The state of your digestive system can have a significant effect on your overall health. Since many people make New Year’s Resolutions this time of year, we’re focusing on lifestyle changes that could have a major impact on your health. These are resolutions to keep in 2016 and beyond.
Drink more water. Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your digestive health. Aim for 6 to 8 glasses of water each day and keep a water bottle with you when you’re on the go.
Eat more fiber. Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day to keep your digestive system moving. Starting the day with a high fiber breakfast – such as oatmeal, fruits, nuts, and bran cereals - can go a long way toward regulating bowel movements.
Slow down when eating. Your digestion can be affected by how relaxed you are at meal times and how quickly you eat. Never rush at mealtime. Take the time to chew your food thoroughly.
Get moving. Regular exercise is good for your digestion and your overall health. Try to get some form of activity every day, even if it involves chores such as walking the dog. Signing up for an exercise or dance class is also a good idea.
Stay on track with all of your necessary screenings. For example, you should have a colonoscopy if you’re over 50. Colonoscopies have a high success rate in identifying colon cancer, which can save your life.
The bottom line is that by making a few long-term changes, you can improve your digestion and your overall health. But chronic digestive issues can be a sign of deeper health problems. If you’re experiencing frequent discomfort or pain, it’s best to see your physician.