At the onset of a new year, it's a common practice for many of us to formulate resolutions, driven by sincere intentions to uphold them. Resolutions centered around embracing a healthier lifestyle often claim the top spot on our lists. The appeal lies in their simplicity and the assurance of long-term benefits.
Undoubtedly, opting for a healthier lifestyle entails numerous advantages, serving as a shield against various chronic diseases. These choices, when consistently made over time, contribute significantly to our overall health and well-being. As we contemplate these lifestyle enhancements, it's crucial to recognize that it's "never too early, never too late" to reevaluate and possibly realign our daily routines in favor of a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Consider the following seven suggestions as a rough guide to a healthier 2024:
Incorporate a 15-20 minute daily walk: Whether it's an after-dinner stroll, a morning walk, volunteering to walk a shelter dog, or opting for stairs over escalators, make physical activity a daily habit.
Opt for whole, unprocessed foods: Eliminate packaged and processed foods from your diet. Prioritize a balanced intake of vegetables and fruits while reducing fat and sugar consumption.
Prioritize regular, sufficient sleep: Recognize the impact of sleep on cognitive health. Address sleep-related issues like deprivation, insomnia, or sleep apnea to lower the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Engage socially: Participate in meaningful social activities and contribute to your local community. Volunteer at a shelter if you love animals or join a local choir if singing brings you joy.
Cultivate mental stimulation: Challenge your mind through continuous learning. Enroll in a class, solve puzzles, or play strategic games to keep your cognitive faculties active.
Prioritize heart health: Manage blood pressure, blood glucose, and weight to support overall cardiovascular health, recognizing its positive impact on brain health.
Nurture mental well-being: Seek professional help for mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety, and actively manage stress to foster a healthy mind.
Cherish your body, nurture your brain, make mindful choices, and celebrate yourself in the pursuit of a joyful and healthy 2024! Cheers to a year filled with well-being and happiness!
Domenico Praticò, MD, holds the position of the Scott Richards North Star Charitable Foundation Chair for Alzheimer’s Research and serves as a Professor and the Director at the Alzheimer’s Center at Temple, as well as a Professor of Pharmacology at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.