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New resolutions to improve one’s life, especially a healthier lifestyle, accompany the start of a new decade. Here are 20 practical health recommendations to help you get started on your journey to a healthier lifestyle in 2022.

1. Eat a balanced diet

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Consume a variety of foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. Adults should consume at least five portions of fruits and vegetables (400g) every day. Always include vegetables in your meal; consume fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks; eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and eat them in season are all ways to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. You can lower your risk of malnutrition and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer by consuming a balanced diet.

2. reduce your salt and sugar intake.

According to Tufts University researchers, nearly every adult on the planet consumes too much salt, with an average of 3.95 grams of sodium ingested per person per day—nearly double the World Health Organization’s daily recommendation of two grams. The majority of people receive their sodium from salt. Reduce your salt consumption to 5g per day, or roughly one teaspoon. Limiting the quantity of salt, soy sauce, fish sauce, and other high-sodium condiments used in meals, removing salt, seasonings, and condiments from the table, avoiding salty snacks, and choosing low-sodium items make this easier.

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Excess sugar consumption, on the other hand, raises the risk of tooth damage and unhealthy weight gain. Free sugar consumption should be kept to less than 10% of total energy intake in both adults and children. For an adult, this equates to 50g or around 12 teaspoons. For extra health benefits, the WHO recommends ingesting less than 5% of total energy intake. Sugar can be cut out of your diet by avoiding sugary snacks, candy, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

3. Limit your intake of unhealthy fats

The amount of fat you consume should not exceed 30% of your entire energy consumption. This will aid in the prevention of unhealthy weight gain as well as NCDs. Fats come in a variety of forms, however, unsaturated fats are preferred over saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats should account for less than 10% of total calorie consumption, trans-fats should account for less than 1% of total energy intake, and both saturated and trans-fats should be replaced by unsaturated fats, according to the WHO.

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Unsaturated fats are found in fish, avocados, and nuts, as well as sunflower, soybean, canola, and olive oils; saturated fats are found in fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee, and lard; and trans-fats are found in baked and fried foods, as well as pre-packaged snacks and foods like frozen pizza, cookies, and biscuits.

4. Refrain from consuming alcohol that is damaging to your health.

There is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption can result in mental and behavioral issues, including alcohol dependence, as well as significant NCDs such as liver cirrhosis, some cancers, and heart diseases, as well as injuries from violence and traffic confrontations and collisions.

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5. Quit smoking

Tobacco usage leads to NCDs like lung disease, heart disease, and stroke. Tobacco kills not only direct smokers, but also nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke. Approximately 15.9 million Filipino adults now smoke tobacco, yet seven out of ten smokers want or want to quit.

It is not too late to stop smoking if you are currently a smoker. You will get instant and long-term health benefits if you do so. That’s fantastic if you don’t smoke! Avoid starting to smoke and fight for your right to breathe tobacco-free air.

6. Take part in activities

Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement that needs energy expenditure and is performed by skeletal muscles. This includes exercise and activities done while working, playing, doing housework, traveling, and participating in recreational activities. The amount of physical activity required varies by age group, but adults aged 18 to 64 should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise every week. For added health advantages, increase moderate-intensity physical exercise to 300 minutes per week.

7. Have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis

High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, is known as a “silent killer.” This is because many people with hypertension may be unaware of their condition because it has no symptoms. Hypertension, if left uncontrolled, can lead to heart, brain, renal, and other disorders. Has your blood pressure checked by a health professional on a regular basis so you are aware of your statistics? Consult a health professional if your blood pressure is high. This is critical for hypertension prevention and management.

8. Take a test

Getting tested for HIV, hepatitis B, sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), and tuberculosis is a crucial first step in determining your health status (TB). These disorders, if left untreated, can result in significant consequences and even death. Knowing your status means you’ll be able to either continue to prevent these diseases or, if you’re positive, receive the care and treatment you require. To get tested, go to a public or private health center, whichever is most convenient for you.\

9. Vaccinate yourself

Vaccination is one of the most efficient methods of illness prevention. Vaccines operate in conjunction with your body’s natural defenses to protect you from diseases such as cervical cancer, cholera, diphtheria, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, pneumonia, polio, rabies, rubella, tetanus, typhoid, and yellow fever.

Free vaccines are given to children aged one year and under in several countries as part of the Department of Health’s routine immunization program. If you’re an adolescent or an adult, ask your doctor if you should have your immunization status checked or if you should get vaccinated.

10. Practice safe sex

It is critical to look after your sexual health in order to maintain your entire health and well-being. To avoid HIV and other sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and syphilis, practice safe sex. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can protect you from HIV, and condoms can protect you from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

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11. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth.

Infectious diseases like influenza, pneumonia, and tuberculosis are spread through the air. Infectious agents can be spread to others through airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. When you start coughing or sneezing, make sure you cover your mouth with a face mask or a tissue, then dispose of it properly. When you cough or sneeze and don’t have a tissue handy, cover your mouth as much as possible with the crook (or inside) of your elbow.

12. Prevent mosquito bites

Mosquitoes are one of the most dangerous animals on the planet. Mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya, malaria, and lymphatic filariasis continue to afflict Filipinos. Simple precautions can be taken to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito-borne infections. Whether you’re going to a region where mosquito-borne diseases are common, talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated against diseases like Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever, or if you need to take antimalarial medications. Use bug repellent and wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants. To eliminate mosquito breeding places at home, use window and door screens, bed nets and clean your surroundings on a weekly basis.

13. Obey all traffic laws.

Over one million people have died in road accidents around the world, and millions more have been injured. A variety of government-implemented initiatives, such as strong laws and enforcement, better infrastructure, and vehicle standards, can help to prevent road traffic injuries. You can also help to avoid car accidents by obeying traffic laws such as wearing a seatbelt for adults and a child restraint for your children, wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle or bicycle, not drinking and driving, and not talking on your phone while driving.

14. Only drink safe water

Waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio can all be contracted by drinking contaminated water. At least 2 billion people throughout the world consume water that has been tainted with feces. Make sure the water you’re drinking is safe by checking with your water concessionaire and water refilling station. Boil your water for at least one minute if you don’t know where your water comes from. This will kill hazardous bacteria in the water. Allow it to cool completely before drinking.

15. Breastfeed infants from birth to two years of age and beyond.

Breastfeeding is the best technique to give newborns and infants the optimum nutrition. Breastfeeding should begin within one hour of birth, according to the World Health Organization. Breastfeeding for the first six months is essential for a healthy baby’s development. Breastfeeding should be sustained for at least two years and possibly longer. Breastfeeding is advantageous to both babies and mothers, as it lowers the incidence of breast and ovarian cancer, type II diabetes, and postpartum depression.

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16. If you’re feeling sad, talk to someone you can trust.

Depression is a widespread disorder that affects more than 260 million individuals globally. Depression can show in a variety of ways, including a sense of hopelessness or worthlessness, frequent unpleasant and distressing thoughts, or an overpowering sense of suffering. Remember that you are not alone if you are going through this. Tell someone you trust about how you’re feeling, whether it’s a family member, a friend, a coworker, or mental health professional. Contact a National Center for Mental Health near you if you believe you are at risk of injuring yourself.

17. Only take antibiotics as directed.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the most serious public health concerns of our day. Bacterial infections become more difficult to cure when antibiotics lose their effectiveness, resulting in higher medical costs, longer hospital stays and increased mortality. Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness due to human and animal abuse and overuse. Only take antibiotics if a certified health expert has prescribed them. Complete the treatment days as directed once prescribed. Antibiotics should never be shared.

18. Wash your hands thoroughly.

Hand hygiene is important for everyone, not just health care professionals. Infectious diseases can be prevented by keeping your hands clean. When your hands are obviously filthy, you should wash them with soap and water or rub them with an alcohol-based solution.

19. Make sure your meal is properly prepared.

More than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhea to cancer, are caused by contaminated food carrying hazardous bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical compounds. Check the labels or the actual product before buying food at the market or shop to ensure it is safe to eat. Make sure you follow the Five Keys to Safer Food when preparing food: Maintain everything clean; separate raw and cooked foods; cook completely; keep food at safe temperatures, and use safe water and raw materials.

20. Visit your doctor on a regular basis.

Regular check-ups can help detect health issues before they become serious. Health professionals can assist in detecting and diagnosing health disorders early on when treatment and cure options are more favorable. Visit your local health center to learn more about the health services, screenings, and treatment options available to you.

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