"Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go." - Brooks Atkinson, American Journalist.
Never before has man's achievements come in the way of his health and happiness like in these times. As couch potatoes and mouse potatoes multiply and as trash food paves the way to an early death, man truly feels king of the world he has rendered polluted and toxic.
AdvertisementEver more reason why the message of living healthy and letting others do so, should reach as many as possible. And there is hardly a better time to start with, than a freshly washed brand new year!
A few simple steps to help you:
People are more than ever conscious of a healthy lifestyle, the prevention and cure of diseases, the latest medical breakthroughs etc., thanks to the media.
Read up on health and lifestyle choices like a good diet, enough exercise, organic foods, food supplements etc., and practice them. Teach others too by practicing what you preach.
Err On The Side Of Caution
To ensure the good health of your loved ones and yourself, have a reliable family physician who can prescribe regular prevention health checks.
A point to remember is that many people are being diagnosed with lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes type 2, heart diseases etc., at a much earlier age than before.
Regular visits to a doctor, dentist and even a holistic health practioner can keep you in top shape.
Cherish Your Health
Here are some simple and good health resolutions you can take for the new year:
1. Starting your day with one glass of water. Drinking up to eight glasses of water per day (excluding juices, beverages, etc.)
2. Exercising for 15 minutes three times a week (you can upgrade to the recommended 30 minutes five times a week easily once you get into the habit)
3. Having at least five servings of vegetables and fruits daily
4. Boosting immunity with regular intakes of vitamins, probiotics, antioxidants, health foods etc.
5. Meditating regularly by using the power of prayer, yoga etc.
6. Revitalizing and rejuvenating the body with detoxifying diets, massages etc.
7. Getting a full night's sleep of 6 to 8 hours
8. Staying off junk foods and processed foods
9. Quitting smoking or any other substance abuse. Drinking in moderation
10. Nourishing your soul by practicing charity and spending at least half an hour on a favorite hobby per day or even talking to a loved one.
Now that you have decided to start taking care of your health, how do you keep up your resolutions?
Giving roots to your goals: Know why you are doing what you are doing.
For example remember that regular exercise can reward you with lowered risks of heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, obesity, bowel cancer and breast cancer. A habit of exercising can do away with stress, worries and even mild depression.
As you load on veggies remember that a plant-based diet is the frontline defense against cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and stroke.
Giving wings to your goals: Divide your goals into attainable steps.
Set sensible and realistic goals and space them out them. If you plan to lose 20 kg by this year's end, start slow; aim to lose just one or two kilos per month.
Reward yourself largely with something that does not defeat your purpose, say a short travel getaway, new clothes, etc. So, think small goals and big rewards.
If you do slip, do not dwell over it. Forget what is behind and push forward.
Giving a voice to your goals: Don't go through this alone
Join an exercise group or partner with your spouse or friends, at the gym. Let close friends know of your resolutions so that you have less chance of backing out now that it's public. You can also put down your goals on paper so that you actually 'see' them.
Giving a helping hand to your goals: Steer clear of pitfalls
Avoid situations where you can be put the test. Don't fix a rendezvous at an ice cream or pastry shop.
Put up stick-on notes of your goals where you can see them many times a day; bathroom mirror, fridge door, etc.
Catch Them Young
Now that you are set on the path to a healthier you, look around. Medically fit children- be they yours or of those you know, definitely mean a better tomorrow.
Inculcate basic lessons in personal hygiene health and safety as early as you can. This could include: regular brushing of teeth and washing of hands, keeping away from junk food and sweetened drinks, including fruits and vegetables in diet, joining a group or individual sport, practicing safety while on the Internet, choosing non-violent video games, restricting hours spent on TV or computer etc.
It could also include methods to deal with psychological issues such peer pressure, loneliness, depression etc.
Staying Healthy In An Unhealthy World
Trying to uncover the 'toxic' truth behind everything you handle and everything you breathe could send you into a spiral of paranoia.
It would be best to be aware but not in fear. What you can do is adopt some smart lifestyle changes like using water filters that remove carcinogenic heavy metals and pesticides, seeping in and washing vegetables in weak saline solutions to remove harmful farm chemicals, buying as far as possible, only organic food products and avoiding processed foods.
Other safe-living moves are selecting if possible, homes and schools away from busy roads and industrial areas, keeping use of electronic gadgets to the minimum, replacing chemical cleaning products like detergents, floor cleansers and insect repellants with safer and gentler natural products found at any health shops, etc.
All these are just a few of the very doable changes you can make and expect to be rewarded with huge gains in your health and life.
As the New Year begins, keep going at these resolutions and you will find that a lifestyle of positive changes has become a habit, after all!
"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."
- Oprah Winfrey, American television personality.