During this time, my patients often tell me that they want to prioritize their health. Often they don’t know how to initiate these changes. Together, we’ll talk about their goals and their impact on overall health.
Of course, it is expected not only to improve their health in the short term, but also to improve their life expectancy (how long they live) and their healthy life expectancy (the number of years they live without serious illness) and quality of life. It has been.
My patients are often amazed at how healthy habits can have a positive impact on their wallets. please think about it. Eliminating or reducing preventable doctor visits can save money on copayments, prescriptions, or over-the-counter medications. At the same time, you don’t have to miss work, arrange childcare for appointments, or make sick calls. Remember that most of the common ailments can be prevented with healthy daily habits.
Living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a journey. When setting goals to improve your healthy habits, we recommend taking some advice from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. He wrote that individuals should think about who they want to be and make a daily plan to get there. He recommends taking small steps each day to reach a larger goal.
Here are some great ways to take care of yourself and avoid preventable trips to the doctor.
• Schedule a check-up or physical examination with your primary care physician (PCP).
• Eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight
By maintaining regular visits with your doctor, your doctor can regularly evaluate your medical history and that of your family members to identify potential risks, test them, and treat them if necessary. increase.
During these appointments, your doctor can also work with you to develop a health plan for the future. The plan should be driven by you, with advice and guidance from your PCP. During this appointment, your doctor can also recommend any necessary medical examinations and vaccinations.
Exercise is an area in which many people would like to improve, but is often challenged due to time constraints with work and family obligations.Achieve 30 minutes of cardio most days is ideal, but with a little creativity you can easily do the exercises.
If your schedule is full of activities and sporting events for your child, consider adding a workout while your child is practicing. When the kids were little, I used to go to their practices and run around the practice track. I was still able to attend and watch them practice while exercising on a busy day.
Makes exercising fun! Find friends with similar workout interests and goals. Instead of dinner parties, schedule weekly workout sessions.
I also recommend incorporating strength training into your daily routine to build and maintain muscle mass. As we age, we naturally begin to lose muscle mass. Loss of muscle mass can lead to loss of balance and falls, which can lead to devastating injuries, especially in older adults.
Starting an exercise program can be overwhelming. If you are looking for a place to start walking, walking is usually recommended. Because walking is free and most of the time you already have good sneakers with support.
Also, people who exercise tend to sleep better. If you want to improve your sleep, try adopting these well-known habits. Go to bed at the same time each night in a dark room with the temperature set to no more than 68 degrees. Limit your screens two hours before bed. A white noise machine or a hot shower before bed can also help.
If you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, or if you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes of waking up, get out of bed. Reading or listening to audiobooks is a good activity until you are ready to fall asleep again.
Whenever my patients ask me for advice on how to eat and incorporate healthy foods, I always recommend the Mediterranean diet. This lifestyle diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, healthy animal/fish proteins and healthy fats, proven to support better health. This diet also limits alcohol and processed foods.
As you try to incorporate these healthy habits into your lifestyle, you should talk to your doctor so that together you can set small goals that will help you work toward the larger overall goals you want to achieve. Yes. Once you’ve achieved a small goal, take the time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t so you can move forward. Reward yourself when you reach your milestones and encourage yourself to continue on this healthy journey.
Dr. Brian Kane is the Head of Family Practices at Tower Health.