As the start of a New Year creeps closer, many of you will begin setting resolutions for 2016. According to Forbes Magazine over forty percent of Americans create New Year’s resolutions. To help you get the most bang-for-your-resolution-buck, SCPT has compiled four lifestyle changes which garner the best health benefits and aid in the prevention of health-related illness.
Quit Smoking: If you haven’t joined the ranks of non-smokers, now is the time. Beginning a tobacco-free lifestyle can have limitless health benefits, starting as soon as twenty minutes after quitting, when the American Cancer Society reports that an individual’s blood pressure and heart rate will drop. Those who maintain a smoke-free lifestyle reduce their risk of developing certain cancers including bladder, mouth, throat, and esophagus. (http://bit.ly/1r1ivzY)
Achieve a Healthier Weight: When people think of weight loss, often the perception is that a significant amount of weight must be lost to reap health benefits. According to the Obesity Action Coalition, a weight reduction of five to ten percent of your overall body weight can result in a five point increase in HDL cholesterol which can decrease the risk of heart disease. Other benefits include a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes and improved sleep apnea symptoms. If you’re interested in starting a weight loss plan, talk with your doctor to develop a safe program which combines nutritional changes and increased exercise. (http://bit.ly/1KWEHmL)
Increase Physical Activity: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that engaging in regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Benefits of an active lifestyle include maintaining a healthy weight, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Those who exercise are able to strengthen their bodies, improve mental health, and even increase life expectancy. To escalate your activity level, start small. Consider involving the whole family by taking an evening walk or engaging in short ten minute workouts three times per day, to reach the recommended daily level for physical activity. (http://1.usa.gov/1JDovX9)
Reduce Stress: The American Institute of Stress (AIS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational resources to highlight the effects of stress on health. An infographic provided by AIS depicts the impact stress has on each system of the human body (including nervous, musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and reproductive systems). Though stress makes a common appearance in everyday life, there are ways to reduce its overall affects. AIS warns that no stress relief technique is one-size-fits-all and suggests trying different methods until you find one that works well for you. (http://www.stress.org/)
Whether you choose to set a New Year’s resolution or not, small positive modifications to your lifestyle can help you be the best possible you. SCPT wishes you a very Happy New Year and hopes you’ll make this year your best one yet!
SCPT is committed to championing for healthier lifestyles for its patients and the community-at-large to help increase mental and physical well-being and aid in the prevention of health-related conditions.