The start of a new year is a great time to form new habits and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few tips that will help you feel better and reduce the risks of health problems such as CVA, hypertension and high cholesterol.
Small changes in your diet can make a huge difference. For instance, try to eat more fibre-rich foods as well as a greater quantity of fruits and vegetables. Canada's Food Guide recommends 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day for children aged 4 to 8 years, and 7 to 10 servings a day for adults. You should also avoid overeating and try to reduce your consumption of salt, sugar and trans or saturated fats.
Be more active
Physical activity provides numerous benefits. Among others, being physically active helps prevent heart diseases, promotes greater focus, improves sleep, decreases stress and allows to reduce body weight. It is recommended to do at least 2 and a half hours of physical activity each week. Walking remains the most beneficial exercise, and it's easily accessible to most people.
Reduce your alcohol consumption
Although having a drink or two can be fun once in a while, an excessive consumption of alcohol on a regular basis can lead to several problems. Alcohol damages most human organs, including the liver, the brain, the heart and the stomach. It can also cause sleep problems, and even anxiety or depressive disorders. For men, it is recommended not to have more than 3 drinks a day, for a maximum of 15 per week, whereas women should not have more than 2 drinks a day, for a maximum of 10 per week.
Manage your stress
To various degrees, stress is an integral part of our lives. We don't always have enough time to do all there is to do. To keep your head out of the water, it's essential to take the time to wind down on a daily basis. You can listen to music, take a break and read, go for a walk in the woods... No matter what makes you feel good, take a little time to relax every day, to breathe, to think about yourself. Also, once in a while, make sure to disconnect from the digital world we're often slaves to.
Make sure to sleep well
If you have sleep problems, know that it is recommended to go to sleep at the same time every day, when possible. This helps fall asleep and makes for a more restful night. You should also leave your electronic devices aside at least one hour before lying down. Use that time to take a bath or read a few pages to relax. For more serious cases, using a natural sleep aid could prove highly beneficial.
Don't try and go too fast by changing too many habits at once. Set realistic objectives for yourself and be patient! It can take several weeks before a new behaviour is integrated to your daily routine.