CLEVELAND CLINIC – Making healthy lifestyle changes is at the top of many people’s to-do lists in the new year.
If you’re one of those people, here are three things to focus on to better your health in 2024.
“The three most important things people can do for their health in the new year include regular exercise, eating a balanced diet and focusing on mental health,” explained Matthew Goldman, MD, a family medicine physician with Cleveland Clinic Florida.
Eating healthy and exercising are two things we’ve all likely heard before – but they can have a big impact on reducing your risks for conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
For healthy eating, Dr. Goldman suggests the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on plant-based foods as well as lots of veggies, fruits and whole grains.
When it comes to exercise, strive to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
You’ll hit that goal if you exercise for 30 minutes, five days out of the week.
Dr. Goldman said don’t put your mental health on the back burner in 2024 either.
He encourages people to seek professional help if they’re struggling with something like depression, especially when symptoms can worsen in the wintertime.
“With less sunlight, we tend to see an increase in seasonal affective disorder, where people feel down more often during the wintertime,” Dr. Goldman said. “If you’re feeling that way, especially annually, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider.”
Along with addressing questions about mental health, Dr. Goldman says your healthcare provider can provide insight on exercise and dieting.
He stresses the Mediterranean diet may not be right for everyone, and your doctor can help tailor a plan to fit your health needs.