Saying hello to the new year typically means setting fresh new year resolutions for ourselves. “Better health” ranks as one of the most common resolutions — but what exactly does this look like? We share 5 simple habits you can adopt in the new year, to help you reach your health goals.
5 Health Resolutions for the New Year
Be more aware of your screen time
Our laptops and phones feel integral to our daily lives. However, excessive screen time can have a negative impact on your health. For example, spending too much time on your phone has been found to increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, sleep problems, loneliness, and depression.
The first step towards reducing your screen time is to be aware of how many hours you’re spending on your phone and the apps that you’re spending the most time on. You should also try to minimise looking at your phone 30 minutes – 1 hour before sleeping, as the blue light can affect the quality of your sleep.
Make time to move more
When work gets hectic, we may end up glued to our seats. However, sitting down too much and for too long has been linked to chronic conditions and bad health in general. This is because sitting down for long stretches may slow your metabolism, which has impedes how your body regulates blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
As much as you’re able to, take regular breaks to move around. If you’re in the office, make a point to have 5-minute movement breaks every hour. Get up and stretch your legs in a nice stroll around, or do some simple stretches to get your blood moving around your body.
Studies have shown that just by being grateful for what you have in life can lead to better physical health. Study participants who kept a journal writing down things they were grateful for had reduced levels of inflammation and better heart rhythm. This could be due to the effect of lower stress levels, as gratitude helps us to manage and cope better in stressful times.
You can start off by keeping a daily journal where you write down 2 to 3 things that you are grateful for every day, ranging from friends, family, pets, colleagues, and even good food. This will help you achieve better mental wellbeing, which in turn, leads to better physical health.
Eat your vegetables first
Vegetables are probably not the first item that you reach out for at the dinner table, which is why it makes the most sense to make a commitment to finish your servings of vegetables first.
Having your greens as a starter means that you will most likely finish it all when you are the hungriest. Consuming greens before your carbs also slow down the speed at which carbs are absorbed into the bloodstream, which may have beneficial effects on blood sugar levels.
If you’re trying to manage your weight, filling up on vegetables first can also help to prevent you from over-eating or consuming unhealthier foods.
Schedule regular health checks
Even if you feel perfectly healthy, regular health check-ins with your doctor and health screenings are important as symptoms may not be evident until it is too late.
There are different types of screening tests that are recommended, depending on your age and gender. We’ve made it easy to get screened by curating health screening packages, based on what you need the most. Singaporean citizens are also eligible for subsidised health screenings at our DA clinics, under the Screen for Life programme.
Ready to get started on your health resolutions for the year? You can speak to a doctor anytime on the DA app, if you’d like more support and guidance on how to achieve your health goals.