These six achievable recommendations can have a tremendous positive impact on your health for 2022 and beyond.
1. Walk and stretch more
150 minutes of brisk walking per week is highly beneficial to one’s health. This can be achieved by walking for 30 minutes, 5 times a week. While 150 minutes per week is the optimal amount of time to dedicate to walking, however, any amount of walking is much better than none.
Some of the benefits of brisk walking include improved:
- Heart health
- Energy levels
- Mood and memory
- Muscle and bone strength
- Blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol
- Weight control
Function of your immune system
Balance and co-ordination
Shortly after getting up in the morning, take 5 minutes to do some stretches. This helps with musculoskeletal flexibility. Reduces chances of injury when exercising. Helps to create a relaxed frame of mind.
2. Spend more time interacting with nature-
Here in Vincy we are surrounded by nature. The beaches, sea, rivers, mountains, lush vegetation, and more. Spending 15 minutes a day connecting with nature – e.g. at the beach, significantly improves your mood, reduces your anger, and helps with clarity of thought. Alternatively, we can bring nature to our home by way of house plants or having a kitchen/ flower garden.
3. Minimise sitting
Between driving, work, watching TV, etc. we sit 8-16 hours per day. Protracted sitting is linked to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain, mood disorders, and certain cancers.
Taking a 1–2-minute break from sitting every 20-30 minutes significantly reduces the health complications from sitting. During that break walk, stretch or squat. Other things that can be done to reduce sitting: Conduct most phone calls while standing. Take the stairs as opposed to elevator. For distances that can be walked, walk as opposed to driving. Reduce your TV/ computer time.
4. Sleep 7-9 hours per night
Adults should sleep 7 to 9 hours at night. For those over 65, 7 to 8 hours is recommended. Chronic sleep deprivation can result in diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, weight gain, depression, reduced sex drive, change of appearance, impaired immunity.
5. Revisit your dietary habits
Reduce your intake of foods that are processed, fried, high in sugar & fat/ cholesterol, simple carbohydrates (e.g. made from wheat flour, white rice). If you buy lunch stick to a source that prepares healthy meals. Avoid fast foods. Carry to work home-cooked meals wherever possible. Cut out sweet drinks. Cook more ground provisions. The main meats that should be consumed are fish and poultry (without the skin). Cut back on your salt intake. Drink lots of water. Cut back on alcohol.
6. Connect with mentally uplifting family/ friends
Quality relationships/ friendships help us to live happier and longer lives. Toxic relationships have the opposite effect. If you have few family and friends, service clubs, religious organisations, sporting clubs, etc facilitate camaraderie with others, COVID protocols permitting.
Toxic individuals and situations should be avoided wherever possible.
Have a healthy, joyous, prosperous, and blessed 2022
Author: Dr. C. Malcolm Grant – Family Physician, c/o Family Care Clinic, Arnos Vale, www.familycaresvg.com, [email protected], 1(784)570-9300 (Office), 1(784)455-0376 (WhatsApp)
Disclaimer: The information provided in the above article is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you are seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Dr. C. Malcolm Grant, Family Care Clinic or The Searchlight Newspaper or their associates, respectively, are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information provided above.