It's the first week of a new year. That means that many people are focusing on their health-related New Year's resolutions. But by now, many resolutions are also being forgotten. The good news is that when it comes to your digestive health, a few lifestyle changes could have a major impact in the coming year. Here are some resolutions that are worth keeping now and far into the future.
Keep your necessary screenings up-to-date.
First, be sure to stay on track with all of your necessary medical screenings. This can help to rule out underlying problems that might cause you problems now, or down the road. For example, if you fall within the age or risk guidelines for having a colonoscopy, be sure to schedule one. Colonoscopies can prevent colon cancer by identifying abnomalities before they become cancerous.
Drinking more water is such a simple act that people often overlook it as a major lifestyle change. But it is one of the best things you can do for your digestive health. If this has been a challenge for you in the past, begin by gradually aiming for 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. You could also try keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day and keeping track of your ounces using an app.
Eat more fiber.
Eating a high fiber diet is a major step toward maintaining a healthy digestive system. The general recommendation is to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day to keep things moving. This is fairly easy to do with a few good recipes. Another good tip: Start the day with a high fiber breakfast. Fruits, oatmeal, nuts and bran cereals can help by delivering sustained energy as well as digestive health.
Get active if you aren't already.
The bottom line is that exercise is always good for your overall health. But it's also specifically good for your digestion. If you're looking for something fun to do, consider signing up for a new exercise or dance class. But it isn't necessary to hit the gym everyday. Getting outside for a walk or even doing chores for half an hour each day can be a good start.
Chances are, many of our readers are already implementing these healthy habits. Maintaining your digestive health is a lifetime job. As always, anyone suffering from chronic digestive issues should see a physician since these might be a sign of deeper health problems.
We wish you a happy and healthy new year!