Back from Holidays: Five health goals


 As the Jewish year is quickly coming to an end and Rosh Hashanah upon the horizon many people are taking time to reflect on the past year. New Years resolutions are goals we would like to achieve over the next year. They vary from professional decisions, personal finances, individual goals, etc. Everyone has their challenges. What if maintaining or improving your health through a healthy lifestyle was high on your list? 

Health: A matter of choice 
Now that the summer holidays are over, the New Year is here with its share of lofty resolutions. Living healthier is a classic resolution that is often seen as wishful thinking.  
Do you envision better health for yourself? Make it happen. 
Contrary to popular belief, health is not just luck or fate. It is the result of certain decisions, good or bad. Of course, one cannot exercise complete control over one's state of health, but one can choose to do everything possible to maintain it for as long as possible. Choosing health also means opting for balance, well-being, quality of life, and better longevity. 

Resolutions: The essentials 
Any resolution that strives for happiness, harmony, success, and health is appealing; however, it is requires daily work to maintain your goals. The support of those around you, such as friends, family, and medical providers are valuable assets that will allow you, at the end of the year, to celebrate not only the Holidays but also a great victory! Here are five recommendations that we propose to help assist you achieve your New Years Resolutions.

In the minds of some people, eating better means dieting or depriving yourself. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The quality of your diet, and not necessarily the amount you eat, determine its impact on your health. Better eating means, above all, making more intelligent choices. 
Eating more fruits, vegetables, fish, and foods high in fiber, for example, is a simple and effective strategy. Limiting your intake of alcohol, salt, high-calorie foods, and foods high in fat or sugar will also help to improve your diet. Aim for the long term to reap the full benefits of your approach. 
It is well known that a sedentary lifestyle among people of all ages has become, over the years, one of the most worrying public health issues. The health benefits of regular physical activity have been demonstrated. The main message is this: everyone should get at least 30 minutes of (moderate) physical activity almost every day of the week. You don't have to be an athlete or wish to become one! 
The objective is to start from where you are and gradually increase your level of physical activity while respecting your abilities and limits. 
If you change your diet and are more active, you should eventually see the benefits through weight loss. Overweight and obesity are significant risk factors for several diseases, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancers. Not to mention their harmful effects on well-being and self-esteem.
Does the idea of dieting turn you off? This is understandable. Rest assured: you don't have to start a deprivation diet to lose weight. On the contrary, by adopting a healthy lifestyle in diet and exercise, you will have a good chance of reaching and maintaining your healthy weight. Aim for the long term, not for speed! Remember that losing weight will not happen over night, healthy weight loss is about 1 – 2 pounds or 0.45 – 0.9 kilograms per week.
For you to stay active and at your peak, your body needs rest. Stress can cause sleep disturbances and, conversely, lack of sleep can contribute to anxiety. Good sleep hygiene is essential for physical and mental health, as is good stress management. 
How many hours a day do you sleep on average? Did you know that people over the age of 18 should get between 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night? The important thing is that you feel rested when you get up and during the day. One tip to help get a full night’s rest is to avoid blue light at least 2 hours before going to bed. Blue light is emitted from electronic devices such as computer, smartphones, and televisions. You can block blue light from electronic devices by wearing glasses that block blue light or setting your devices to minimize or block blue light. This can be done in the setting app on the device.

It is tough to quantify or eliminate stress, but we can reduce or manage it better. Recognized stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, and massage therapy can be beneficial. 
Do you tell yourself every year that smoking is over? However, are you struggling to achieve this goal? Rest assured: you are not the only one in this situation. Smoking is one of the hardest addictions to quit. 
There are many resources available to you. Utilise your friends and family for support, announce that you will be quitting smoking with a specific date and have a plan in place for your friends and family to follow should you stumble on this journey. Among other things, your pharmacist will be able to help you in many ways: they can support you, inform you, provide you with sound advice and guide you in choosing an anti-smoking aid. Your doctor may even prescribe nicotine replacement therapy in the form of a patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler, or spray. Call on their expertise to improve your chances of success. 

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The best resolutions are those that lead not only to thought but also to action. The start of the New Year is a golden opportunity to take charge of your health. Remember the 21/90 rule, it takes 21 days to make a habit and 90 days to make a permanent lifestyle change. It will take time to achieve your personal health goals, but you can do it! We wish you success, health, satisfaction, and a Happy Rosh Hashanah!

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