It’s the New Year, and people everywhere are busy with their annual resolutions to make their lives, or themselves, better. Below is another idea on how to start fresh and to make the changes necessary to lead happier and more meaningful lives.
A healthy diet and lifestyle along with regular exercise are critical elements to fight aging and help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stress related illnesses.
When you eat healthy, you give your body the right kind of fuel for staying active and powering up your immune system. A nutritious diet should include fruits and vegetables for fiber and antioxidants, whole grains with soluble fiber to help control cholesterol, legumes like beans and peas, cold-water fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, yogurt with probiotics, calcium and Vitamin D for bone strength, and nuts with B vitamins for the heart and brain. Drink plenty of water to keep your circulatory system, skin, muscles and bodies hydrated.
Watch your salt consumption and aim for no more than 1500mg of sodium a day. Use herbs and spices to flavor foods instead of salt. Choose whole grains, like brown rice, 100% whole wheat or whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, and regular or steel-cut oatmeal. Try to avoid things made with white and refined flour. Eat smaller portions and include a healthy snack, like an apple between small meals. It won’t hurt to allow yourself the occasional treat.
Regular exercise will help you live longer, look better, feel better, fight off disease and lose weight. Just about everyone benefits from physical activity which can be helpful in managing many of the symptoms associated with long-term conditions like heart disease and diabetes and decreasing the need for medicine.
Physicians and other experts agree that regular physical activity helps to increase strength, balance and flexibility. You’ll have more energy, reduce stress and anxiety, and feel more mentally alert. And exercise increases the production of endorphins that increase feelings of satisfaction, happiness and accomplishment.
Experts recommend at least 30 minutes a day of an activity that increases your heart and breathing rate. Include some muscle-building activities, like stair climbing or weights, and stretch your muscles after you exercise to increase flexibility. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after activity. And use proper safety equipment, like a bike helmet, or good walking shoes.
Make sure you are up to date with all your immunizations. Get a flu shot every year to help protect yourself and others around you. Other adult immunizations should include Tetanus and Diphtheria, Pneumonia Vaccine and the Shingles vaccine.
Eliminate stressful situations and people from your life, and get adequate sleep for a healthy brain and immune system. Surround yourself with positive people and learn to relax and enjoy your life.