With the New Year upon us, now is the perfect time to implement new habits into our daily routine! One of the most important practices we can commit to is taking better care of our health. A healthy life is a happy life, so we hope you join us in prioritizing these important habits as we kick off 2021. Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor before making drastic changes to your daily routine.
- Balanced Diet: They say you are what you eat, and in this case we should aim for a balanced diet filled with nutrient-dense foods to fuel our bodies. That often means increasing our fruit and vegetable intake, and reducing the amount of processed foods we eat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends focusing on foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars and staying within our daily calorie needs. For a detailed guide that can help you make better eating decisions, take a look at “Improving Your Eating Habits” by the CDC.
- Exercise: Even if it just means going for a walk a couple of times a week, it is important to get our bodies moving. According to the American Heart Association, exercise can lower your blood pressure, boost your levels of good cholesterol, improve blood flow and circulation, keep your weight under control, and prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis (1). Getting our hearts pumping will not only boost our health but also our mood, so put on your sneakers and get your steps in!
- Drink more water: Studies show that the average American drinks only an average of 39 ounces of water. Although daily fluid intake recommendations can vary, studies show that a majority of Americans are dehydrated (2) and would benefit from increasing their water intake. Staying hydrated helps regulate our body temperature, our joints lubricated, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to our cells, keeps our organs functioning properly, and improves our sleep quality, cognition, and overall mood (3).
- Get Enough Sleep: Our bodies need proper rest, and having good night’s sleep consistently can greatly improve our overall well-being. When we sleep, our brain and organs are able to slow down and recover from day time activity. Most adults should be getting between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Not getting enough sleep can lead to reduced cognitive function, delayed reactions, and mood shifts as well as increased blood pressure and a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. If you struggle with sleep deprivation, you can visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to learn more about sleep deficiency.
We hope you are able to prioritize your health this year with these basic, but incredibly important habits. Being proactive in taking care of our bodies will helps us live longer and healthier lives, so don’t wait on implementing these habits into your everyday life! Grab your spouse, partner, or a friend and challenge yourselves to stick to a new and healthy routine.
Wishing you a happy and healthy
New Year from all of us at Age Well CT!
1: American Heart Association, “Why is physical activity so important for health and wellbeing?”
2: Chicago Sun Times, “Doctors say most Americans are dehydrated”
3: Harvard School of Public Health, “The importance of hydration”