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Health Resolutions You Should Commit to in 2021

For most, 2020 was an extremely challenging year. As we hope for a better year ahead, it’s also time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions! With the coronavirus pandemic still looming large, we encourage you to keep health and wellness at the forefront of your 2021. Here are health resolutions you should commit to in 2021!

Focus on Your Mental Health 

2020 had a lot of negative news. Pairing that with social distancing and the inability to visit loved ones: it’s impacted the mental health of thousands of people around the world. 

Identifying mental health stressors and learning new ways to manage and deal with this stress is a great way to start the new year. 

Need actionable next steps? Follow these tips:

  • Consider journaling. Writing down what you feel grateful for or items troubling you can help organize your thoughts and create a greater sense of control. 
  • Reach out to a professional. With many virtual options available, seeking advice from a therapist or psychologist is more accessible now than ever. If you’re struggling with your mental health, seeking professional help is often the best first step you can take. Do some research to see if local therapists in your area are offering online counseling. If not, many national programs, such as BetterHelp, offer great, affordable options. 
  • Make “de-stressing” part of your routine. The highs and lows of life are unavoidable. That’s why working stress management into your routine is one of the best mental health habits you can develop. Some options to consider include: prioritizing 7-8 hours of sleep each night (yes, that’s a stress management tool!), limiting screen-time, scheduling daily walks, planning regular conversations with loved ones, reading a book, or even making time for activities like puzzling or coloring that can take your mind off the worries of the day. 

Break Bad Pandemic Habits  

Although important in preventing the spread of COVID-19, the stay-at-home order and social distancing didn’t do many favors for some of our healthy habits. In fact, it was common that most people reduced their physical activity and ordered take-out food for meals. While there’s no need to feel guilty about that, especially if those habits helped to get you through those challenging months, it’s time to reconsider those unhealthy habits that the pandemic created. 

For example, if you’ve dropped exercising these past few months, it’s time to get back to it. While you don’t necessarily need to go back to the gym, though now they’re following strict COVID-19 regulations, find ways to get yourself moving and motivated. Follow online workout classes at home, and exercise outside while safely distancing yourself from others. 

Take a look at the habits you picked up during the pandemic. Decide if they’re hurting or helping your health. If unhealthy, focus on habits that reverse their impact for the new year. 

Keep Up Cleanliness Habits

As we continue battling the coronavirus pandemic, personal hygiene and cleanliness are more important than ever. Thankfully, these habits will still have health benefits even after the pandemic is behind us. Certain practices such as washing your hands after visiting a store or wearing a mask in public when sick or in crowded places will slow the spread of other diseases and germs, such as the common cold or stomach bugs. 

If you would like to speak to a health professional about health resolutions you should commit to in 2021, click here to contact us or call 770-463-4644.

Top Five Preventative Health Measures Men Should Take

June is Men’s Health Month! From Father’s Day to National Men’s Health Week, this is the perfect time to highlight men’s health issues.

While this is not the case for everyone, some men overlook preventative measures to protect their health. This can often be detrimental to their health and well-being.  

In honor of Father’s Day and National Men’s Health Week this year, the experts at YourTown Health have provided the top five preventative health measures men should take. 

1. Receive Regular Health Screenings

The best way to stay proactive about your health is by regularly checking for major issues before they develop. To put this in perspective, many serious conditions related to men’s health, such as prostate cancer and heart disease, can easily be managed and treated if they had been given the appropriate attention before becoming problematic. 

Men should then continue to receive regular checkups and screenings with their healthcare provider. 

Here is a list of health screenings and checks men should take to stay proactive about their health:

  • Blood cholesterol 
  • Blood pressure
  • Colon cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • Prostate Cancer

Please speak to your provider about your personal risks for developing these health conditions. 

2. Remain Active

Slowing down your level of activity as you get old is not recommended. A decrease in physical activity can lead to an increased risk of obesity, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. You don’t want to have to deal with any of those, so get up and get moving!

Ideally, aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. If you manage your time well, that only comes out to around 20 minutes a day.  

3. Focus on Your Diet

In most scenarios, exercise is best paired with eating well. 

Avoid eating an excessive amount of food that contains high levels of fat, salt, and artificial sugar content. Instead, reach for fruits, veggies, whole wheats, lean proteins, and drink plenty of water. 

4. Focus on Mental Health

If you aren’t also focusing on your mental health, all of the work put on your physical health won’t create as big of an impact on your overall health as it should.

Your brain is a vital organ, and if it’s not properly exercised, there will be physical repercussions. For example, men with major health issues often experience weight gain, decrease sexual function, and mood swings. 

That’s why it’s important to focus on how you’re feeling. 

Depression and anxiety are major issues for men, as well. In fact, nine percent of men state that they have experienced daily feelings of depression and anxiety. 

Therefore, make sure to acknowledge if any of those issues begin to impact your day to day life. Carve out time in your schedule to physically and mentally relax to avoid burnout and let your brain rest and restart. 

Great ways to do that are engaging in yoga, taking long showers, going for a walk, or curling up on the couch with a good book or movie. 

If you are experiencing any mental health conditions (i.e. depression or anxiety) and notice them worsening overtime, speak to your healthcare provider. 

5. Don’t Forget to Sleep

You’ve always heard how important sleep is and it’s true! 

Getting enough sleep is vital for your body to rest and repair. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re negatively impacting your mental health and productivity. Learn more about the benefits of sleep here.

So, make sure you’re getting seven to eight hours of sleep every day. As a tip, go to bed without your phone to reduce distractions.
Do you have any more questions or concerns about the top five preventative health measures men should take? Reach out to the men’s healthcare professionals at YourTown Health by clicking here.  

Healthy Goals You Can Reach

Every January millions of people commit to new year’s resolutions, but by now 80% of these goals have failed. A new year is a great time to dedicate yourself to a healthier lifestyle, however, unrealistic goals can become discouraging and difficult to attain.

Instead of shooting for the moon, try these smaller goals that can still have a large effect on your lifestyle:

Start Every Day with Breakfast:

Because the time between dinner and the next morning’s meal is the longest, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.  Eating within the first two hours of your morning can make a big difference in the way you metabolize glucose. Balancing your blood sugar for the day, allows your body and brain to work their best.

Get a Good Night’s Rest:

Sleep is essential to our health. It not only improves our memory and concentration, but it can also curb inflammation linked to heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and premature aging.  Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night can have a positive impact on your health.  

Drink More Water

Drinking water is a necessity for our bodies, and nearly all of our systems do not function as well without proper water intake. Keeping your body hydrated can decrease joint pain, prevent headaches, flush out waste and bacteria and more. But keep in mind, if you’re feeling thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. So don’t depend on thirst to remind you to drink more water.

Get More Vitamin D AKA: Sunshine

Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin” has several important functions.  Our bodies produce vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. If our bodies don’t get enough vitamin D, we can develop osteoporosis (fragile bones). Not only does the lack of vitamin D affect our bones, it can also increase our immune system and reduce depression. If you’re inside the majority of the day, step outside for 15 minutes and soak up some natural light. But don’t forget your sunscreen!

Start Performing Self-exams  

A woman living in the U.S. has a 1-in-8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. The best protection is early detection, so performing a self-exam monthly can increase your chance of detecting cancer early. The next time you come in, ask us to show you how to examine yourself, then mark your calendar so you won’t forget to examine yourself each month.

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