Wed | Feb 19, 2020

Top 10 health tips for 2020

Published:Wednesday | January 1, 2020 | 12:20 AM
Eat less red meat and processed meats, and add more plant-based foods, such as olive oil, nuts and seeds to your diet.
Eat less red meat and processed meats, and add more plant-based foods, such as olive oil, nuts and seeds to your diet.

As Jamaica continues to grapple with non-communicable diseases, it’s important to start the new year on a positive health note, making a firm resolve to lead a healthier, fitter life in 2020. While certain conditions and risk factors are beyond our control, there are many lifestyle choices we can make for improved health.

So, now that the holiday with all its many treats and decadence is behind you, this is the perfect time to consider your personal goals and how you can make positive health choices this year.

Here are 10 wellness tips for a healthier 2020:

1 Steps you take now can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Learn your risk by visiting your doctor for a full check-up.

2 Be more physically active. Adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity.

3 Keeping your blood pressure reading at normal levels will reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. Make sure to test your blood pressure, and if the readings are too high or too low, work with your doctor to keep it under control.

4 Reduce your intake of processed foods, especially those with added sodium and sugar. Eat less red meat and processed meats, and add more plant-based foods, such as olive oil, nuts and seeds, to your diet. Also, reduce your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and drink more water instead. Drinking sugary beverages – even 100 per cent fruit juices – is associated with a higher all-cause mortality risk, a new study suggests.

5 If your healthcare professional determines that you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health problem, and antibiotics will not make you feel better if you have a virus, such as a cold or flu.

6 If consuming alcohol, do so in moderation – up to one drink daily for women and two drinks daily for men, and only by adults of legal drinking age.

7 Talk with your doctor about tobacco and e-cigarette use (or vaping) and how to quit. Declare your home and car smoke- and aerosol-free to eliminate secondhand exposure.

8 Pain medication is personal. If you’re taking prescription medications, follow your doctor’s instructions. Store them safely to prevent misuse and properly dispose of any leftover medication.

9 Make sure your family is up-to-date on vaccines, including the annual influenza vaccine for everyone age six months or older. If you’re pregnant, you can receive the flu vaccine during any trimester, but should receive the Tdap vaccine early in the third trimester to protect yourself against flu and whooping cough.

10 Manage stress. A good diet, sufficient sleep (at least 7.5 hours per night), daily exercise and wellness activities, like yoga and meditation, are key ingredients to maintaining and improving your mental health, but don’t hesitate to ask for help from a mental health professional when you need it.

yourhealth@gleanerjm.com