Julien's Journal January 2017 (Volume 42, Number 1) - Page 36
WELLNESS by Dr Lisa Intriligator
FIVE WAYS TO CREATE HEALTHY DAYS
Ring in the New Year with
a resolution that you can stick with .
Contrary to popular belief , overall health is more than just being free of disease or chronic illness . Other factors , such as access to fresh foods , neighborhood walkability , and public safety , to name a few , can help cultivate more healthy days .
Respondents to an Aetna Foundation survey said local aspects have a large effect on their health . The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention also acknowledges that a person ’ s zip code is a good indicator of an individual ’ s health and longevity . However , there are small , everyday steps you can make for a fresh , healthy start this year , such as these five easy tips .
Incorporate 30 minutes of exercise . Fortynine percent of Americans say they exercise to improve their overall health , according to the survey . To beat the rush , head to the gym early in the morning . Although it can be difficult to visit your local gym or recreational center before sunrise , getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day can not
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Drink more water and plan meals . It ’ s easy to splurge on food and drink during the holiday season , but the New Year is a good time to swap your candy canes and pumpkin pie for fruits , veggies , and water . Planning your meals ahead of time can help you incorporate healthier food options into your diet . Drinking water throughout the day instead of sugary sodas and juices helps your body regulate temperature , lubricates and cushions joints , protects the spinal cord and sensitive tissues , and helps prevent weight gain .
Step away for small breaks . Your overall health also includes your emotional health and well-being . More than eight out of ten Americans surveyed said their mood and stress level has an equal impact on their health as the food they consume . Life can get busy and overwhelming as you jump back into a post-holiday routine , but simple acts like taking a few deep breaths , standing and stretching , or taking a walk can help calm the mind and relieve stress .
Put your smartphone and body on sleep mode . The amount of sleep you get can have a direct impact on your mood and health . Sixty-four percent of respondents said they need at least eight hours of sleep to have a healthy day . Add reading a few new books to your yearly goals to help you unplug from electronics an hour or more before going to bed , and ensure you ’ re getting the rest you need .
Get involved . More than nine out of ten Americans said they are willing to take action to create a healthier environment , according to the survey . Using a strong support system of friends and family , you can help each other ensure 2017 is a healthy year . Organize ways to stick with your resolutions as a group , such as scheduling a weekly walk , planning a neighborhood recycling contest , registering for a fitness event , or signing up to volunteer .
More than what happens in the doctor ’ s office impacts your health . Incorporating these small changes can help you achieve your goals and lead to a healthier and happier 2017 . To learn more about ways cities and counties near you are making a difference , visit HealthiestCities . org . ❖
Editor ’ s note : This article was provided by FamilyFeatures . com .