2012: As we make resolutions for the New Year, it is important to make little changes that are sustainable. The easier it is to make the change the longer we will be able to embrace it for. Optimizing what we eat, how much we work out and rest, all adds up to our overall health.
We all focus on counting calories. But balancing nutrition is a lot more than calories. It is important to keep fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt under a certain amount daily while ensuring enough vitamins and minerals. Finally based on our gender, age and weight, it is also important to balance proteins and carbs in each meal.
Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services provides science-based nutrition guidance for Americans ages 2 and older to promote healthy lifestyles and dietary habits. Some simple tools to customize our meals are available @ https://www.choosemyplate.gov/SuperTracker/default.aspx
Walking, running, working out, taking the stairs all count towards exercise that keeps we fit. 30 Minutes every day or 150 minutes a week. Count our steps every day up-to 10,000 steps a day which works out to walking about 5 miles. And in a recent study, walking that distance proved critical to both cardiovascular fitness and blood sugar levels. A science-based guidance to help Americans aged 6 and older improve their health through appropriate physical activity can be found Physical Activity Guidelines from US Department of Health and Human Services @ http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx
According to Center for Disease Control, while we often consider sleep to be a “passive” activity, sufficient sleep is increasingly being recognized as an essential aspect of health promotion and chronic disease prevention in the public health community. Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions—such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression—which threaten our nation’s health.
Although individual needs may vary, adults typically need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. It is difficult to make up for lost sleep because each time we don't get enough sleep, we add to our sleep debt (the accumulated sleep that is lost due to poor sleep habits, sickness, awakenings due to environmental factors or other causes.) As a result, the sleep debt may make we feel sleepier and less alert at times.
Many people follow an exercise program to stay healthy. It’s important to have a smart sleep program as well. Detailed information on facts, myths, disorders and solutions about sleep are available @ http://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/index.htm