The Benefits of Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle Means a Healthier You
At the start of every year, millions of Americans begin with a resolution to lose weight, eat healthier and exercise more. These are noble goals that so many of us give up on before the final Nor’easter of the season snows us in.
So how do we make this year’s health goals any different? Follow these simple steps from the CDC to get off to the right start.
Make a commitment.
Making the decision to lose weight, change your lifestyle and become healthier is a big step. Start by making a commitment to yourself.
Take stock of where you are.
Log everything you eat for a few days in a food diary to get a sense of where you might be able to make improvements.
Set realistic goals.
Set some short-term goals and reward your efforts along the way. Rather than picking lofty goals that get you results quickly, think about a smaller goal you can accomplish this week that you would be able to sustain for most weeks of the year. When you are able to maintain that goal for a few weeks, build upon it!
Identify resources for information and support.
Find family members or friends who will support your weight loss efforts.
Continually “check in” with yourself to monitor your progress.
Revisit the goals you set for yourself and evaluate your progress regularly.
By failing to maintain a healthy lifestyle, many people risk developing long term illnesses—specifically diabetes and hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure.
Diabetes affects more than 37 million adults in the United States. According to the CDC, there are a number of risk factors that can increase your chances of developing diabetes, such as being overweight or obese.
While symptoms of diabetes may be difficult to track, they may include:
- Blurry vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
If you are impacted by any of these risk factors or have any of these symptoms, consider getting your blood sugar tested.
About 6 in 10 people who have diabetes also have hypertension, which typically develops over time and can be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle.
While having diabetes is one of the main risk factors of hypertension, others include:
- An unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- Tobacco use
Hypertension has no clear symptoms—the only way to know if you have it is to get your blood pressure checked by a medical professional.
If you are worried about your weight and your risk of developing diabetes and hypertension, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider to determine whether a screening is right for you.