Make the 2020s your best decade yet

It’s a new decade which means it is a great time to start making strides towards a healthier lifestyle. And at Alliance Xpress Urgent Care, our number one concern is your overall health and wellness.

Small improvements in your eating, exercise and mental health habits can add up to a huge impact on your overall health. The following is a helpful list of health and wellness suggestions to consider in your efforts to a healthier decade.

Set health goals

While this might seem obvious, it is important to be thoughtful about which areas of your health you want to focus on and to actually write down your goals.

According to a blog on DevelopGoodHabits.com, setting health goals outlines your ambitions for your wellbeing.

“By making health goals and taking steps to reach them, you’re able to obtain a better balance of not only your diet and exercise, but also in the subcategories of the health arena, including weight loss, eating whole foods, avoiding being sedentary, taking proper breaks from working, and having the self-awareness to realize when you’ve adopted a bad habit that could be detrimental in the long run,” said blog writer Connie Stemmle.

“It’s important to realize that your health and well-being are the product of a combination of your everyday habits, and not simply one aspect of it. All of your lifestyle choices become interlinked, so in order to improve one facet of your health, you have to step back to look at the big picture and your life balance.”

Educate yourself

Understanding health and wellness and the things that impact your health at a basic level can help you meet your goals. Thankfully, a wealth of information is available at our fingertips. A blog on DevelopGoodHabits.com, listed the following as health topics you should learn more about:

  • The importance of getting a good night’s sleep
  • The connection between your diet, physical activity, and weight loss
  • How your diet impacts your metabolism (and how your metabolism works)
  • The principles of healthy eating
  • The proper form of exercise and recommended levels of physical activity

Keep a positive mindset

Experts at Harvard Health say that we should take a moment every day to acknowledge the blessings in our lives. A blog post by Harvard about the subject said taking time to think positively has “been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being, just as their opposites — chronic anger, worry, and hostility — contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.”

Cut the unhealthy habits

Nearly 21 million Americans have an addiction of some sort, but only 10% of this population seeks treatment.

According to a blog on Healthline, excess alcohol can impact nearly every part of your body. It increases your chances of developing diseases such as cancer, liver disease, and other chronic conditions and can also negatively impact learning and memory, accelerate the aging process, and disrupt healthy sleeping patterns.

Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , smoking leads to disease and disability. It also has the ability to  harm nearly every organ system of the body. The CDC says that smoking can lead to cancer, COPD, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, vision loss and blindness, and many more unpleasant results.

Reduce your risks

By following a schedule of health maintenance, you can avoid serious health consequences. Maintenance steps include:

  1. Scheduling and attending an annual checkup with your primary care provider.
  2. Asking your primary care provider about scheduling all of the routine tests and exams for your age.
  3. Getting vaccinations to boost your immune system.
  4. Flossing and brushing your teeth twice daily and regularly seeing a dentist.
  5. Washing your hands often. Scrubbing with soap and water helps protect you from germs that cause the flu, pneumonia, and many other infections.

Eat better

According to the National Institutes of Health, the things you eat can influence your risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes.

The scientists quoted in the NIH blog found that the risk of death from the three diseases was higher for those who consumed too much sodium, processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, and unprocessed red meat. Risk of death was also higher among those who didn’t eat enough nuts and seeds, seafood omega-3 fats, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, or polyunsaturated fats.

Experts in the blog on the NIH website, said that a healthy eating plan includes limiting saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars. Foods to add to your diet include:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • whole grains
  • fat-free or low-fat dairy products
  • lean meats like poultry and fish
  • beans
  • eggs
  • nuts

Exercise daily

We all know that exercise can help prevent excess weight gain, but according to experts at Mayo Clinic exercise has many more positive health impacts.

According to a blog on the Mayo Clinic website, being active boosts the “good” cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides, which lowers your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The blog said regular exercise also helps prevent or manage many health problems and concerns, including:

  • Stroke
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Many types of cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Falls

Get a good night’s sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for helping a person maintain optimal health and well-being. When it comes to health, sleep is as vital as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most adults need 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep on a regular schedule each night.

Experts at HHS say that getting enough sleep has many benefits including:

  • Getting sick less often
  • Staying at a healthy weight
  • Lowering your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
  • Reducing stress and improving your mood
  • Helping you think more clearly
  • Improving relationships
  • Helping you make good decisions and avoid injuries

You have the power to change many things that influence your health. Make 2020 the year that you become the best version of yourself.

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