December 31 — PROVO — If you’re making a resolution to be healthier in 2013, experts at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center want to help. Here’s their list of 13 simple lifestyle changes that can help you make big strides toward better health:
- Get a better night’s sleep: Adults need seven to eight hours of good sleep per night. Less than that can lead to multiple health problems and make it harder to lose weight.
- Do at least one health screening: It could be a mammogram, a lipid panel or even an annual physical. Determine which one you need and pick a time to get it done.
- Eat a healthy breakfast: A healthy breakfast has been proven to improve memory and concentration, lift your mood and help you maintain a healthier weight.
- Start or increase amount of exercise: Recent recommendations urge people of all ages to get 30 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity on most, if not all, days of the week. Start there and work to increase time, duration and intensity.
- Limit or eliminate sweetened drinks: Sweetened drinks are linked to an increase in body weight, tooth decay and weak bones. Water is the best alternative.
- Go to the dentist: Studies link oral health to physical health. If you haven’t had a dental checkup in the past year (or more), schedule one today.
- Stop smoking: If you quit smoking now, you’ll see immediate and significant health benefits, even if you’ve smoked for many years.
- Complete an advance directive: Advance directives explain your wishes for medical treatment if you’re unable to do so. Complete one this year and tell your family.
- Be more positive: Positive thinking helps with stress management and effective stress management is associated with many health benefits.
- Make half your dinner plate fruits or vegetables: Eating more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet reduces your risk for some chronic diseases.
- Get a flu shot and update immunizations: An annual seasonal flu shot is the best way to reduce your chances of getting the flu and spreading it to others.
- Wear a helmet: Risk of death or serious injury decreases dramatically when helmets are worn. Set the example by wearing one and require the same from those you love.
- Take the stairs whenever possible: Little improvements in your daily activity level can add up. Always take the stairs and park farther from the door when shopping.
For more information on these topics and others to improve your health, please go to utahvalleyregional.org and click on the “Health Resources” link.
For more information, please contact Janet Frank at 801.357.7766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.