Health & Wellness

NATIONAL WELLNESS MONTH

7.29.20

 

All during August, National Wellness Month focuses on self-care, managing stress and promoting healthy routines. Research has shown self-care helps manage stress and promotes happiness. Whether you challenge yourself to a new sports activity or try a different yoga pose, making small changes can impact your health in positive ways. Starting with small, daily acts of self-care really can lead to a lifetime of wellness! Here are a few ways to start small:

SMALL STEPS TO WELLNESS

1. Practice Meditation. Meditation, a practice that encourages you to observe and understand your thoughts, feelings, and reactions, is becoming increasingly popular in our busy world. Try the Headspace or Calm apps to get familiar with this stress-reducing practice.

2. Unplug. According to a Nielson study, American adults now spend over 10 hours a day interacting with media – no wonder it’s so easy to feel stressed or overwhelmed! Take a day to truly unplug; turn off the TV, silence your phone, and spend time doing something that makes you smile.

3. Make Connections. Social connections might help protect health and lengthen life. Scientists are finding that our links to others can have powerful effects on our health. Whether with family, friends, neighbors, romantic partners, or others, social connections can influence our biology and well-being. Look for ways to get involved with others.

4. Get Active. Being active individually and also with others in your community can have a positive effect on your health habits and create opportunities to connect. Ensure you strive for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate & vigorous activity.

5. Eat Food in Moderation. What you eat can have a profound impact on your overall health. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences recommends Americans eat five or more servings of vegetables and fruits per day, reduce total fat intake to 30% or less of calories per day, maintain protein intake at moderate levels, limit your total daily intake of salt, and balance food intake with physical activity to maintain appropriate body weight.

6. Incorporate More Plant-Based Foods. From vegetables and fruits to whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, plants are the most nutrient-dense foods available. Chockful of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber, whole plant-based foods nourish the body from head to toe. Easy ways to incorporate plant-based foods include: choosing one day of the week to eat meat-free, sneaking more vegetables into your regular sauces like marinara, add veggies as well as fruits into smoothies, swapping vegetable pasta for regular pasta (or using zucchini noodles), adding ‘microgreens’ into sandwiches such as broccoli, kale, and mixed greens — and making healthy snacks such as dehydrated fruits or veggie chips.