Give Yourself a Gift This Year!

With Christmas so close, our thoughts turn to gift giving. What would bring a lot of joy and happiness to our loved ones? How about something that is not very expensive, that develops with time using a little persistent effort and no wrapping required?

“The run-up to the new year is the perfect time to place more focus on the priceless gift of good health. From less stress and a smaller waistline to a stronger immune system and reduced risk for disease, it’s hard to think of another holiday gift with such powerful long-term benefits.

As you build your plan for better health, begin by taking a look at the amount of time you spend moving. Whether it’s a dedicated half-hour at the gym or a walk each morning with a friend (furry or otherwise), almost any kind of exercise will allow you to unwrap a whole host of health perks.

“Think of exercise not only as a way to burn more calories, but also as a very strong medicine to help you avoid developing a chronic condition or to control a condition you already have,” said Stephen Compston, a registered dietitian at Renown Health. “Your long-term goal is a minimum of three days each week totaling 150 minutes of exercise.”

Getting at least this much exercise each week can help fend off chronic disease by decreasing blood pressure, promoting better sleep, improving cholesterol levels for better blood flow, boosting mood and elevating energy.

Once you’ve pinned down a get-moving goal for the new year, turn your attention to the food you eat in order to gift yourself with another long list of health benefits. Compston said it’s smart to start eating more non-starchy vegetables and add an array of colors to your meal plan.

Another food-based tip especially relevant during the holiday season is to take steps to avoid overindulging during festive parties and family feasts. One of the biggest pitfalls is going hungry to one of these events, which can set you up for eating way too much.

Along with strengthening your focus on diet and exercise for the holidays and through the new year, other simple ways to bolster well-being include regular hand-washing, staying hydrated and making a commitment to see your primary care provider at least once a year.”

Good Health is hoped for, prayed for, and celebrated. So as we celebrate the birth of our Savior and peek under the Christmas tree, pull out that gift of Good Health and begin to unwrap it for yourself and for the ones you love. “To your Happiness and To your Health!” Merry Christmas!