The new year is coming. Many will make resolutions about self-improvement and life goals. Unfortunately, about 80% of people who make resolutions break them by February.
According to the American Psychological Association, you’ll have better luck sticking to your resolutions if you set small attainable goals throughout the year. You don’t have to accomplish them all by January 2. Focusing on one at a time may help you make it through all of them by year’s end.
At Park Avenue Women’s Center, we put together this list of 10 suggested resolutions for improving your health.
Get Enough Sleep
With our crazy overscheduled lives, it can be difficult to catch the recommended hours of shut-eye. In fact, a third of adults are not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep does affect your health in many ways including increasing your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
The American Heart Association recommends that we consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar a day. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans take in twice that. Try to buy unsweetened products and read labels, watching out for things that are synonyms for sugar such as high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, and sucrose.
Take the Stairs
To counterbalance the effects of sitting for most of the day, take the stairs whenever you can. It burns more calories than jogging and, added up throughout the day, can serve as your daily physical activity. Stair climbing improves cardiovascular fitness and strengthens muscles. That’s a lot of benefits for simply skipping the elevator.
If you still smoke, make 2019 the year you quit. Smoking contributes to numerous health issues including stroke, diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease. Plus, you’ll save money, have better breath, and improve the health of the friends and family members around you.
Schedule Annual Health Exams (And Go to Them)
It’s important to visit your primary care doctor as well as your OB/GYN every year. Many illnesses have no symptoms, so you should know and manage your blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight.
Whether you’re 6 or 56, no one likes to get shots. But the bottom line is: Vaccines save lives. Every year tens of thousands of people die from the flu alone. Follow the recommended vaccination schedule from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even adults need vaccines.
Even if it’s cloudy out, you still need sunblock. Even if you applied sunscreen in the morning, you still need to reapply it in the afternoon, or sooner if you worked out or went swimming. Skin cancer is the most common cancer. It’s also highly preventable.
Chronic stress can affect your health in many ways. But you may not even be aware that stress is the cause of your health issues. Stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, chest pains, and insomnia. Make stress reduction activities a priority in 2019, whether it’s meditation, yoga, exercise, or martial arts.
Drink Enough Water
Often with all the running around you do all day, you may neglect to drink water, even when you’re thirsty. If you don’t drink enough water, you can get dehydrated, which leads to fatigue. Water helps your body function smoothly, so try to carry a water bottle around with you or in your car and take sips frequently.
Find Time to Walk or Exercise
You don’t have to think of exercise as hitting the gym hard or going for a six-mile run. Simply taking a walk around your office or your block for 20-30 minutes most days can help improve your health.
The CDC recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. If you add weight training or some form of muscle strengthening exercise in twice a week as well, you’ll be in great shape and health.
For more information on how to make 2019 your healthiest year yet, call Park Avenue Women’s Center, located in the Yorkville neighborhood of New York City’s Upper East Side, or make an appointment online.