More Ways to Stay Healthy

We recently focused on the benefits of healthy eating. Now, here are some additional healthy habits to keep you feeling your best.

Get regular physical activity: Adults need a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week. Ask your health care provider about adding 20 to 30 minutes of sustained activity 4 to 5 days per week. Being physically active helps with stress, sleep and endurance. It will boost your energy!

Sleep in a dark room: Sleep is underrated, but very necessary for good health. Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. And avoid any light while sleeping, even a night light, and especially a television, as these can interfere with restful sleep.

Practice stress management: Find ways to manage your stress. Stress happens, but how you deal with it is most important. Learn to deep breathe, relax your body and focus on a positive outcome. Yoga, meditation, massage, guided imagery, Reiki and other complementary health services can be of great benefit. Some, like acupuncture, may be covered by insurance. Additionally, prayer, pet therapy, being in nature, walking, lighting scented candles, listening to calming music, writing, deep breathing and singing are free and can be done anywhere.

Get happy: Find what you enjoy and do more of it! Do things that are uplifting; be joyful every day and find contentment in the small things around you. Get outside: be near a stream, ocean, lake or pond. Or walk in the woods, on a hillside or an open field. Take a drive in the country. Be around people who are supportive and make you laugh. Stay away from stressful situations. Change a difficult job, if you can, or make your work day shorter. Ask how your job can work around you. Limit your time around stressful or anxious people. Be self-protective. Take time to be nice to yourself: pamper yourself and take time out to do what you enjoy (and don’t feel guilty about it!).

Registered dietitian Mindy Athas is an outpatient nutritionist at Carroll Hospital.

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