20 Healthy Tips for 2020

With the start of a new year and a new decade (depending on your point of view), comes new resolutions to improve one’s life, including a healthier lifestyle. Here are 20 tips from the World Health Organization to help you start off towards healthy living in 2020.

  1. Be active. The amount of physical activity you need depends on your age group, however generally speaking, adults aged 18-64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week.
  2. Consume less salt and sugar. Reduce your salt intake to 5 grams, about 1 teaspoon, per day.  Sugar should be less than 10% of total energy intake or about 12 teaspoons per day for an adult.
  3. Reduce consumption of harmful fats. Reduce saturated fats and trans-fat and increase unsaturated fats found in fish, avocado, nuts, canola and olive oils.
  4. Avoid harmful use of alcohol. Limiting alcohol consumption leads to a healthier life, avoiding many mental and behavioral disorders as well as physical injuries.
  5. Don’t smoke. Smoking is known to cause lung disease, heart disease and stroke.  It is never too late to quit and doing so gives you immediate and long-term health benefits.
  6. Maintain a healthy diet. This includes a combination of different foods including fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains.
  7. Check your blood pressure regularly. Hypertension is a silent killer.  Know your numbers and have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.  Strive to keep your blood pressure less than 120 and over 80.
  8. Get tested. Blood testing reveals your health status, especially when it comes to HIV, hepatitis B, sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) and tuberculosis.  Left untreated, these diseases can lead to serious complications and even death.
  9. Get vaccinated. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent diseases.
  10. Practice safe sex. Looking after your sexual health is important to your overall health and well-being.
  11. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Diseases such as influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis are transmitted through the air.
  12. Prevent mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest insects in the world.  Wear light-colored, long sleeved shirts and pants and use insect repellent.
  13. Follow traffic laws. Road crashes claim over one million lives around the world and millions more are injured annually.  Use your seat belt and child restraint for your kiddos.  Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or motorcycle or when engaging in snow sports.  Avoid drinking and driving and using your cell phone while driving.
  14. Drink only safe water. While Breckenridge has some of the best water anywhere, that is not always true in other parts of the world.  Remember this tip when you are traveling outside of the United States.
  15. Breastfeed babies. Breastfeeding is the best way to provide the ideal food for newborns and infants.  Breastfeeding for the first six months is crucial for babies to grow up healthy.  And breastfeeding is also good for mothers.  It reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, Type II diabetes and postpartum depression.Hiking
  16. Talk to someone you trust if you are feeling down. Depression is a common illness affecting more than 260 million people worldwide.  If you are experiencing depression, you are not alone.  Talk to someone you trust such as a family member, friend, colleague or mental health professional.  Local services are available through Building Hope Summit County https://buildinghopesummit.org/. Or, contact Colorado Crisis Services for free, confidential, professional, 24/7 services at https://coloradocrisisservices.org/, 1-844-493-8255 or text to talk at 38255.  Call 911 in the event of extreme risk.
  17. Take antibiotics and all medications, only as prescribed. Antibiotic resistance is becoming a huge public health threat leading to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays and increased mortality.  Complete the treatment days as instructed and never share medications.
  18. Clean your hands properly. Hand hygiene is critical for everyone.  Clean hands can prevent the spread of infectious illnesses.  Wash your hands using soap and water while singing “Happy Birthday” two times…out loud or to yourself!
  19. Prepare your food safely. Unsafe food can cause more than 200 diseases.  Follow these five simple steps:  keep clean, separate raw vs. cooked foods, cook thoroughly, keep food at safe temperatures, and use safe water and raw materials.
  20. Have regular health check-ups. Regular check-ups can help find health problems before they start, by diagnosing issues early when chances for treatment and a cure are better.