Preparing For a New Year With Your Health In Focus
It is a few days to the start of a New year!
Before or at the start of the new year, most of us set new goals, plan to stop bad habits and pick up new ones.
As you plan for the new year, remember that planning for your health should also be a vital part of your goals and what better time to start to plan than now!!
Here are some important things to consider;
Annual Health Check
This is an area that is often overlooked when making health resolutions. It is important to schedule annual health checks especially for cancer screenings such as mammograms, cervical smears and prostate screening tests as well as cardiovascular checks. It is also important to have a dialogue with your provider about your family history with cancer and other medical issues, so they can help you make important decisions about screening. As you plan towards your annual health, make sure to also have a financing plan, either through health insurance or by saving monthly towards your annual health checks.
In the new year, ensure that your daily diet contains a healthy mix of staple foods such as wheat, maize, rice and potatoes with legumes like lentils and beans, plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and foods from animal sources (e.g. meat, fish, eggs and milk). Choose wholegrain foods like unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat and brown rice when you can; they are rich in valuable fibre and can help you feel full for longer. For snacks, choose raw vegetables, unsalted nuts and fresh fruit, rather than foods that are high in sugars, fats or salt
Don’t skip breakfast. “Skipping breakfast gives you the munchies later on and slows your metabolism down. Try not to let more than five hours go by without eating. Waiting too long can zap energy, and can lead to overeating later. Eat a (healthy) snack between lunch and dinner, maybe right before leaving work, so you will be less likely to grab snack foods once you get home.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you need to get out and get moving.
Include a total of 30 minutes of activity every day. “It doesn’t have to be all at once. If it takes 10 minutes to walk from the bus stop, get off at the next furthest stop so you get a few more minutes walking. And walk it briskly — you can lose some weight, improve your cardiovascular system, and sleep better. There are health clubs, gyms, and personal trainers, as well as at-home equipment to get you fit and healthy.
Drink More Water
Drink fewer sodas and other sweetened drinks, like iced tea. A big bottle of a juice-based drink can contain 300 calories — and those calories add up. Drink water instead, you can have a target on the number of glasses of water to drink daily. You can also mix juice and water, so you’re not drinking something so heavily loaded with sugar.
Stop Unhealthy Habits
Do you smoke? If so, you’ll do yourself a favour by quitting. Smoking has been connected to many chronic diseases such as cancer, plus you will save a lot of money over the next year if you quit smoking.
How much alcohol do you drink? “Moderate drinking” is an average of 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men. Drinking more than this can be detrimental to your health. If you find yourself drinking more, then you may need to decrease your consumption of alcohol.
A LIST TO GUIDE YOU IN MAKING YOUR NEW YEAR HEALTH RESOLUTIONS
- To eat home-made meals rich in vegetables at work, four days per week instead of eating lunch in restaurants every day.
- To walk for 30 minutes four days per week each week each month.
- To drink at least 8 glasses of water daily
- To completely replace alcohol with water
- To replace cigarettes with sugarless gum or hard candy
- To save a certain amount monthly towards your annual mammogram, cervical smears and prostate checks
You can create your own list based on your health needs at the moment. Have a goal shattering new year!!!