January 22, 2021
By Kylie Stanger
Good health impacts every aspect of your life. Give yourself the gift of good health this new year. Make strides in 2021 toward improving your health with these small steps.
- Become a Plant Parent – There is a good reason everyone seems to be obsessed with plants right now: Indoor plants can help purify your air, boost your mental well-being, help you feel a sense of accomplishment and increase your productivity. Eating herbs and vegetables that you grow yourself can also provide healing benefits such as lowering your blood pressure.
- Add in Exercise – Whether you take 10 minutes to run up and down the stairs in your office/home, or couple a conference call with a walk outside, it is important to squeeze in more exercise to help take care of your entire body.
- Schedule Checkups – Many of us have put off doctor’s appointments because of the pandemic, but our primary care physician offices have several safety protocols in place to ensure that patients can be seen safely. Some offices even offer virtual visits so you can connect to your physician from the comfort of your home. Find a doctor near you.
- Care for Your Skin – Not only is it important to take care of your skin but with the constant hand washing, sanitizing and cold weather, it is more important than ever to keep your skin hydrated. To keep your skin feeling soft and supple all season long remember to use moisturizers with emollients, keep Aquaphor and Vaseline handy, and apply sunscreen daily (ideally broad spectrum protection with SPF 30 or higher). See more ways to keep your skin hydrated this winter.
- Focus on Sleep – Sleep is an essential part of your overall health and lack of sleep could increase your risk of weight gain, heart disease and depression. Take note on what your current bedtime routine consists of: Are you sleeping in a relaxing environment? Are you putting your smartphone or any other device away at least an hour before bed? Is your room temperature on the cooler side? These few simple changes can help ensure a good night’s sleep.
- Eat Healthier – There are a few simple food swaps that can help us eat a bit healthier in 2021. Some of our favorite substitutions include low-fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or avocado on sandwiches instead of mayo. Reach for 100% whole wheat breads and pastas, instead of foods made with white flour.
- Get Outside – The natural light you get outdoors can help you de-stress, but in cold weather it can be especially difficult to drag yourself outside. Whether you sip coffee in your sunny breakfast nook or go for a walk before work, the sunshine may help you feel more alert and improve your mood. Also, consider trying a winter sport!
- Consider Vitamins – Talk to your doctor about which vitamins and supplements are right for you to make sure you’re getting everything you need to optimize your health.
- Talk it Out – 2020 was certainly a doozy and it’s likely you have gone through a lot of ups and downs. Your physician is a good resource for helping you navigate your mental health and can offer tips on how to refresh for the new year.
- Quit Smoking – Smoking is extremely harmful to your health (both cigarettes and vaping), especially to your lungs. There are many programs available to help kick this habit for good. Many of our hospitals also offer lung screenings to check on the status of your lungs. Learn more about Lung Screening.
Next Steps & Resources:
- Meet our clinical contributor: Imad Harsouni, M.D.
- To make an appointment with Dr. Harsouni or a doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.
- How to Work Out Comfortably with a Mask
- How to Cope with COVID Anxiety and Seasonal Depression
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.