Grace is having her second baby and she appeared all sharp in the hospital ward. “How are feeling madam?”, the doctor asked. “I am alright and ready to push”, she replied. After getting examined by the midwife, Grace spotted an old friend of hers lying on the bed next to hers who had been admitted three days ago with a full-term pregnancy, but was anxiously awaiting her labor to begin.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has increased the need for us to pay more attention to one aspect of our lives – our health. So in the New Year, as part of your new year resolutions, make leading a healthier life a priority.
Here are some health goals you should set for the New Year:
We’ve all heard about how excess fat in our body increases the risk of diseases and death; well, it is true. Being overweight or obese may not only affect your self-esteem and confidence, but it also makes you vulnerable to certain diseases, some of which are deadly. Being overweight puts you at risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung diseases, and diabetes, so if you want to lower your chances of getting these illnesses, a great way is to shed some weight.
Set a goal for a body mass index (BMI) between 18 and 25. Your body mass index is a measure of how healthy – or unhealthy – your weight is. The BMI is calculated with your weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of your height (in squared-meters). A BMI greater than 25 is described as overweight, while a BMI greater than 30 is described as obesity.
To achieve you goal of a healthy weight, you need to get more active, cut down on fatty foods and a high carb diet, eat lots of fiber-rich foods, and drink a lot of water.
If for much of 2020, you were indoors, working from home, or hardly doing anything – no thanks to lockdowns and stay-at-home orders – all of that may need to change in the New Year. Physical inactivity, just like obesity, puts you at risk of many chronic diseases.
You would be surprised that being sedentary, sitting for too long, or sleeping for much of the day puts you at risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. What’s more, physical inactivity slows down blood flow, increasing your risk of blood clot-related illnesses, such as deep vein thrombosis.
Now, knowing you don’t want any of that, your mantra for the New Year is to get moving. At least 30 minutes of physical activity – as simple as brisk walking – every day is all you need to get your heart feeling pumped up and your bones ready for the day! Other ways you can ensure to stay active all day is to ditch the elevator and use the stairs, keep your car at home some times and hit the road biking, or take walks when you’re home from work.
“You are what you eat,” the saying goes, and it couldn’t be any truer. This year, plan to give yourself a diet change for the better. Cut out all foods that may increase your risk of illnesses and start to consume more of those that will not only nourish your body but will also protect it from illnesses.
You may crave some of these foods at first, but won’t you rather stay alive and well for yourself and your loved ones? So, sugary drinks, fruit juices, sweetened beverages need to go off your list, for starters. These foods release toxic substances that may set off some changes that lead to chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
Also, avoid foods with trans-fats, such as margarine, red meat, cakes, cookies, and fried foods. These foods may cause your body to accumulate unhealthy fats, which could lead to heart disease and stroke. Replace these foods with those that are rich in good fats, such as fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon), nuts, seeds, and beans! Also, add lots of fiber to the mix to give you that extra nourishment and protection. You can get fiber from fruits, veggies, and wholegrain cereals.
If you had health goals for last year but couldn’t achieve them, not to worry, this year brings a new opportunity – except this time, you’ll have to be more intentional about these goals to achieve them. Now, get your pen and paper, draft those goals, cut them into doable sizes, and begin!!!