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Jan03

5 resolutions for a healthy 2021

You made it. With 2020 finally in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for a fresh new outlook on what’s ahead.

The arrival and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has been a great way to kick off 2021. And when you toss in some solid (and attainable) personal goals that put your health and well-being front and center, you’re sure to set yourself up for a happy new year.

Here are five New Year’s resolutions for a healthy 2021.

Resolution #1 – Take a cue from COVID-19

We’ve heard volumes about communicable diseases the last few months. Even when the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available and administered, it’s still important to continue the healthy habits we’ve all practiced to guard against colds, influenza and even foodborne illness.

  • Keep washing your hands. Viruses and bacteria can live on surfaces. When you touch your nose or mouth after touching those surfaces, you can be infected. Proper hand washing substantially reduces the risk of viral infections, as well as bacterial infections like salmonella, which live on raw meat and eggs.
     
  • Get vaccinated. Immunizations protect against disease by introducing a vaccine into the body that triggers an immune response. That allows the body to attack viruses rather than be infected.

    Woman holding thermometer. The 2018-2019 flu season saw 17.3 to 20.1 million flu-related medical visits, according to the Centers for Disease Control.Along with the COVID-19 vaccine, you should also get an annual flu shot. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the 2018-19 flu vaccine reduced the risk of flu infections by 46 percent in adults and 62 percent in children.

    Flu vaccines are widely available at health care clinics and pharmacies. Adults 19 and older can get a flu shot at Indigo Urgent Care.  Get your flu shot today.

Resolution #2 – Eat healthier

Skip the restrictive diets. Give your body the foods it needs, and cut out the ones it doesn’t. Try these simple steps to improve your diet:

  • Practice portion control. Portion control ensures you’re eating enough nutritious food without overdoing it. Don’t sweat counting calories. Instead, eat a well-balanced diet of vegetables, protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
     
  • Reduce sodium. High levels of sodium can increase blood pressure and boost the risk of heart attack or stroke. To cut sodium levels, drain and rinse canned beans and veggies, skip the salt when preparing pasta or rice, and check labels carefully. The American Heart Association has additional tips on how to cut down on sodium.
     
  • Add more whole foods. One of the easiest ways to improve your overall health is to eat more whole foods. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains and fish are packed with nutrients your body needs to function at an optimal level.
     
  • Limit sugar. Dietary sugars can elevate blood sugar levels. That means a greater risk of insulin resistance, which can lead to Type II diabetes. Sugar also contributes to inflammation, which has been associated with increased risk of heart disease. This year, ditch the soda, swap sweet snacks for savory bites and reach for fruit when you crave something sweet.

Resolution #3 – Up your exercise

Over the last several months, home has become ground zero for work and entertainment. That’s made it easier to opt out of regular exercise routines and opt for more time on the couch.

Don’t be daunted by starting a complex or demanding workout regimen. You only need about 25-30 minutes of moderate exercise three times a week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And while COVID-19 restrictions have put a damper on gym and pool workouts, there are other convenient and healthy options to get you moving.

Walk the dog, do some winter cleanup in the garden, or buddy up with a friend for socially distanced strolls, hikes or outdoor workouts. Be sure to wear a mask if you can’t keep at least 6 feet from other people while exercising, even outside.

Resolution #4 – Get more sleep

woman sleeping, 35% of adults in the U.S. get less than seven hours of sleep each night according to Centers for Disease ControlBetween work, family and the stress of COVID-19, many of us aren’t getting the sleep we need. According to the CDC, 35% of adults in the U.S. get less than seven hours of sleep each night. That’s a habit that can take a toll on your health.

Lack of sleep has been linked to a range of issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and poor mental health. The CDC offers some helpful guidelines on how much sleep you need and ways to improve your sleep quality.

Resolution #5 – Get medical care when you need it

Don’t let the ball drop on your health in 2021. Regular medical and dental checkups and preventive screenings help find problems before they become major. When you do need medical care for a minor illness or injury, the friendly providers at Indigo Urgent Care are here to help. For many issues,  Indigo Online Care makes it easy to get care from the comfort of your phone or computer. 

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