The holidays are upon us and the year end is almost here. So I was reflecting and thinking about my New Year’s resolutions I made in January this year and if I accomplished any of my goals. Some of my goals were losing weight, exercising daily, drinking more water, eating better and smaller portions. Well, I definitely started exercising more and eating smaller portions. I am still working on the other three goals. It’s not easy, but I will not give up on what I call my healthy living plan.
Just about everywhere you look, there is information on being healthy and incorporating a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis. Studies have shown healthy living may help prevent cancer, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. So what constitutes healthy living? The following are some actions that can be taken to help promote a healthy life.
Knowing your numbers, such as your blood pressure, cholesterol and A1C numbers is significant. High blood pressure can cause long lasting damage to the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys. High cholesterol can cause plaque build-up in the arteries that could possibly cause an artery blockage. High A1C levels can also cause damage to the heart, eyes and kidneys, and nerves.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, practicing good nutrition on a daily basis is important. We know it’s essential to eat foods such as fruit and vegetables to decrease the chance of cancer and other illnesses that may be chronic.
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Participating in physical activity on a regular basis is recommended by the CDC. Exercising helps decrease blood pressure, decreases blood sugar, decreases heart rate over time and helps relieve stress.
The CDC says stop smoking. Smoking harms every organ in the body including raising the heart rate and blood pressure. Smoking can also cause respiratory issues. Not smoking can help to maintain a healthy body.
Get plenty of sleep. More information is showing that not getting enough sleep can cause obesity, depression and other health issues.
CDC reports that there are motor vehicle accidents that are a result of drowsiness due to insufficient sleep.
The National Institute of Mental Health encourages practical steps to maintain health and outlook to decrease or prevent the effects of stress. NIH identifies constant long-term stress can lead to diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and other illnesses. Exercising, walking or meditating, just to name a few, are possible ways to decrease stress.
The New Year will be here quickly and resolutions will be made and may be broken before the next year is over.
Life may get in the way, but healthy living can be a way of life no matter what year it is.
For more information on healthy living, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov or the National Institute of Mental Health at www.nimh.nih.gov/health.
Dairlyn Brown is a nurse in Warner Robins.