10 Things to Do For YOU This Year
Are you looking to press the reset button on your health for 2022? How you approach a lifestyle change determines how successful you will be at accomplishing this goal.
Below are 10 key steps provided by the American Heart Association for evidence-based dietary guidance to promote cardiovascular health:
- Adjust energy intake (calories in) and expenditure (calories burned) to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, choose a wide variety
- Choose foods made mostly with whole grains rather than refined grains
- Choose healthy sources of protein
a. Mostly protein from plants (legumes and nuts)
b. Fish and seafood
c. Low-fat or fat-free dairy products instead of full-fat dairy products
d. If meat or poultry are desired, choose lean cuts and avoid processed forms
- Use liquid plant oils rather than tropical oils (coconut, palm, and palm kernel), animal fats (eg, butter and lard), and partially hydrogenated fats
- Choose minimally processed foods instead of ultra-processed foods
- Minimize intake of beverages and foods with added sugars
- Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt
- If you do not drink alcohol, do not start; if you choose to drink alcohol, limits intake
- Adhere to this guidance regardless of where food is prepared or consumed
Other small changes that promote healthy new behaviors also include:
Creating Healthy Eating & Drinking Habits - portion sizing your meals and choosing water in over sugary drinks are both important for healthy eating.
Get Better Sleep – approximately seven to nine hours of sleep a night is recommended for most healthy adults. Regular sleeping habits are necessary for a healthy metabolism, optimal brain function, and quality of life.
More Physical Activity – commit to moving your body more by moderately exercising at least 150 minutes a week.
Schedule Regular Wellness Exams – It is extremely important to regularly meeting with your healthcare provider and complete any preventative exams including a wellness screening, annual physical, dental and eye exams, plus mammograms and colonoscopies if you are of the suggested age to do so.
Finally, be kind to yourself. Be mindful of your “self-talk” – you’re much more likely to succeed in meeting your goals if you have a positive frame of mind versus being self-critical. If you don’t meet your goals one day or one week, start anew the next day. Yet, also hold yourself accountable. Set attainable goals and re-adjust as needed.