Focus on Your H.E.A.L.T.H.
Cypress Ledesma, CC Manager
As the new year begins, many of us are looking for ways to start off on the right foot. One way to better yourself this year is to focus more on healthy living. Healthy living can come in many different shapes and sizes and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to a healthy lifestyle. This January, I urge you to evaluate your individual H.E.A.L.T.H.
H: Are you hydrating enough? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend consuming 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters of fluids per day for men and 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters for women. To meet this recommendation, you could invest in a refillable water bottle to serve as a reminder towards this goal. Another tip is to start your day by drinking water first thing in the morning, to replenish your body. Lastly, staying away from dehydrating drinks like caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and sugary drinks will help to retain hydration throughout the day.
E: Are you eating well? Creating a diet that promotes your health rather than takes away from your health is key. At your next physical exam, you can ask your provider about testing for possible nutrient deficiencies or what diet would work best for your health goals. Food can also serve as a medicine for the body as whole foods are linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes, whereas processed foods are linked to adverse health effects.
A: Are you getting enough Aerobic activity? The CDC recommends 150 of moderate-intensity physical activity per week and at least 2 days of muscle strengthening activity. Moderate-intensity exercise includes activities like walking fast, pushing a lawn mower, dancing, etc. Aerobic or cardio exercise is activity that increases your heart rate and breathing and is linked to cardiovascular health. Muscle strengthening activity is especially important as muscle mass is seen to have a correlation to overall life longevity. Exercise is also linked to elevated mood because of the natural chemicals released, like serotonin and dopamine, which makes you feel good.
L: Are you listening to your body? Noticing when you feel tired, low energy, stress, mood changes, irritability, hunger, bloating, indigestion, or dizziness can be red flags that your body is not operating optimally and it may be time to investigate the underlying cause. Identifying triggers to these symptoms is something worth paying attention to. Although we know our bodies best, you can also talk with a medical provider if these symptoms persist for extended periods or worsen.
T: Are you paying attention to your thoughts? Recognizing negative thought patterns or mindsets can be difficult to do, but can be a source of our frustration. Being open to new ideas and trying new things, forward thinking, and thinking before you act, are all ways to reframe your experience to better promote a healthy lifestyle.
H: Are you forming and maintaining beneficial habits or stuck in unhealthy habits? Replacing unhealthy habits and routines with healthier ones is crucial to being able to achieve your health goals. The best way to replace an unhealthy habit is to identify its triggers. Whether it’s snacking on junk food, smoking cigarettes, or not getting enough exercise, removing the triggering stimuli and replacing it with healthy stimuli and reward is key. For example, setting out your workout clothes the night before can be a positive trigger to motivate you to exercise the next day. Once you complete a goal, don’t forget to reward yourself. A reward can be as small as listening to your favorite song during your workout, keeping a list of each time you complete your goal, or treating yourself to something healthy that brings you joy.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.