Many of us make lists of things we’d like to change in January like eating healthier, losing weight and stopping smoking, but sometimes it’s just hard to follow through. This year, start by thinking about what being healthy means to you. Make an action plan that focuses on small changes.
Here are five small changes and tips that can lead to better health.
- Schedule your appointments. This month, ask your doctor what preventive screenings you and your family need and schedule the appointments. Do it early so you can discuss any health concerns and plan for the year.
- Eat healthier. This doesn’t mean giving up red meat totally or becoming a vegetarian. It simply means incorporating more fresh fruit and vegetables into your meals, increasing your water intake and maybe making one plant-based meal per week.
- Take a walk. It’s recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, which breaks down to 30 minutes over five days. If 30 minutes at a time doesn’t fit your schedule or you’re just starting, break it down into 10 minute sets. Try walking around the block, parking your car further away from the store or marching in place.
- Get social. According to the CDC, social connections can help prevent serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, dementia along with depression and anxiety, and you don’t have to be an extrovert to do this. Try joining a club, taking a class, volunteering in your community or even connecting with others online.
- Learn something new. It’s never too late to learn. Find a hobby. Learn a new skill. Doing so is fun and learning also exercises your brain and keeps it in shape.
For more health and wellness information, visit our Wellness Can’t Wait website.
The above material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician. Physicians and other health care providers are encouraged to use their own best medical judgment based upon all available information and the condition of the patient in determining the best course of treatment.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association