Feeling like you’ve overdone it during the holidays? Don’t worry, it’s a common feeling. And then there’s that New Year’s resolution. The problem is that for most of us those resolutions don’t last, and by the time Super Bowl rolls around, the desire to get healthier has fallen by the wayside and we’ve reverted to familiar habits.
If you’re looking to adopt better habits for your overall health, let’s take a look at a few of the many resolutions that may work for you. After all, being healthy is more than just a number on the scale.
• Unplug before hitting the pillow. Hit ‘like’ before jumping into bed. Studies show the blue light emitted from smartphone screens can wreak havoc on your sleep quality.
• Water, water, water. Retire the sugary juices and diet colas and switch to water instead. You’ll feel more hydrated and your physical appearance will show it, too. Getting the right amount of water is a vital part in staying healthy.
• Go to the doctor. Trust me, I know. It’s important to get a checkup every-so-often to make sure you’re in tip-top shape. Make it an annual commitment. Make sure you’re up-to-date with all your vaccinations and screenings, including HIV and STDs. For women, Pap smears and breast exams are important; don’t neglect them. (Trillium Health is now accepting new patients and within walking distance of the South Wedge.)
• Walk around the Reservoir! Believe it or not, walking can be a great exercise. It improves cardiovascular strength, lowers blood sugar levels, and you’re more likely to stick with it than other exercises. Now get to counting those steps.
• Try therapy. Just a friendly reminder that there’s nothing wrong with seeking help. Even if you aren’t experiencing mental health issues, there’s no harm in getting advice on how to handle life’s everyday challenges.
• Floss your little heart out. You hear it from your dentist constantly, but only because it really is a necessity. Healthy gums can protect you against gingivitis and even heart disease.
• Ensure you’re insured. Health insurance is available for all, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Call us for an insurance appointment. Trillium Health can help you find a health plan that works best for you, and your wallet.
The best you is the you that has the knowledge of what makes you healthy and happy. Everything else will fall into place, especially if you take those few extra steps.
Dr. William Valenti is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Advancement and Staff Physician at Trillium Health – a neighborhood health center offering primary care services, behavioral health services and an in-house pharmacy, located at 259 Monroe Avenue at Monroe Square.