New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Heart in 2018

 

Every year we endeavour to eat healthier, exercise more and live better and each year, invariably, we fail. We may already be almost half-way through January but it is never too late to change our habits and engage in a healthy lifestyle that will be of tremendous benefit to our overall well-being. Health data compiled by the AHA from 190 countries indicates that heart disease remains the No.1 global cause of death with as many as 17.3 million annual deaths. The report further found that this number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.

 

Taking figures such as the above into consideration makes it impossible to disregard the importance of following a healthy lifestyle. While many people are easily motivated to make positive changes to their daily routines, others find it a lot more difficult. A new year brings new hope, the promise of change, making it a good time to embark on a new endeavour.  The year is still young, by implementing the following positive changes you can enjoy a year filled with good health and happiness.

 

Sleep more

Most people don’t get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Extended sleep deprivation can raise a number of health risks including obesity, cardiac disease, diabetes, hypertension, and depression.  Making sleeping more a New Year’s resolution will significantly benefit your cardiac and overall health. You can get a better night’s sleep by getting accustomed to a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. Your body will adjust to this routine, increasing your chances of getting a full 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep every night.

 

Walk more

Walking between 6,000 and 10,000 steps a day is an easy and low-impact way to improve your health. Use a free app such as Pacer or Stepz to help you keep track of your daily steps. In the beginning, it may be hard to incorporate the extra steps into your daily routine but you will soon become accustomed to it. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park one block further away from our place of work and find interesting new places to walk at each week, taking photos along the way. You will soon find yourself thoroughly enjoying your increased activity, reaping the various health benefits as a result of it. If you do not enjoy walking you can choose to engage in any exercise of your choice.  Joining a gym or committing to personal training sessions may help significantly in terms of staying motivated and sticking to your routine.

 

Eat cleaner

Eating healthier and losing weight is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, and also the one that gets broken the fastest.  The main reason for so many people giving up on their resolutions is because they set unrealistic goals for themselves.  Instead of trying to follow a strict diet that will more than likely leave you starving, simply make a shift towards whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats and proteins. Clean eating further entails steering clear of processed foods such as refined sugar and artificial additives.

 

Making a conscious decision to embark on a healthier, more active lifestyle can lead to a decrease in many health issues while improving your quality of living. Don’t wait until the next New Year’s to change how you live. Take the necessary steps now, your heart will thank you.

 

Sally Phillips

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