Kaiser Permanente suggests simple steps to improve overall health

Published on December 12, 2012 at 5:01 AM · No Comments

Kaiser Permanente Southern California wants you to take a 12 minute break and think about how you're going to achieve total health this New Year to become a better you!

Total health means taking care of the mind, body and spirit. How we feel both mentally and spiritually influences our overall wellbeing. So why wait until January first? This is the perfect time to reflect, think about the positive changes you've made and those habits you just couldn't change, and prepare yourself to take on new health challenges.

"Every small step we take toward living a healthier life is greatly beneficial to us now and in the future," said Angeline Ong-Su, MD, a family medicine specialist at the Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center and a member of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Regional Healthy Workforce Committee. "With a little motivation, dedication and determination, you will find that breaking unhealthy habits is almost as easy as creating new ones. The key is challenging yourself and believing that you're capable of change," she added.

So, this 12/12/12, Kaiser Permanente suggests you take on the challenge:

12. Give back - Volunteering allows you to give back to your community and make it a better place. It also keeps you active, helps you create and strengthen relationships and it provides a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

11. Get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep - Sleep deprivation can take a toll on your mind, body and overall health.

10. Start a diary - A Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research study found that keeping a food diary can double a person's weight loss. It's an easy way to keep track of what you eat and writing it down can prevent overeating.

9. Take a few minutes to de-stress - Long-term stress can cause a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, an abnormal heart rate, increased blood sugar levels, depression and anxiety. The good news is that you can learn ways to manage stress. Exercise for example is a great stress reliever!

8. Eat well and go meatless one day a week! - Fill up on fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and healthy proteins and cut down on those unhealthy, greasy, salty processed foods that also pack a sugar punch. Give your body the nutrients it needs - vitamins, minerals and fiber - and lower your intake of calories, saturated fat and cholesterol that your body doesn't need.

7. Make a date with nature - Regardless of the season, there's always something to do outdoors!

6. Try something new! - Is there an activity you've always wanted to try but keep putting off? Make 2013 the year you do it!

5. Partner up! - Whether it be a friend, a neighbor, your spouse, one of your children or your pet, a partner can help get you motivated, challenge you, pace you, and best of all, make working out fun!

4. Kick the habit - Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death. Check out our smoking cessation resources and quit now!

3. Make a date with your doc - How often you see your physician and for what, depends on your age, family history, gender and overall health. Talk to your doctor about the preventive care services you need to help you stay well.

2. Get your 30 minutes a day - Being active helps make you healthier, stronger and feel your best at every age! Getting just 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week helps lower your risk of serious illness and improve your mood.

1. Rethink your drink - Beverages provide an unnecessary amount of calories to our daily intake. The solution? Swap those sugary drinks - yes even the lattes - for a nice cold glass of H2O, a glass of nonfat milk or some unsweetened iced tea!

Remember that simple steps go a long way when it comes to improving your overall health. So before the clock strikes midnight, whether you do it for yourself or your loved ones, make the promise and say to yourself: This 2013, I will be a better me!

Source:

Kaiser Permanente Southern California

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