Vickram Sethi lists some resolutions for the year that can help make life easier and healthier
My wife and I both tested positive on December 30 and spent the new year eve on a Zoom call with friends and family. Not quite the way we had hoped to start the year. It is difficult to predict what the coronavirus has in store for us next. Last year, was a whirlwind there was some months of a semi-normal life and a few months of definitely not-so-normal life. Seniors Today kept pace with the situation and bought you stories you needed to know filled with practical advice on prioritising your wellbeing stories to help you being kind to yourself understanding health, science and stories to distract you from the pandemic chaos.
This year again, we will update you on the latest information and hopefully will make lives more manageable. I am happy to start with some New Year resolutions that may make life easy.
- Eat more whole foods
One of the best way to improve overall health is to eat more whole foods. Whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fish, contain a plethora of nutrients that your body needs to function at an optimal level. A whole foods-based diet may significantly reduce heart disease risk factors, body weight, and blood sugar levels, as well as decrease your risk of certain diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes.
- Walk more and sit less
Sitting too much can have a negative effect on health. In fact, it may be linked to an increased risk of overall mortality Make a resolution to sit less is an easy and attainable resolution that can be tailored to fit your lifestyle. For example, if you have a desk job that requires long periods of sitting, make a resolution to go for a 15-minute walk at lunch or to get up and walk for five minutes every hour.
3. Choose a physical activity that keeps you fit.
Make up your mind that you need to get fit and think through the process of choosing a physical activity that you would enjoy. No harm if you go wrong. Every new year, people enroll in expensive memberships of gyms, workout studios, in the hope of shedding excess body fat in the year to come. Though most people start strong, the majority don’t make their new routine into a lasting habit.
For example, taking a half-hour walk, jog, or bike ride before work, or swimming at a gym that’s on your way home, are simple and sustainable exercise resolutions. Then, set an attainable goal, such as planning to walk a few specific days per week instead of aiming for every day. Making a more realistic goal can enhance the chances of making your new routine last, especially if you’re new to working out.
- Get more quality sleep
There are many reasons why people don’t get enough sleep, so it’s important to focus on your schedule and lifestyle to determine the best ways to improve sleep quantity and quality sleep deprivation can lead to serious consequences. Lack of sleep may increase your risk of weight gain, heart disease, and depression Decreasing screen time before bed, reducing light pollution in your bedroom, cutting back on caffeine, and getting to bed at a reasonable hour are some simple ways to improve sleep hygiene
- Reduced sugary beverages
Cutting back on sugary drinks is a smart idea considering that sugary drinks are linked to an increased risk of obesity, fatty liver, heart disease, insulin resistance, and cavities in both children and adults.
- Find ‘me time’ and spend more time outside
Taking time for yourself is not selfish. In fact, it’s imperative for optimal health and wellbeing and ideal way is to spend more time outdoors this can relieve stress, elevate your mood, talk a walk, go hiking or simply incorporate nature into your daily routine this could be the easiest way to spend ‘me time’.
- Cook more meals at home & rely less on convenience foods
I have nothing against Swiggy, Zomato & all others convenience apps. Cooking at home will give you a better control on the ingredients. You will know what you are eating and have a better diet quality.
Start by making one meal a day, then increase the frequency over time until you’re making the majority of your meals and snacks at home. Cooking can be very therapeutic.
Many people rely on convenience foods, such as packaged chips, cookies, frozen dinners, and fast food, for a quick meal or snack. Though these items may be tasty and readily available, they can have detrimental effects on your health if eaten too often.
To cut back on your consumption of convenience foods, make a resolution to prepare more meals at home using healthy ingredients.
- Go grocery shopping regularly
As a consequence of cooking yourself. Grocery shopping would be the next step. Step out and look at all the healthy options available to prepare your home cooked meals. You would be amazed at how relaxed you would feel at going to the supermarket or the kirana store. Or a farmer’s market, if there’s one you can go to. The conversation with the vendors the look and feel of the fresh produce would be a mood elevator. It’s obvious what you eat can significantly impact your health. It may be helpful to designate one day each week as your day to shop. Ensuring that you have time to buy the groceries you need to make tasty, nourishing meals is a savvy way to improve your diet quality.
- Limit screen time
Many people depend on their phones and computers for work and entertainment. However, spending too much time on electronic devices particularly on social media has been linked to depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Cut back on the time you spend scrolling through social media, watching TV, or playing computer games.
- Take a vacation/find a hobby
Taking a vacation — even a short one — may have significant and immediate positive effects on stress levels and may enhance well-being. It’s common for adults to let once-loved hobbies fall by the wayside as they get older due to busy schedules or lack of motivation.
Whether you travel to an area you’ve always wanted to visit or simply pick up a hobby that you have always been interested in taking some time for rest and relaxation is important for health.
- Cut back on alcohol & tobacco
Enough and more has been said on reducing alcohol and smoking. What’s more, drinking alcohol frequently may keep you from reaching your health and wellness goals
If you think cutting back on alcohol and smoking may be helpful for you, set a reasonable goal to keep yourself on track, such as limiting drinking and smoking to weekend nights only or setting a number limit to the cigarettes you smoke in a day.
- Create a wholesome sustainable diet
You may be making a resolution to eat healthier or lose weight year after year because you’re prioritising short-term changes over long-term health benefits.
Instead of making a plan to follow yet another restrictive fad diet, this New Year, make a resolution to break the dieting cycle and create a sustainable, nourishing eating pattern that works for you.
The healthiest diet is one that’s rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods and low in heavily processed, sugary products. A healthy, long-term diet should not only be nutritious but also adaptable, meaning you can follow it for life — no matter the circumstances.
A sustainable eating pattern can be maintained on vacation, during holidays, and at parties because it’s unrestrictive and suited to your lifestyle.
- Do not rely on the media
For most of us it is difficult to imagine a media-free day. WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter… one is constantly bombarded by news and a lot of it could be fake. A basic online search is one way to ensure that the information is correct. Understanding what’s happening in the world. maintaining our social media profiles, getting entertained, making new friends, voicing your opinion – all of this requires participation, making you vulnerable to opinions, trolling and hate mail. The media is also a source of misinformation and this has become the greatest challenge of our time. We have witnessed misinformation influence elections, threaten public health and safety, and hamper the democratic process. People with lower level of literacy tend to believe misinformation and as a consequence spread it within their own circles of friends. In the coming years, this could be one of the biggest challenges for a healthy and wholesome life.
For seniors, mental health is as important as physical health. Meditation is a method to promote mental well-being. It may be particularly helpful for people who have anxiety or depression. This year too, we will bring you journalism that informs and make life a little bit more manageable and despite the presence of Omicron. it is important to recharge and move on.
Thanks for reading and wish you a very happy new year.