Every day, we make a series of small choices that can add up to have a major impact on health. While many people feel intimidated by the need to stay healthy, making small lifestyle changes can pay large dividends. Consider the following everyday activities that could help to improve your health.
Approximately 83 percent of Americans visit fast food establishments at least once per week, with 68 percent going to casual dining restaurants. While eating out does not have to be unhealthy, restaurant meals often contain considerably more calories, sodium and unhealthy fats than meals cooked at home. Cooking at home is known to decrease the overall number of calories you consume, which translates to a lower risk of obesity and chronic disease.
Our Peconic Bay Medical Center Outpatient Nutrition Program helps people make healthier choices about the foods they eat. One of the experts’ key pieces of advice is to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Planting a vegetable garden provides you with a bountiful harvest of whole foods. Plus, it promotes physical activity that can keep your body healthy.
3. Playing with your pet
Many people feel daunted by the recommendation for U.S. adults to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. However, getting 30 minutes of physical activity does not mean you need to hit the gym. Taking your dog for a long walk or playing fetch count toward your total.
Doing something for others does not just help the other person, it can have tangible health benefits for your life, too. Research suggests that volunteering or practicing generosity is associated with lower blood pressure and reduced stress.
5. Exercising your creativity
Whether you paint, write, crochet or play music, exercising your creativity is good for your brain. Engaging in creative pursuits decreases the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
The more scientists study meditation, the more they are amazed at its powerful effects on brain health. Meditating is associated with lower blood pressure, decreased stress and even better management of chronic pain. To reap the benefits, begin by meditating for just 10 minutes per day.
Understanding your health risk factors is the best way to target the everyday behaviors that will help you most. Visiting your primary care physician at Peconic Bay Medical Center is the best way to get information on your health and how to prevent the onset of chronic disease.