Submitted by Carol Tomlinson, RN BS
Community Health Educator
It’s Your Life. Live It Well!
Getting ready to make your New Year’s resolutions? According to the National Health Institute, by mid- February, 67% of these promises we make will no longer be a part of our daily lives. It’s not that we are weak willed – but more likely that we set ourselves up for failure by promising more than we can do.
Research has shown the key to good health is what experts call “lifestyle medicine.” It is about making changes you can live with. It is much easier to ask your mind to accept and act on small modifications, rather than try to make giant leaps in changing our behavior.
What is one area you would like to improve? You just need to pick one that is important to you. Here are some healthy lifestyle choices you may want to consider:
Don’t let limited or low level mobility stop you from making realistic goals. Get up and move when commercials come on, go for a walk, or take an exercise class for seniors. Many classes are gentle seated exercises designed to help with balance and prevent falls, as well as help you meet your exercise goals. Always check with your physician before starting anything new.
Say ‘no’ to dieting. Instead, resolve to eat a more colorful diet. Aim for 3-5 servings of veggies each day. Sound like a lot? Try the “5 Meal Deal.” According to NIH, eating 5 smaller meals a day can help you to stay healthy and energized, and is more likely to include more servings of fruits and vegetables. Need more fiber? Try making a small change such as substituting whole grain for white bread to start.
Drink More Water
It is important to stay hydrated. Often we confuse fatigue and hunger with thirst. As we age, the sensation of thirst declines but the need to stay hydrated remains. Try keeping a small bottle of water with you wherever you are. Take frequent sips.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is essential to health. If you have trouble sleeping, try one or more of these small changes. Don’t eat a large meal within 3 hours of going to bed. Set a routine time for going to sleep and waking each day. Stay away from TV, phone and computers for at least a half-hour before going to bed. Try different relaxation techniques such as deep even breathing. Count your blessings instead of sheep.
YOU hold the key to a healthier life! To make the changes you want remember to start small, be specific, and check yourself regularly to see if any changes need to be made to keep you going toward your goal.
Remember: It’s Your Life. Live it Well!
If you need help getting started or continuing on toward your goal, call HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, see our website at nlh.org, or visit our NEW wellness center at 2 Colonial Court in downtown Johnstown, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. We’re your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.