In every crisis, there is always an opportunity and this time we are living it may be a good time to develop healthy habits useful preventive measures that keep us healthy and strengthen us against infections such as covid-19, or that help us prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes.
As we return to the daily routine, we must be more attentive to the care of our health. “Daily choices is the most powerful preventive medicine. Various investigations have shown that people who follow healthy habits (healthy diet, exercise regularly, do not drink too much alcohol and do not smoke) live more than a decade longer than those who do not. It is never too late to develop healthy lifestyle habits that will not only help you live better, but also live longer,” explained Dr. Gilberto Sustache, family medicine specialist at Houston Methodist Hospital.
These are the 7 essential healthy habits that will have a positive impact on your health in 2022:
Exercise: Studies show that walking for 30 minutes a day can significantly improve your health. Start slowly and increase your resistance. Add resistance training twice a week to build muscle. Examples: To start, lift 1-pound dumbbells or household items like soup cans, or take an online pilates class. Even daily activities like carrying groceries or climbing stairs can help you stay strong.
Balance diet: Healthy eating supports your heart health, boosts your immune system, and provides extra energy to deal with the stress of everyday life. Include plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean protein in your diet, and drink plenty of water.
Get enough sleep: In addition to just feeling tired, getting less than seven hours of sleep a night on a regular basis can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Practicing good sleep habits can increase energy and well-being. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol: Smoking not only contributes to heart and lung disease, but also ages skin, hair, and nails. If you are trying to quit smoking, remember that it may take several attempts before you are successful. Talk to your doctor about support and medications to help you quit for good. Limit alcohol consumption to reduce the chance of falls, gastrointestinal illnesses, and certain types of cancer. If you like alcohol, talk to your doctor about the right amount for you.
Manage stress and maintain a positive attitude: “Relationships are important for nurturing emotional health and relieving stress or loneliness. Spend time with your friends and family, or even a pet. If you can’t spend time in person, a call or video chat can help you stay connected,” explained Dr. Sustache. A daily routine can also help manage stress and mood.
Regular medical review: Maintaining a close relationship with your doctor can help you develop healthier habits and identify health problems earlier. Older adults can benefit from pneumonia and shingles vaccines, and everyone six months and older should get an annual seasonal flu shot. Your doctor may even recommend a vaccination schedule.
And don’t forget, we must continue with preventive hygiene health measures because we are still in a pandemic.
“Although we now have safe and effective vaccines to protect us from covid-19, the entire population has not yet been vaccinated, and with the emergence of new variants such as Omicron, we continue to be at high risk of getting sick. So it is logical to say that we are still a long way from the end of the pandemic,” explained Dr. Naureen Ahmeduddin, family medicine expert from Houston Methodist Hospital.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlined simple and effective ways to help slow the spread of coronavirus and its variants. These good hygiene habits can also help protect you from many other contagious illnesses, like the flu and common colds, while helping to keep other people healthy.
- Wash your hands well and often
- Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
- Always wear a mask correctly when you are in public
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes and nose
- Sneeze and cough into your elbow or a tissue
- Dispose of used tissues immediately
- Frequently disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
- Stay home if you feel sick and stay away from others
Located in the Texas Medical Center, Houston Methodist Hospital has been ranked number one in the state of Texas and in the city of Houston for 10 consecutive years by the prestigious US News & World Report magazine. In 2021, Newsweek magazine included Houston Methodist in the list of the 100 best hospitals worldwide.
The Houston Methodist Hospital is recognized in the world for its cutting-edge medical research, for the attention and care given to its patients and for its highly specialized areas in: Oncology, Cardiology and Heart Surgery; Diabetes and Endocrinology; Gastroenterology and Gastrointestinal Surgery; Geriatrics; Nephrology; Neurology and Neurosurgery; Orthopedics and Sports Medicine; Pulmonology and Transplants; Otorhinolaryngology and Gynecology. Additionally, Houston Methodist Hospital is globally recognized for its leadership in COVID-19 research.
The Houston Methodist Hospital has a well-known Wellness area where top-level studies and check-ups are carried out. In this way, a complete and comprehensive overview of the physical and health status of each individual is obtained and a precise and personalized future health program can be built through a multidisciplinary group of experts.
More information for patients:
Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services | Houston Methodist
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