Here are ideas to begin 2020 in a healthy way from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.
H — ealth: Make health a priority this year. Health should be more than the absence of disease — read on for ideas.
A — ttitude: A positive attitude may not cure a disease. However, thinking positive can help you deal with misfortune; make the most of your situation; and enjoy life more.
P — hysical activity: Physical activity helps improve health and fitness; maintain a healthy body weight; and reduce the risk for several chronic diseases and conditions.
P — eople: Numerous studies indicate social networks, whether formal (such as a church or social club) or informal (such as meeting with friends), make people less vulnerable to ill health and premature death. Be wary, however, of social support that drains you through people being too demanding or encouraging you to engage in harmful behaviors.
Y — our body: Schedule physical checkups as needed: eyes, teeth, mammogram, colonoscopy, general physical, etc.
N — O! Rather than adding “take a time management class” to your “to do” list, consider starting a “don’t do” list. You may discover doing LESS can bring MORE enjoyment to your life. Especially if doing less allows you to spend time doing more to contribute to your health and happiness and that of family and friends.
E — at healthy: Calories are the fuel you need to work and play. Foods and beverages vary in how many calories and nutrients they contain. When choosing what to eat and drink, it’s important to get the right mix – enough nutrients, but not too many calories. For more information, go to ChooseMyPlate.gov
W — isdom: Take time to listen to your own body. Rather than set your goals based on how fast other people walk or jog, how little sleep others can get by on, or how much someone else eats, concentrate on what makes YOU healthy.
Y — our hands: Keeping hands clean is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness. For more information, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
E — nough sleep: Insufficient sleep is linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational disorders. People who don’t get enough sleep also are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer. For more information, go to the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/features/sleep/
A — void portion distortion: While “what” you eat is important, also consider “how much” you eat. Downsize your portion sizes. Serve food on smaller plates. Eat from plates and bowls rather than packages and bags, so you see how much you’re eating.
R — eading materials: Consider the source before starting a new drastic diet or exercise plan. Beware of plans that: promise quick, dramatic results; charge large fees for consultations, equipment, supplements, etc.; and rely solely on testimonials and statements from “professionals” with unusual-sounding degrees.
Have a healthy and happy New Year.
Linda Robbins, CDN, is assistant director and nutrition educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Herkimer County.