Make 2016 your happiest, healthiest year yet
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to make some changes and start some new habits that will help to create a happier, healthier you. Here are six easy-to-follow tips from Velocity Care that will help you start the new year off right by making a positive impact on your health.
- Be more active.
Increasing your activity level is one of the easiest ways to have the biggest positive effect on your health – and fancy exercise equipment or expensive gym memberships are not necessary. Simple activities like taking the stairs, parking farther away, getting off the bus a stop early or standing up and walking on the spot during commercial breaks can have a great impact on your health. By adding just 10-20 minutes of exercise a day, you can improve your heart and cardiovascular health, decrease your weight, improve your quality of sleep, reduce your risk of certain diseases and add years to your life. There are so many benefits to an active lifestyle and you will begin to see and feel the results right away.
- Increase the amount of fruits and veggies in your diet.
We all know that a diet full of fruits and vegetables is healthy for us, but most of us still don't get the recommended daily servings of these foods. Fresh produce is packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which help to keep our bodies healthy. According to the website www.choosemyplate.gov, most Americans should be eating 1.5-2 cups of fruit per day and 2-3 cups of vegetables. Making an effort to add fruits and vegetable to each of our meals and snacks will have us feeling fuller and healthier, fueling our body with all of the nutrients that it needs. Just like the old saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
- Keep unhealthy foods to a minimum.
There are many foods out there that are unhealthy for us. High sugar foods and drinks, fried foods, processed foods and foods that are high in sodium are all bad for us, especially when consumed often and in large quantities. These foods can cause obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a whole range of other health conditions. By limiting the amount of these foods that we eat and making healthier choices more often, we will feel better and begin to experience the increased vitality associated with better health.
- Quit smoking.
Smoking is bad for us. It damages our lungs, makes breathing difficult and increases our risk of cancer and many other diseases. Unfortunately, quitting smoking can be hard. Cigarettes are one of the most addictive substances and breaking this habit can seem nearly impossible for some people. The good news is there are now many resources available to help you to quit smoking. From over-the-counter medications to prescription drugs, support groups and counseling programs, there is an option out there to suit everyone's needs. Talk to your doctor today or visit www.smokefree.gov for more information.
- Live stress-free.
In this day and age, stress is often a normal part of our everyday lives. Long hours and short deadlines at work, hectic schedules, family obligations and financial issues surround us all the time. It may be difficult to get away from stress completely, but how we handle this stress is the key. Taking time out of our busy lives for ourselves and practicing deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga or even just making the time to relax with a good book can help us lead healthier lives. A reduction in stress can result in a decrease in blood pressure, weight reduction (due to decreased cortisol levels), better sleep and an overall better mood. By carving out even just a few minutes a day to relax, you are on your way to better health.
- Visit an urgent care doctor for a yearly physical.
A yearly physical with a doctor is one appointment that you should never miss. By having all of the necessary tests done once a year, it is far more likely that if there is anything major going on with your health, a doctor can diagnose it. It also gives you the opportunity to talk to your doctor about any problems or health issues that you may be experiencing, before they get worse or turn into something more serious.
By starting the year off right and following these easy, helpful tips, you may be able to make this year your healthiest year yet.
At Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center, we want you to experience good health throughout 2016 and for many years to come. If you have any questions about your health or the health of your family, you can trust us to provide you with the best care possible. Visit www.velocitycare.com/locations to find the walk-in clinic nearest you.
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