Start the year off right with healthy habits
A bright and shiny new year is the perfect excuse to kick personal hygiene and healthy habits up a notch. Even though many people deal with health issues that they don’t always have complete control over, focusing on the simple habits listed below can help guide you towards having your best year yet!
Healthy Habits To Adopt This Year
1. Take Care of Your Dental Hygiene
Your mouth is a delicate and sensitive part of your body, so it’s important to schedule regular appointments with your dentist and dedicate adequate time each day to brush, floss, and rinse well. “Oral health is very beneficial to stay on top of for a variety of reasons,” explains Maggie Michalczyk, MS, RD.
Good oral health is the best defense against age-related tooth decay and gum disease, Michalczyk says. So while it can be tempting to skip a visit to the dentist, it’s best to make it a priority for your long-term health.
Prioritizing your oral health is especially necessary if you currently suffer from gingivitis (early stage gum disease), bleeding gums, or discolored, weakened teeth. One way to prioritize this is to buy a quality toothpaste; parodontax, which is a daily stannous fluoride and antigingivitis toothpaste, is specifically designed to help prevent bleeding gums and improve your gum health.
2. Go to the Doctor Regularly
It’s not always fun to sit in a waiting room and answer a bunch of questions, but as we age, early detection of certain diseases can make all the difference in the world.
Michalczyk admits that while it’s “easy to ask ‘doctor Google’” about seemingly small issues, your real-life physician knows you best and has your entire medical history, which comes in handy when there are questions about medication side effects, supplements, and newly developed symptoms.
The moral of the story? Schedule (and keep) those routine doctor visits and dental cleanings!
3. Learn to Love Physical Activity
Learning to love daily physical activity, like resistance training, will not only help fight against age-related muscle loss, it may actually make you happier in the long run!
“Staying active not only has physical benefits to the body, but also mental benefits as well,” Michalczyk explains. “Regular activity can boost mood and improve sleep, and being active helps to prevent and manage a wide range of health problems, like stroke, diabetes, and obesity.”
While finding a gym or classes that you enjoy is a great way to make physical activity fun and may even help you meet people, there are loads of online videos that can bring the gym right to your living room, too.
4. Realize the Connection Between Sleep and Health
While a lot of us pride ourselves on functioning without much sleep, over time, this habit can have adverse health effects.
Chronic sleep deficiency is often linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, Michalczyk explains, and lack of sleep might also be associated with weight gain and depression in certain individuals. “Skimping on sleep once and a while is bound to happen, but when it's a recurrence that begins interfering with your life, it could be affecting your health, too,” she says.
5. Embrace Healthy Food
Research has shown that diet plays a big role in health outcomes such as high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease, Michalczyk says, and the sooner we embrace a healthy diet, the better we can protect our bodies from disease.
The more we can see healthy food options as a gift to our bodies rather than the less-exciting choice, the easier it will be to sustain a healthy diet for years to come.