There’s no time like the beginning of a new year to commit to living a healthier lifestyle, especially after indulging from Thanksgiving straight through January 1st. As the first quarter continues, I aim to get back on track as I plan for what I hope to be a rewarding, successful year ahead. How do you plan to be healthy in 2017? These are just a few measures you can take to get healthier in New York this year.
Keep an eye on your stress level.
Sure, life in the big city can evoke more stress than life elsewhere, but there are ways to avoid, or at least curtail, that stress. Have a big meeting coming up? Do yourself a favor and prepare in advance; in other words, don’t procrastinate. Have a habit of being late for work? Get up 15 minutes earlier; check the weather the night before and lay out your outfit before you hit the hay. Avoid rushing, and you’ll experience less stress at the beginning of your day, which will help you manage stress later. And when New York gets to be too much, turn to whatever relaxes you and makes you happiest, and that brings me to the next point.
Take time away from social media and your electronic devices. Live the old-fashioned way and write a letter, read a book, head to a museum, or take a walk through our great city. You never know what you’ll discover. And, it’s totally okay to do nothing sometimes too. Meditate. Chill out. Daydream.
Become more active.
You don’t have to join a fancy gym to become more active. Take a yoga class. Go for a jog. Or, take the stairs rather than the elevator. I’ve added new exercises to my routine at home, and I already see results. Just a few minutes per day, and some simple changes in activity level can make all the difference in your health, energy level, and attitude.
Have fewer late nights, a.k.a. sleep more.
We can all use a few extra hours, can’t we? If you’re getting six hours of sleep, try just 30 more minutes each night (adds up to 15 hours in a month!). You might feel more rested and find that you’re better at managing that stress I mentioned earlier too.
Long days aren’t conducive to eating healthily, and somehow junk food creeps into the picture. How do you stick to a nutritious diet when you’re easily clocking 50 or more hours per week at work? Try taking a simple approach to your eating plan and boosting your energy level while encouraging weight loss.
Skip the muffins and bagels in the morning and choose lean protein like eggs or yogurt instead. Stick with whole grains rather than refined carbs, and of course, limit sugar and alcohol intake. Raw veggies make great snacks, as do fruits and nuts. And probably the most important ingredient in any healthy diet is tons of water. Luckily, New York has some of the cleanest, best-tasting tap water you’ll find, so drink up.
Adopt a pet.
Stress keeps sneaking back into this blog post, but research proves that pets relax us. Petting a cat, dog, or any furry creature naturally calms our nerves and lowers blood pressure. Just know that adopting a pet requires a huge commitment that will last for years, but I can tell you from experience, it’s so worth it.
Find great medical care.
Finding a trustworthy doctor in a city the size of New York is no easy feat. I lived here for nearly seven years before I found my doctor at Weill Cornell Medicine at 84th and Broadway on the Upper West Side. Dr. Ilana Bragin is knowledgeable, patient, and caring, and she took her time getting to know me and my medical history. I haven’t found a doctor in years who is as warm and gentle as Dr. Bragin. Plus, the facility is spacious, state of the art, and so close to my apartment. I love that I can walk there in five minutes.
Each of Weill Cornell Medicine’s physicians teaches at the medical school and is on staff at New York Presbyterian Hospital, so you can rest assured – you’ll find doctors who provide top-notch medical care. The practice has two locations on the Upper West, three on the Upper East, and one in TriBeCa. Besides internal medicine, specialties include pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, endocrinology, cardiology, and many more.
Returning from a fantastic trip and being in a good mood… this connection isn’t part of your imagination or a random correlation. Travel has been scientifically proven to make us happier and healthier. Besides helping us decompress, travel creates balance, stimulates the brain, and can even boost creativity. The next time you’re thinking of putting that vacation on hold, reconsider and remember that taking time away from the hustle and bustle of city life could be exactly what your mind and body need.
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