Perfectionism is one of the biggest hindrances people encounter on their healthy living journeys. You set the bar so high with a strict diet and exercise routine that you tire yourself out and eventually fall off the healthy living wagon. We see it repeatedly, and this year we’d like nothing more than to see our patients take a long-term approach to wellness. When you commit to a handful of reasonable goals and maintain them long-term, you’ll be amazed at the positive results you see.
Add More Veggies To Your Plate
Rather than get caught up in what you can’t eat, why not focus on what you can? An excellent goal for the new year is to increase the number of vegetables you eat daily. Fresh vegetables tend to be higher in fiber and water content, making you feel fuller faster. The more vegetables you eat, the less room you have to fill up on the high-calorie, high-sugar snacks calling you from the pantry. Next time you make a meal, consider switching out a carb like rice, pasta, or potatoes for a vegetable you love. And the best way to love eating vegetables is to learn how to cook them in new and exciting ways. Try grilling or roasting your vegetables with salt, pepper, and your favorite spices for a fresh take on an old favorite.
Make This Your Most Hydrated Year
Often, when people find themselves mindlessly snacking, they’re not feeling hunger but thirst. Americans are notoriously dehydrated, and a great way to get healthier this year is to up your intake of water. Your body is made of water, so it requires regular water intake to continue functioning properly. Drinking plain water is one of many ways to increase your hydration. Certain fruits and vegetables contain water, and you can also swap plain water for flavored water or seltzer if you want to spice up your life a little bit.
Take A Daily Walk
Do you dread having the “exercise” conversation with your cardiologist? We know that the idea of increasing your exercise can feel overwhelming. Do you need to join a gym? Should you take up Pickleball? Those things are great and will contribute positively to your physical well-being. However, if you want to commit to healthy living, the best thing you can do is go for a daily walk around the neighborhood. A brisk walk is a perfect low-stress form of exercise that doesn’t require any special equipment, doesn’t take any particular skill, and can be done alone with your favorite book on tape or with friends. Heart-healthy exercise aims to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping, so grab a friend and lace up your shoes. 2023 is going to be the year of the walker.
Sleep Like A Baby
Your healthy lifestyle is a cycle that begins with a good night’s sleep. When you sleep poorly and wake up tired, you’re more likely to over-caffeinate in the morning, which leads to craving sugary foods, followed by an afternoon crash that requires more caffeine, which makes you feel wired for a bit but eventually causes another crash that makes you too tired to work out until you crash into bed for another night of poor sleep. Then the cycle refreshes once more. To have a good day tomorrow, you must start with a good night’s sleep tonight. Creating ideal sleep habits begins with creating a comfortable sleeping environment. Take time to block out the light, cool down the room, and remove distractions like televisions and cell phones. Set your room up like it was your first child’s nursery, and you’ll sleep like a baby.
We get so excited at the beginning of each new year, knowing that many of our patients will be motivated and excited about recommitting themselves to healthy living. Please reach out if you’re ready to start fresh and need some support or accountability. It’s our goal to help our patients make the best choices for their cardiovascular health. Contact our office when you need us.