5 healthy choices to make in 2024

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January 02, 2024 at 1:56 PM

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Meaningful, small changes can have a big impact on your overall health and well-being. In 2024, commit to taking small steps to change your daily routines and habits to benefit your health.

1. Eat a healthy diet  

What a healthy diet looks like may differ from person to person, depending on your culture, where you live and what food is locally available. Yet, the principles are the same − making informed choices can help you improve the way you eat. Cutting down on foods high in salt, free sugars, saturated fats and trans-fatty acids may sound overwhelming at first, but easy steps add up − such as swapping a lunchtime soda for water. Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Think about a balanced and diversified diet, and keep fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts in mind as you plan your daily meals. Read WHO healthy diet recommendations

2. Be active  

Being active every day can be challenging, but did you know that every move counts? Adding a walk after a meal, sweeping floors or taking the stairs can all help your cardiovascular health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week if you are an adult. For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity physical activity to 300 minutes per week or the equivalent. If you have children or teenagers, be active together and help them reach their 60 minutes of exercise per day. There can be many environmental or mental barriers to physical activity, but always remember physical activity has significant health benefits for hearts, bodies and minds.  

3. Avoid harmful use of alcohol 

Did you know that alcohol consumption is a contributor to more than 200 diseases, injurie, and other health conditions? Alcohol consumption increases your risk of injury, as well as longer-term effects like liver damage, cancer, heart disease and mental illness. Any level of alcohol consumption carries risk. If you drink alcohol, you may wish to discuss your alcohol consumption with a health-care professional. Learn more about alcohol in the Western Pacific.

4. Don’t use tobacco or vape  

The benefits of quitting tobacco begin as quickly as 20 minutes after the last cigarette. Any tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke is harmful. Quitting tobacco reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other diseases.  

Quitting vaping can also be part of the step towards a healthier you. E-cigarettes are harmful to your health and have long-term consequences, especially for young people, because users are exposed to nicotine and other harmful chemicals. 

Commit to quit. There is help to get you started on your quitting journey today. 

5. Connect in person to support your mental health  

Loneliness is a serious health risk. A large body of research shows that social isolation and loneliness have a serious impact on physical and mental health, quality of life and longevity. Face-to-face or digital contact with friends or family can help you form meaningful social connections.  

It’s also important to be kind to yourself and practise good mental health habits, to help manage any mental health conditions or stressful situations in your daily life.

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