It’s a New Year!
By Margaret Lewin, MD,FACP – Medical Director, Cinergy Health (www.cinergyhealth.com)
It’s a new year: time to take stock and start anew for a healthier you! After a bubbly glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve, maybe you resolved to…
· Train for a Triathlon! If you’re not really up to that, think this through more soberly and at least walk a brisk 30 minutes every day – for cardiovascular and bone health, and to clear your mind of daily stresses.
· Get Your Waistline Back to 18 Inches! Unless you’re planning to turn ten years old again, consider that just adding 15 minutes of resistance training three times weekly to your daily walking can take that belt size down a notch – even without significant weight loss. Getting rid of belly fat is a major step toward decreasing your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
· Go Vegan! On the other hand, if seitan doesn’t look all that appetizing, find ways to make vegetables more interesting – serving them as a first course to diminish your appetite for less healthy foods. Eating two servings of fish weekly can soothe your conscience – because fish is low calorie protein, contains omega-3’s for heart health and may even decrease your risk of mental decline as you get older.
· Learn Ancient Greek! There might be more practical ways to stretch your mind and improve your memory: join a book club or sign up for classes at the local museum or university.
· Volunteer Your Services in a Remote Country Where They Really Need You! Not all of us can put our lives on hold that way, but volunteering at a local organization can lift your spirits by giving to others, expanding your social network to include other volunteers, and making you more a part of your community.
· Stop Buying Processed Foods! You’ll probably draw the line when it comes to making your own mayonnaise and ketchup, but you can cut way back on salt and sugars (and save money as well) just by making your own vegetable and chicken stocks to use in cooking – freezing one cup portions in quart-sized freezer bags and letting them lie flat so you can defrost them quickly. Most importantly, read package labels more carefully, choosing products with no trans fats, limited amounts of hydrogenated and saturated fats, low salt and no added sugars.
· Drink 4 Glasses of Milk Daily to Strengthen Your Bones! But remember that waistline thing, and just start taking 800IU of vitamin D daily and 600mg of calcium twice daily. The extra vitamin D has also shown promise in reducing your risk of influenza, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Excessive vitamin D can be dangerous, so ask your doctor to check your blood levels during your next preventive exam.
· Daily Tai Chi Classes! No way do most of us have time for that, but you can break up stressful days by taking short breaks to stretch or to close your eyes, visualizing yourself in a restful environment such as a hammock deep in the woods – listening to the wind through the poplars, feeling that cool breeze as it gently swings you, and smelling that clean, fresh air.
So don’t give up on those New Year’s resolutions. They’re all valuable. Just take a practical little bite out of each one, paving the way for a healthier you.
-Courtesy of Cinergy Health