjoy the outdoors—most of us spend too much time indoors and in front of a screen. Getting outdoors provides many health benefits like elevating mood, lowering stress levels, and reducing blood pressure. There are a multitude of ways to enjoy nature including hiking, gardening, or camping.
- Visit the doctor—most people rarely take time out of their busy schedule to see a health care professional until an issue has appeared. It is in your best interest to see a doctor on a regular basis so that you can optimize your health and avoid any potential health problems.
- Get some counseling—even if you feel like you are in superb psychological condition, you may find that talking to a therapist is very beneficial. We are often the last ones to recognize our need for psychological help. Considering the enormous mental toll that the past couple of years of quarantining, social distancing and emotional disruption have taken on us, it is a good a time as any to at least get psychologically evaluated.
- Practice social distancing—we are all tired of wearing masks and maintaining ultra-high hygiene, but the pandemic is still claiming lives daily. The emergence of new strains like delta and omicron suggest that COVID-19 could be with us for some time to come.
- Boost your immune defenses—if you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccine, now is the time to do so. It will provide additional protection from this fatal potentially illness, making it less likely that you get infected or suffer from a severe bout of illness if you are infected. If you have already been vaccinated, top off your immunity by getting a booster shot. It’s also cold and flu season and getting a flu shot can help to avoid contracting influenza.
Article written by: Dr. Robert Moghim – CEO/Founder Colorado Pain Care
M.D. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the personal views of Robert Moghim, M.D. and do not necessarily represent and are not intended to represent the views of the company or its employees. The information contained in this article does not constitute medical advice, nor does reading or accessing this information create a patient-provider relationship. Comments that you post will be shared with all visitors to this page. The comment feature is not governed by HIPAA, and you should not post any of your private health information.