We all make resolutions with the hope to better our lives or achieve certain goals at the start of every year. While some may want to build a house, finish school, and the like, we choose to adopt better habits for the year 2019.

General wellness
Dr Paul Kasenene of Wellness Care looks at a somewhat broad picture on the healthy habits to adopt in 2019.Start with a health checkup:
Dr Kasenene says most people have a poor health seeking behaviour. It is, therefore, not surprising that they will visit a health facility with more advanced symptoms. “Start with the most important tests and know your numbers such as BMI, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, liver and kidney function, and complete blood count. You could do these checkups on a quarterly basis. Your doctor may also ask more for tests depending on your prevailing symptoms or risk,” he advises.

Drink more water
Dr Kasenene says to make yourself drink more water, start small. For example, do not try to jump from one to four cups a day. Start slowly until you feel comfortable and build on that. Also, improve the taste of the water. “If you do not like drinking plain water, add lemon, cucumber or mint to improve the taste,” he says.

Take less sugar or stop if possible
Sugar consumption has steadily increased among individuals and can be very addictive, Dr Kasenene says. It may seem ridiculous but our bodies have the same reaction to sugar as to hard-core drugs such as cocaine! That is why it is so important to break that addiction and boost our well-being instantly. It is quiet hard to leave instantly but reduce, for example, from four to two tablespoons and with time, your body will adopt.

Eat more fruits and vegetables: Dr Kasenene says you should try to eat fruits and vegetables at every meal both raw and cooked. These foods are not only low in calories but contain nutrients, minerals, vitamins, fibre, and enzymes that boost your health. “Aim for three to four servingsof fruits or vegetables a day,” he advises.

Dr Kasenene adds that one should aim to get six to eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep is one of the most important functions that our body uses to regulate and heal cells. Instead of skimping on sleep, get more to add years to your life.

With many toxins from some of the foods we eat, there is need to detox. One of the common ways to detox is fasting. Others venture in juicing, however, it will be advisable to talk to a health coach to ensure that you are doing it right,” he says.

Physical wellness
Quraish Golooba, a physiotherapist from UMC Victoria Hospital, shares healthy habits regarding the physical wellness of our bodies:
Exercise more: Exercise is known to improve your mood, mental acuity, balance, muscle mass, and bones.

It is not about going to the gym but working out that matters. For great and sustained benefits, be consistent. Start with walking around the neighbourhood for about 10 minutes and aim to move to 30-60 minutes three to five times a week. “Starting small is important so that you do not shock your body. You should also do the right exercise for your body and endurance limits,” he says.
Proper lifting techniques
Using your knees and hips when lifting so that the back is less burdened is ideal. In cases where you are to lift something heavy, ask for help so that your back will not get damaged in the process. “Make sure your working station suits you. That may start with ensuring you have a good office or working chair that will give good support to your back and make use of the back rest of that chair whenever sitting,” he advises.

Proper sleeping posture
With all factors constant, the best sleeping position is on the side as it is less demanding. Dr Golooba says you should also have a good pillow. “I recommend a fibre pillow but it has to be of the thickness that will not be too small to slant your head or too big to tilt your head. With other sleeping positions, you will need more than one pillow in order to be comfortable yet they may not be maintained all night long,” he advises.

Mental wellness
Evelyn Kharono Lufafa, a counsellor at Kiira Medical Centre, says our mental wellbeing is very crucial in 2019 because our mental health is important for optimal functionality.

Emotional intelligence
It is one of the key habits that enables one to identify one’s emotions as well as emotions of others in positive ways. Enhancing your emotional intelligence requires you to use your emotions to make constructive decisions about your behavior, manage core feelings such as anger as well as recognise and interpret the mainly nonverbal signals others are constantly using to communicate with you.

“These will help in relieving stress, you will communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict with greater ease,” she says.

Listening skills
One of the healthy ways of keeping good relationships is being able to listen to others than seek only to be listened to. Many people love to be listened to, however, not many listen thus missing out on some things that might be important. Endeavour to listen more.

Healthy coping mechanisms In case of a life twist, there are both healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms. However, usually when we are down psychologically, we tend to go for negative coping mechanisms such as drinking alcohol and withdrawal.

“However, it would be great to share your pain with a trusted friend. If you do not have one at the moment, talk to a counsellor or pray about it. All these help in soothing the pain while the unhealthy mechanisms only postpone the pain,” she advises.

Good communication skills
Learning to speak assertively instead of choosing hurting words when speaking your mind is important if you are to make lasting relationships yet get what you are bargaining for in 2019.

Tip bits

Tea for coffee
There is no need to cut out the coffee completely, just replace a second or third cup of coffee with green tea or ginger tea. A high level of caffeine dehydrates the body. After a meal, ginger tea is particularly beneficial for digesting, not to mention having detox and anti-cancer properties.

Desert for fruits
If your body is used to consuming sugars and sweets, it will be difficult to completely remove a source of sugar from your diet. When you crave something sweet, grab juicy, ripe sweet fruits such as berries, pomegranates and clementines. These fruits will gradually transition your body into craving fewer desserts.