Improving or maintaining good health is a resolution on most of our lists for 2017. “There are many things we can all do to improve our health that do not require spending a lot of money or having extensive testing,” says Paula Hobart, family medicine nurse practitioner at Door County Medical Clinic.
Here are a few tips:
- Drink up. Make staying hydrated part of your daily routine. Even mild dehydration can contribute to fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. Try for eight glasses of water a day.
- Plan Meals. Healthy eating doesn’t just happen. Make fruits and vegetables a part of every meal, and choose whole grains over white bread or sweetened cereals. Cut down on prepackaged and deep-fried food, and minimize sugary drinks and alcohol.
- Get moving. Regular exercise can help improve sleep quality, reduce stress, help with weight loss and keep blood pressure and cholesterol down. Aim for 30 minutes, five times a week for starters.
- Get your Z’s. Allowing adequate time for sleep can improve your sense of well-being. Sleep deprivation can contribute to depression, weight gain, difficulty concentrating at work, and inattentive driving.
- Vaccinate. Receiving an annual seasonal flu vaccine is a simple way to reduce risk of serious viral illness during flu season. In addition to protecting yourself, it helps to protect others in the community who may not be well equipped to fight off a viral illness.
“In addition to these lifestyle choices, it is also important to have regular screening exams with your provider, so any little problems can be detected and treated early,” says Hobart.