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A better lifestyle is among the new year’s resolutions that come with ushering in a new decade. Here are 10 useful health suggestions to get you started in 2024 on the right path.

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1. Consume a balanced diet

Consume a variety of foods, such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. A minimum of five pieces (400g) of fruit and vegetables should be consumed daily by adults. By always adding vegetables in your meals, snacking on fresh produce, consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, and eating them in season, you may increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you consume. You may lower your risk of malnutrition and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer by consuming a balanced diet.

2. Eat less sugar and salt.

Filipinos are twice as likely to consume twice as much salt than is advised, which raises their risk of high blood pressure and heart disease and stroke. Salt is the main source of sodium for most individuals. Cut back on your daily salt consumption to 5g, or around one teaspoon. It is simpler to do this by eliminating salty snacks, selecting low-sodium items, removing salt, spices, and condiments from your meal table, and reducing the amount of salt, soy sauce, fish sauce, and other high-sodium condiments you use when making meals.

Conversely, ingesting too much sugar raises the risk of tooth decay and unhealthful weight gain. Free sugar consumption should be limited to less than 10% of total energy intake for both adults and children. For an adult, this equates to 50g, or around 12 teaspoons. For added health advantages, WHO advises taking less than 5% of total energy consumption. Limiting your consumption of sugary snacks, sweets, and beverages sweetened with sugar is one way to lower your sugar intake.

3. Cut back on unhealthy fats

Less than 30% of your entire calorie consumption should come from fats. This will lessen the risk of NCDs and unhealthful weight increase. Although there are several kinds of fats, unsaturated fats are better than trans and saturated fats. The World Health Organization advises cutting down on saturated fats to less than 10% of total caloric consumption, cutting back on trans fats to less than 1%, and switching from saturated to unsaturated fats in place of both.

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

4. Steer clear of alcohol abuse

There is no acceptable amount of alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol may cause serious health issues including alcoholism, significant NCDs such liver cirrhosis, certain cancers, heart attacks, and injuries from violent crimes and car accidents. It can also cause mental and behavioral disorders like alcoholism.

5. Give up smoking

NCDs such heart disease, stroke, and lung disease are brought on by tobacco usage. By secondhand exposure, tobacco kills not only direct smokers but also non-smokers. About 15.9 million adult Filipinos consume tobacco products at the moment, yet 7 out of 10 of them want to or want to stop.

It’s not too late to stop smoking if you presently do. You will get both short-term and long-term health benefits once you do. Good for you if you don’t smoke! Refrain from starting to smoke and defend your right to breathe air free of tobacco smoke.

6. Take initiative

Any body movement that involves the use of energy and is generated by the skeletal muscles is referred to as physical activity. This includes physical activity and things done while working, having fun, doing housework, traveling, and taking part in leisure activities. Depending on their age group, persons between the ages of 18 and 64 should engage in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical exercise. For even more health advantages, up your weekly intake of moderate-intensity exercise to 300 minutes.

7. Frequently check your blood pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is referred to as a “silent killer.” This is due to the possibility that many hypertensive individuals are unaware of their condition because it may not exhibit any symptoms. Uncontrolled hypertension can result in illnesses of the heart, brain, kidneys, and other organs. To know your numbers, have your blood pressure tested by a medical professional on a regular basis. See a healthcare professional for help if your blood pressure is elevated. In order to avoid and manage hypertension, this is essential.

8. Take a test

Being tested is a crucial first step in determining your current state of health, particularly with regard to HIV, hepatitis B, STIs, and tuberculosis (TB). These illnesses have the potential to cause fatal consequences if left untreated. By finding out your status, you may take steps to continue preventing these diseases or, in the case that you test positive, to receive the necessary care and treatment. To get tested, visit a public or private health center, depending on where it is most convenient for you.

9. Obtain a vaccination

One of the best methods of illness prevention is vaccination. In order to provide protection against illnesses such as cholera, diphtheria, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, pneumonia, polio, rabies, rubella, tetanus, typhoid, and yellow fever, vaccinations collaborate with your body’s natural defenses.

In the Philippines, as part of the Department of Health’s regular immunization program, children aged one and under are eligible for free vaccinations. You can ask your doctor, whether you’re an adult or teenager, to verify your vaccination status or if you wish to get vaccinated yourself.

10. Have safe sexual relations

It’s critical for your general health and wellbeing to take care of your sexual health. To avoid contracting HIV and other STDs like syphilis and gonorrhea, practice safe sex. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is one such preventive treatment that can shield you from HIV, and condoms can shield you from HIV as well as other sexually transmitted infections.