A Healthy Start to the New Year

It’s a New Year! This is the time we make positive commitments for the upcoming year.

​The following is a list of some lifestyle changes to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle.

​1. Exercise regularly (at least three times a week and preferably once a day). For most people, walking is the simplest and safest form of exercise. One study reported that walking 30 minutes a day adds 1.3 years to a person’s life. More strenuous types of exercise that are done in moderation and with proper pre- and post-exercise stretching are also recommended. In order to increase your fitness level, exercise should increase your heart rate.

​2. A balanced diet is vital to good health. Increase intake fiber from fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and whole grains. Elimination of “bad” things is difficult, but a diet that limits fat is a must. Salt also should be limited, even for people who aren’t hypertensive. Refined sugar consumption should be limited for people with and without diabetes.

​3. Drink approximately eight glasses of water per day (not carbonated drinks). The amount you drink should be determined by activity, humidity and age. To make sure that you are well hydrated, check the color of your urine. If it is dark gold, drink more. If it is like water, cut back.

​4. Kick or reduce bad habits. Focus on the main ones: smoking, alcohol consumption, excessive use of caffeine drinks or other stimulants; and improper use of prescription, non-prescription, and illegal drugs.

​5. Reduce stress, even though it may be easier said than done. Whether it is the bad economy or a family situation, it is important to find healthy ways of dealing with stress. Consider confiding in friends or trusted professionals. Getting a well-deserved massage therapy or acupuncture treatment can provide many benefits. Stress contributes to many severe health problems, so it is important to deal with stress earlier, rather than later.

​6. Sleep and rest are essential to wellness. Each person needs slightly different amounts. The average amount of sleep required is seven hours. If you are tired, get some rest. Exhaustion can lead to many illnesses.

​7. Regular wellness visits with your Naturopathic Doctor are essential to achieving and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Naturopathic Doctors are often successful at treating chronic conditions that don’t always respond to conventional medicine. This includes, but is not limited to: fatigue, pain, sleep disturbance, and digestive disorders. They are able to respond to the individual needs of patients and develop a treatment plan that includes nutritional supplements, botanical medicine, and diet therapy. Be sure to see your family doctor at least once a year for a thorough evaluation. The annual physical is necessary for you and your doctor to evaluate your overall health, go over all medications, and make any changes or schedule any tests that need to be performed.

​Whatever your resolutions may be, they will represent a fresh, new start for you. Think of yourself, your needs and what the changes will do to improve your life, health and well-being.

Alene Falomo ND

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Alene Falomo