Each New Year inspires us to take stock of our goals, lifestyle, and health to find ways to make each year our best one yet. We asked the experts to give us their most important tips on simple things each of us can do to improve our health this year. Here's what they had to say.
Increasing your water intake is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. Hydration is often the "cure" for everyday health complaints like fatigue and headache. Drinking plenty of water can also help you enjoy better looking skin and hair, have more energy, stay focused, and even maintain a healthier weight more easily. It can also help regulate body temperature and blood pressure and provide much-needed cushioning for tissues and organs throughout the body. Go drink a glass right now!
Though sometimes a hormone imbalance requires medical treatment, there's a lot you can do at home to help keep your hormones in check. Start by getting plenty of sleep and exercise. Enjoy a balanced diet that's low in sugar and high in fiber. Make sure you're also getting plenty of healthy fats, like those found in olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon. Tobacco smoke can have an adverse effect on hormone levels, so for those who smoke, make this the year you quit.
While pregnant, strive for a nutritious diet and take in an extra 300 calories per day, which isn't as much food as you might think. For all of us, overeating at mealtime can lead to indigestion and discomfort. So, I recommend you consume small meals five or six times per day instead of three large meals. A great way to do this is to add mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. Focus on healthy snacks that are high in nutrition, like unflavored Greek yogurt topped with berries or avocado slices on whole wheat toast.
Kids need and crave physical activity. For them, it's more than play and does more for them than help them burn excess energy. When children are allowed a break for physical activity, such as walking around the room for a few minutes or stretching, they are better able to focus on their homework or chores. Break up periods of sitting with activities that get them moving, such as riding a bicycle or playing sports. And join them for better health!
As the best source of vitamin D, daily sun exposure is essential for a healthy life. But it can also take a toll on our skin, especially our hands and faces. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on your face and hands every day. Be sure to reapply the sunscreen throughout the day to help keep skin healthier and younger looking.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women. So yes, women get heart disease, too. You're at greater risk if you're overweight, eat a diet high in saturated fats and sugar, don't get enough exercise, have diabetes, or drink too much alcohol. Make this the year you get heart healthy for good. Quit smoking, reduce alcohol intake, increase your exercise, lower your cholesterol, and be sure to get regular checkups with your doctor.
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