Everyone knows it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes it can be difficult to know what aspects of your health to focus on.
Eating a balanced diet, having a regular exercise routine, getting enough sleep and taking care of your skin are all essential activities for optimal health. What are some other ways you can stay healthy in Winnsboro, TX? Our doctors weigh in:
Staying active is one of the best ways to improve or maintain your health. As we age, physical activity can become more difficult, but there are plenty of low-intensity exercises and activities you can do every day to stay healthy.
Go for a walk near one of the city’s many scenic lakes a few times a week. Gardening can also be good exercise. Pulling weeds and planting flowers can actually burn 200 to 400 calories per hour!
Did you know that the Winnsboro Senior Center holds line dancing classes on Wednesdays and even a special class for beginners? Exercise doesn’t need to be boring!
Also check out Hood Barbell at 406 W. Broadway St., which offers high-intensity interval training classes, weightlifting equipment and more. They even have personal trainers to help customize a fitness plan specific to you and your needs. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, they also hold a low-intensity class that combines stretching, pilates, and yoga. If you want to try it out before getting a membership, $5 day passes are available.
If you’re going outdoors, whether to fish at Lake Fork or camp at Lake Bob Sandlin, be sure to wear sunscreen. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing to prevent yourself from becoming a part of this statistic. Sunscreen can help reduce the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, which can cause skin cancer such as melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and be sure to reapply every one to two hours.
Eating a wide variety of fresh foods is a great way to help you stay healthy. The Winnsboro Farmers’ Market is a great place to get fresh fruits and vegetables while also supporting your local community. The market runs seasonally from April through October on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. You can find items such as heirloom tomatoes, lettuces, fruits, local dairy products, granola, organic eggs, and locally butchered meats.
Even when you go out to eat, you can find ways to eat healthy. Choose an appetizer as your main course, which can save a considerable amount of calories. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends small steps such as substituting a side salad for fries, loading up sandwiches with fresh vegetables and eating more slowly. It can take your brain up to 20 minutes to register the signal that you are full, so slowing down helps you eat less!
Even nice meals out can be healthy while still feeling indulgent. Local restaurants such as Opa’s Kitchen at Bella Stella Winery have delicious but healthy dishes such as parmesan-crusted tilapia and smoked salmon. At the Lone Republic Steakhouse, try the flame-grilled chicken salad or the grilled mahi-mahi. Instead of fries as a side with other dishes, try the sauteed spinach.
Getting enough sleep is vital to your health. Sleeping the recommended seven to nine hours per night has many benefits. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that ongoing sleep deficiency can be linked to serious conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. The NIH also states that getting enough sleep can help regulate your appetite through proper hormone production and can help keep your immune system operating at its best.
Not to mention, getting a full night of sleep can help you stay mentally sharp, keeping your memory working well and your emotions in check. It can even improve your ability to learn — like those beginner line dancing lessons you might try.
Take Care of Your Skin
The health of your skin is a reflection of your overall health. This means taking care of your skin in all conditions and all types of weather. If you have psoriasis or eczema, your condition could worsen as the seasons change. Ensure that you are tending to your skin in the drier winter months by applying moisturizers as needed.
Never skip an annual skin cancer screening. An irregular mark on your skin isn’t going to go away on its own. The longer you wait to see a dermatologist, the more harm that could come your way. Schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist as soon as you discover a worrisome mole.
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