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10 resolutions you can make for better health

January 03, 2018 | UCI Health
mother daughter cooking with vegetables together

As you welcome in 2018, it’s a great time to consider what you’d like to change or improve in the new year.

Adopt some (or all!) of these resolutions, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success and wellness for 2018 and beyond.

Learn how to save a life

If someone near you was bleeding and needed help, would you know what to do? If the answer is no, consider signing up for a Stop the Bleed class.

Uncontrolled bleeding is a leading cause of preventable death in trauma.

“Bleeding control is for everyday life — for the much more likely trauma of industrial accidents, traffic collisions and home accidents, such as falls,” says Christy Carroll, RN, BSN, trauma services injury prevention coordinator at UC Irvine Medical Center. “Someone with a severe arterial wound could bleed out in three minutes.”

Sign up for a class here ›

Find inner peace by meditating

Hocus pocus? New age fad? Hardly.

A growing body of scientific research confirms the benefits of meditation for health and well-being. It has been shown to:

All you need to get started is time to sit down and focus on your breath.

If you’d like to learn more, classes are offered at the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute and at UC Irvine Medical Center ›

Get your screenings and labs

Your health changes as you age. That’s why getting the right screenings and preventive services at the right time can help you stay healthier longer.

Consult our chart to ensure you’re getting the appropriate tests for your age ›

It’s important to make sure you get annual blood tests, too. Results of these tests can help identify potential health issues, including:

  • Anemia and blood disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Immune disorders
  • Kidney failure 
  • Hypertension

Here’s what your lab test results mean ›

Get more and better sleep

Poor sleep or a lack of sleep may seem like minor problems easily fixed by reducing or eliminating caffeine consumption.

However, not getting enough real rest — defined as about 8 hours of sleep a night, even for adults — could leave you at higher risk for such serious health conditions as:

When you’re getting the right amount of sleep, you should be able to wake up on your own about the same time each day.

If you struggle with your sleeping, check out these tips to start getting some serious zzzz’s ›

Build your immune system

Your immune system quietly works in the background, protecting you from bacteria, viruses and disease.

It’s a complex network of organs and cells — one affected for better or worse by what you eat, drink, think and do.

To keep your immune system hopping all year round, follow these tips ›

Start an exercise routine

Just about everyone knows exercise is good for you. Whether we do it regularly is another matter.

The key to success is finding something you enjoy that won’t bore you easily. That’s it.

Things that count include:

  • Hiking
  • Yoga
  • Gym classes 
  • Group exercise, such as soccer or softball
  • Brisk walks around the neighborhood

If you’re new to regular exercise, set a starting goal of 150 minutes of exercise per week and work your way up from there.

And if you’re a senior who thinks it’s too late to start exercising, think again ›

Commit to a healthy lifestyle

Losing weight and keeping it off is hard. It doesn’t help that modern society is full of factors that contribute to weight gain, from tempting, highly processed foods to sedentary desk jobs.

Weight loss is a personal journey, and almost any diet you choose will result in weight loss in the short term. The key is to choose a plan that you can make a lifestyle. What are you willing to follow in the long-term?

Some helpful strategies include:

  • Diets such as Atkins, South Beach and The Zone
  • Meal planning
  • Food diaries
  • Exercise apps

Get more tips for losing weight and keeping it off ›

Learn to cook something new

The Live Well blog offers a delicious, nutritious and easy-to-prepare recipe every month.

Whether you’re looking for a tasty dinner, a quick lunch for the kids or a simple dessert, we’ve got you covered.

Check out our recipes here ›

Quit smoking

You may have tried to quit before and doubt whether you can be successful this time. But you lived smoke-free in the past, and you really can regain non-smoker status.

The first step is to prepare to quit smoking by figuring out why you want to quit. If you focus on reasons that center around your health and well-being, your chances of success are greatly improved.

Continue to set yourself up for success by employing such strategies as:

More tips to quit smoking for good ›

Check your brain health

While there are no magic bullets that can sharpen your cognition or improve your memory, there are things you can do to keep your brain healthy.

These include:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Socializing often
  • Learning a new instrument

Get the full list and power up your brain ›

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