Detoxify Your Life
It’s 2018! Start off the year by making a positive change to your lifestyle.
Whether you want to improve a poor diet, lack of exercise and or overwhelming stress, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or radically change your current lifestyle to get back on track. Simply follow the advice of the experts:
Reflect on what you eat every day. Fruits and vegetables should occupy at least half your plate at meals. Your diet should include a variety of leafy greens, fresh, frozen or dried berries as well as beans, nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados.
Replace calorie-heavy foods with healthier ones. Replace white rice with brown or wild rice; sugared cereals with oatmeal; and white bread with whole-wheat. Substitute fish for meat. If you’re drinking alcohol, keep it light—CDC recommends that men should have less than two drinks a day and women no more than one. Maintain a consistent diet all week long. Try to avoid the Saturday-night binge!
Reinforce your new habits. Watch for improvements in the fit of your clothes, blood pressure readings and cholesterol results. Don’t reward yourself with food. Learn to praise yourself for making healthy choices with a massage, a pedicure or a night out with friends.
Reflect on the how much and what type of exercise you do every week. Are there things you can do to increase or enhance your exercise regimen? What are your exercise goals?
Replace driving or riding the bus with a walk or a bike ride. Park at the end of the lot and walk to the store, and bring sneakers to work so you can go for a walk after lunch. Instead of just sitting and watching TV, do stretches, try yoga or lift small weights.
Reinforce your efforts to stay healthy. Take pride in establishing and sticking to your regimen. Pay attention to how your strength and endurance improve.
Reflect on the how much and how long stress affects your life. Everyone experiences stress at times, but a prolonged bout of it can affect your health and ability to cope.
Replace feelings of being overwhelmed or isolated with support from a partner, friend or counselor. Sharing your problems can lighten the load. Don’t self-medicate with alcohol or drugs to counteract stress—these temporary reliefs create more problems.
Reinforce the good feeling you get by being with others. It can be much better than internalizing it all!
Reflect on the effects some of your bad habits such as smoking, staying up too late or overworking yourself, and consider the control it has on your life.
Replace the urge to fall into routines. If you’re trying to curb smoking, replace with medication or nicotine replacement. Keep track of your healthy habits, so you can remind yourself to keep up the good work!
Reinforce that you can do this! By breaking unhealthy habits you will not only improve your health but the health of all of those around you.
Simple changes in lifestyle can bring about massive changes in health. Here’s to a new and healthier you!
By: Jean Cherry, RN, MBA.
Jean Cherry is a Program Development Manager in Clinical Programs and Quality with Walgreens. She has built and implemented many successful wellness and chronic disease management programs utilizing patient-friendly digital and web-based technologies.
- CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. Improving your Eating Habits http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/eating_habits.html (Accessed 10/23/15)
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alcohol and Public Health. CDC features, managing stress. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HandlingStress/index.html. (accessed 10/29/15)