Habits to Become the Healthiest You
Small changes add up to big results. By incorporating simple habits into your life, you can kickstart your wellness journey and stay on track for the long run.
Schedule a wellness exam
Seeing your primary care provider at least once a year is the single most important thing you can do for your health.
At your annual exam, your physician will help keep you healthy and reach your wellness goals. They screen for diseases to stay ahead of medical issues and check in on your overall well-being.
Set a reminder on your phone or calendar to prompt you to book an appointment. You can also use an important date, such as your birthday, anniversary or holiday, as a marker to remind you to schedule a visit.
Get moving to stay well
If you’re focused on improving your fitness routine, put a plan in place to be more active and drop the extra pounds. According to Wellstar Internal Medicine Physician Dr. Asher Niazi, consistency is key to succeed.
“Raise your heart rate 45 minutes a day, at least five to six days a week,” Dr. Niazi said, stressing the importance of regular activity. “You don't have to go in gym and spend two hours working out. Exercise can be as simple as going on a brisk walk.”
For those looking to slim down, your healthcare provider can help jumpstart your health journey with a tailored diet and exercise plan.
Set a sleep routine
Having a bedtime routine is essential to catch more Z’s over the year. When you wake up feeling rested, you often feel more productive and energized throughout the day.
Get started by setting a specific time to go to sleep — and sticking to it. Make sure you reserve at least seven to nine hours per night for sleep.
Limit your screen time before getting in bed. Bright screens from a phone, computer or TV can keep your brain awake and make it harder to fall asleep.
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, have a decaffeinated cup of tea or take a warm bath to help you relax.
Eat a balanced diet
When it comes to losing weight, many people look for a “quick fix” which can often create unhealthy ways of eating. Creating a healthy eating plan from the start can help avoid any fad diet pitfalls.
Nutrition plans that restrict or eliminate food groups, and those with extreme calorie deficits are difficult to maintain and can often produce more weight gain or undesired results, according to Wellstar Registered Dietitian Kelly Prian.
Diet trends can also create a negative relationship with food, which can make it harder to achieve your goals. Kelly Prian shared that those with long-term success focus on maintaining a plan that enables steady weight loss over time.
A healthy nutrition plan is balanced and emphasizes on whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low fat dairy, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.
Try not to overcomplicate healthy eating. Focus on starting with small changes like filling half your plate with vegetables, or have fun trying new recipes.
Take care of your mental health
Self-care is an important aspect of your mental well-being, and should be made a consistent part of each day.
“Make self-care a priority and a non-negotiable,” said Dr. Rebecca Gomez, Wellstar clinical health psychologist and Clinician Resiliency & Well-Being Program Lead.
“Think of self-care as a form of personal healing and a way to strengthen resilience,” Dr. Gomez explained. “Much like the way exercise enhances physical health, self-care enhances mental health.”
According to Dr. Gomez, even small acts of intention can turn tasks we do on “autopilot” into more meaningful experiences.
“When washing your hands, give yourself a hand massage,” Dr. Gomez shared. “When driving, use red lights to practice deep breathing. Listen to a book on tape or language lessons rather than the radio, or call someone to reconnect.”
If you feel overwhelmed by stress or anxiety, Wellstar’s behavioral health specialists are here for you.
“Working with a mental health provider is different than speaking with a friend, or even a ‘life coach,’” Dr. Gomez said. “Mental health professionals are trained and licensed to address psychological or emotional wellness.”
Need support? Connect with a Wellstar behavioral health specialist.
Stay safe during the pandemic
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, things may feel uncertain. However, there are several steps you can take to protect your health.
Focus on what you can control. Get the COVID-19 vaccine and booster, if eligible. You should also continue following the 3Ws — wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance around others.
If you are having a difficult time coping with your emotions, find support from a behavioral health specialist.
No matter what your health resolutions may be this year, we’re here for you. Learn how to win at your wellness goals with the help of Wellstar health experts.