The new year is underway, which means you’re flaunting that new you, right?
Oh, you said the same thing last year? So did we. New Year resolutions are a reaction to an assessment of one’s habits and lifestyles, making careful changes to improve health and overall well-being.
And while having a resolution is motivational, having no path or outline to reach your goals will have your ambition fizzle out.
How can you stay on course for a healthier you in 2018? Here are five New Year solutions to your resolutions, according to doctors and experts from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA):
Create a personal health calendar.
“In our busy lives, we hardly pay attention to our health, and most health issues start with subtle symptoms that we fail to follow,” Dr. Aparna Sridhar said in a UCLA news release. Dr. Sridhar is currently an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the university’s David Geffen School of Medicine.
“In fact, most patients with illness cannot pinpoint when symptoms started and if there was any association with life events,” Sridhar adds. “By maintaining a health calendar and jotting down symptoms, medications and mood changes, patients will be able to identify abnormalities sooner and seek care.”
Mo’ fruits, mo’ veggies.
“A number of chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke, have an identified association with diet,” UCLA dietitian Dana Hunnes said in another news release. She’s the senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
“If each of us shifts to a more plant-based diet — filled with vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and other produce — we can not only potentially lower our risk for these diseases, but we can also be healthier and potentially live longer,” Hunnes continued.
Another point to keep in mind is diets low in animal protein are also linked with greater longevity.
Support healthy gut bacteria.
“For better health overall, you not only need to feed your own human cells, but you also need to feed all the microbes that live on you and inside you — including the gut microbiome,” Dr. Zhaoping Li, director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, said in the news release.
“The best foods for these microbes are plant-based foods and drinks,” she said.
Don’t undervalue the upsides of healthy lifestyle changes.
“Certain lifestyle choices are far more integral to your health than any doctor’s visit,” said Dr. John Mafi, an assistant professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
“To promote general well-being, mom’s advice isn’t far off: Eat mostly fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains; get at least seven or eight hours of sleep per night; reduce your work stress; make time to exercise and get outdoors; and spend quality time with close friends and family,” Mafi continued.
“The research behind each of these activities clearly demonstrates their benefits to your health,” he added.
Sinus, Sealed, Delivered.
“Patients with allergies and sinus problems should be rinsing their sinuses regularly with saline, a surprisingly effective method for controlling symptoms that accomplishes several things,” said Dr. Marilene Wang, professor of head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine.
Clearing your sinus of particles and irritants also thins the mucus, while moisturizing the inside of the nose. This keeps nasal membranes from inflaming from allergies and infections, and eases uncomfortable symptoms such as congestion and swelling.
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