Health was a dominant talking point in 2021 for one obvious reason — COVID 19. The pandemic, which befell the nation in March of last year, did a whopper on the economy, but also put a grim spotlight on the health of the nation. Case in point, we didn’t take healthcare as seriously, and we paid for it dearly during the height of one of the deadliest pandemics seen in quite a while.

Today, the attitude around health has gradually changed since the dark early days of the pandemic, and not just in the healthcare sector. Regular Americans have also looked at health in a different light, and are now striving to take care of their health better in 2021. While there are obvious ways that one can maintain their health in the new year, here are some practical ways that you can stay healthy for 2021 and beyond.

Maintain Social Distancing

We know people all over the world are tired of hearing those two words, but it’s been a major tool in helping to lessen the blow of the pandemic.

Social distancing is a practice of keeping the population spread out so that it will make it hard for viruses and diseases to spread. Social distancing entered the American lexicon in March of last year, and has since been a perennial way of life in what we know as the “new normal.” Now that society is beginning to slowly ramp back up to life, social distancing should still play a huge role in maintaining health in 2021.

For the folks heading back to the office, you will notice that your desks are more spread out than usual. For most of 2021 at least, it should not be recommended to chat with your co-workers on the job in a close setting. This goes for rideshare as well, which was becoming a big hit before the pandemic came. Avoid using ridesharing services, especially with people that you don’t know so that you can keep from getting sick with COVID-19. There is no telling if social distancing will still be a thing after this year, especially with vaccines coming into vogue, but social distancing should be part of your health gameplan for the new year.

See A Doctor And Therapist Regularly

We all dread going to the doctor’s office, that’s just a fact. However, it is a great way to keep your health improved for the new year.

Think of seeing the doctor as a milepost of sorts for your health. Doing a regular checkup at the doctor’s office will let you know just where your health is and allow you to formulate a plan on how to improve your health. If you’re suffering from aches and pains, you should also see therapistswho will help you get back into shape.

If there is one industry that will certainly boom in the new year, it’s a physical medicine and rehabilitation jobs. Rehab and physical medicine specialists will be in high demand for a public that will be looking to put personal health at the top of the list in 2021.

Don’t Consume So Many Harmful Fats

During the height of the pandemic, many of us re-learned that classic household thing of cooking for ourselves. However, we also indulge and obtained an unhealthy addiction to fats that are not good for us.

Translation: We at a lot of carryout and deliver during our quarantine, and our bodies will soon make us pay for that. So get ahead of your body and make it healthier for 2021 by consuming less harmful fats. Fats should be less than 30 percent of our total energy intake, and getting to that number means laying off of pre-packaged snacks and food such as frozen pizza. We know, it will be hard to adjust, but you can do it, for your body’s sake.

Quit Smoking

This should have long been a goal even before the events of 2020.

It is no secret that smoking is really, really bad for your health, and causes lung damage that will be hard to recover. There is a perfectly good reason why smoking should be on your 2021 to-do list to stop doing.

Get Tested

“Testing” is another word that we will be relieved to not hear on a daily basis once the pandemic passes by, but getting a coronavirus test shouldn’t the only test you should take in 2021.

There is a great reason why health experts regularly stressed the importance of getting tested during the pandemic. It is a critical step in knowing just how healthy you are. Not only should you be getting tested for COVID, but also for the known viruses that still stalk us today, such as HIV and STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Getting tested is a scary thought, but it’s better to know than to not be in the know, you know?

Try To Swat Away Mosquitos

The spring and summer bring in the warm weather, which also means that the mosquitos will be arriving along with it.

Believe it or not, mosquitos are one of the deadliest creatures on the planet. Why? Because they are “disease carries,” carrying such infectious and deadly diseases such as dengue, Zika, and malaria. While mosquitos are a problem in most of the country, it is especially an issue in southern states that get humid during the late spring and summer. You should do everything in your power to prevent mosquito bites. Use mosquito repellant on your body to repel the little bugs away. Make sure your windows and door screens are sealed up tight so that they won’t slip into your home and clear your home of any standing water, which is a mosquito breeding ground.

Give Your House A Good Scrub Down

Everyone reading this has heard of “Spring Cleaning,” right? Well, to improve your health in 2021, you and your family should do some spring cleaning of your home.

Doing a good scrubbing of your home will not only make your house more appealing but also healthier. Clean the mildew out of your frameless shower and fireplaces of soot. Also, make sure the space around your electric heaters is cleaned as well. Use plumbing equipment to clean out your toilet and tub areas, and doing an overall deep clean of your home. The name of the game for 2021 is health, and the cleaner the home, the healthier your home will be.

Take Up A Hobby That Reduces Stress

Stress can really be a health killer, and we’ve all had about enough stress as one year can give us.

2021 should be a year that we get back to emotional well-being healthwise, and that starts with taking up a hobby that reduces our stress levels. Maybe get some garden equipment and start a garden? Or, you can take your bike out for a nice work bike ride? Maybe take some time out of your day to beat that level in Minecraft that you’ve had your mindset out to do? Anything that you can do to reduce the stress on your body and mind, you should do. It will greatly improve your health and make 2021 much better.

Wash Your Hands

When the pandemic first started, one of the main things that were preached to the public was to “wash your hands regularly

. That practice should be followed in 2021 and beyond.

You should always wash your hands properly, which entails washing your hands in warm water, with soap, for 20 seconds to kill the bacteria living on your hands. Also, it wouldn’t hurt if you carried hand sanitizer on you at all times so that you can keep your hands bacteria-free during the day.

Ligthen Up On The Sugar And Salt

Salt and sugar enhance everything we eat and drink, and while it’s recommended that we have some salt and sugar in our diets, having a lot of it can be troublesome to our health.

Having too much sodium can put you at greater risk for high blood pressure, which, as you well know, can lead to a greater chance of having a stroke or heart disease. Going to town on sugar can do damage to your teeth (tooth decay) and lead to gaining weight. The best thing you can do about this is to consume less of both. Your salt intake should be no more than five grams a day, which is basically just a teaspoon of salt, and your sugar intake should be about 50 grams per day as an adult.

Doing less sugar and salt will lead to an improved health outcome and will have you on track to be healthier in 2021.

Get Better Sleep

Sleeping better will instantly give your health a boost.

Getting a good night’s rest will help reinvigorate your body and get you ready for the next day. There is a certain segment of Americans that suffer from insomnia and have trouble getting that good sleep, and to help out with that, maybe you should explore using cannabis to help relax your mind. You don’t even have to go directly to the dispensary to get it as cannabis delivery is a thing today.

Alcohol? Drink Less Of It

2020 was a year that really made all of us want to drink, and most of us did. However, now that 2021 is producing a (somewhat) improved situation, you should refocus on your health and lay off the alcohol.

Unlike sugar and salt, which both have a threshold of what is good for an adult, there is nothing good or healthy about consuming alcohol, at all. The issues related to excessive drinking of alcohol are well documented, so there is no need to rehash them here. What we will say is, if your goal for 2021 is to stay healthy (or get healthier), laying off the alcohol will go a long way in achieving that goal.

Check Your Blood Pressure On A Daily Basis

As a kid, we all loved going into the local Walmart and putting our arms in the blood pressure reader, feeling the squeeze on the arm.

As an adult, we should do this on a daily basis, checking out blood pressure to make sure that it’s fluctuating at a normal rate. The main reason to check your blood pressure is that, if you have high blood pressure, that can lead to hypertension, which is detailed as a “silent killer” that can easily lead to an array of diseases. So be that kid again and check your blood pressure daily to make sure that your numbers are where they should be.

Get Vaccinted

Now that vaccines are here to try to blunt the spread of COVID-19, you are going to be hearing that word a lot over the next eight months or so.

The COVID vaccine isn’t the only one that you should be taking, however. You should get your flu shot yearly, and get other vaccinations that will protect you from the regular diseases that plague society, such as hepatitis B and pneumonia. While there are some side effects to taking vaccines, health experts will tell you over-and-over again that it’s better to have the mild side effects of a vaccine than to get the diseases. Oh, and those side effects? That’s a sign that the vaccine is actually working to build up your immune system.

Get And Stay Active

The best way to get healthier in 2021 is to get and stay active.

Go on afternoon bike rides. Get in some cardio. Do whatever it takes to live an active lifestyle. Being inactive will only increase your chances of getting sick, which is why being active and keeping your body active could very well be the best defense you have against getting sick. Remember, 2021 is the year of staying healthy, and you may have made that commitment to getting healthier. Oh, and doing exercise on a daily basis lowers the risk of early death. So why not fulfill that and start getting more active.

In conclusion, health has risen to near the top of Americans’ concerns for 2021. Now is the time for us to start staying healthy for the sake of warding off diseases and living a longer life. Get active and drink lots of water. Do a deep spring cleaning and get into activities that will reduce your stress level. Make sure that, for now, you maintain social distancing and see your doctor on a regular basis.

Doing these things, and more will allow you to fulfill your promise of having a healthier new year. So what are you waiting for? Put down the chips and get active!