By: Vanessa Flannery, DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Fresh Start Health, Grayson
This is typically the time of year where you reflect on the past year and set your expectations for the new year ahead. For some of you, that may be focusing on being more active and eating a balanced diet. For others, maybe it’s finally scheduling those preventive screenings you put off the previous year and allowing yourself to rest more. Either way, we encourage you to consider your wellbeing and set goals to strive for a healthier you in 2022.
While roughly 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, only 20% succeed at their resolutions. So, let’s work to set goals that are attainable. Below are 6 tips that can help you achieve your healthiest self. All you have to do is put in a little effort, time, and stay consistent.
Helping you reach your healthiest, happiest self for 2022 with these 6 tips.
Tip #1: Schedule Your Annual Physical: An annual physical is one of the best ways you can stay fit for your current and future self. It’s an important key to living a long, healthy life. No matter your age or stage of life, physical exams are essential to your ongoing health. But what is a physical exam you ask? There’s no definitive answer here since an annual physical is unique to every patient; but here’s how it works: depending on your risk factors, age, lifestyle, and family history — your healthcare provider may order a wide variety of blood tests and other screenings during your physical exam. Based on your test results, your healthcare provider may make necessary recommendations for additional testing or any suggested lifestyle changes. While some people’s annual physicals are just blood work, others may be blood work and testing more severe conditions, like heart disease or cancer. It all depends on the patient’s current health status and their family history.
Tip #2: Get Some Quality Sleep: Establishing a regular sleeping pattern is crucial for your well-being. This includes going to bed at roughly the same time every night and waking up around the same time every morning. Now, it doesn’t have to be so rigid, but try your best to stay within a 30-minute window each night and morning. You may even consider turning off all electronic devices an hour before bedtime. Ever wonder why you can’t fall fast asleep after staring at your phone right before bed? Studies show that the light screens radiate actually decreases melatonin production, therefore causing disruptions to your sleep throughout the night.
Tip #3: Schedule Your Exercises: Fitting in a workout during your busy day may seem like a serious challenge. One of the biggest problems experts see when it comes to fitness is a lack of schedule and consistency. The problem itself is usually narrowed down to this — “finding” the time versus “making” the time. So, what if you looked at exercise differently? What if you scheduled it into your days and weeks, just like you would a meeting at work? “Finding” the time to workout implies that it’s not a high priority, whereas “making” the time sets a boundary for you and others that the time allotted for a scheduled workout cannot be missed.
Tip #4: Eat Veggies More Often: Whether you’re trying to lose a few pounds or just improve your overall health, vegetables are a key source of nutrients necessary for your success. Fiber-rich veggies are especially important, as they are critical for a healthy heart and strong veins. You may even want to throw in some citrus fruits high in vitamin C; like oranges, grapefruit, or clementines. While vitamin C-rich foods help promote collagen production, they also prevent wrinkles and dry skin. Who knew an orange a day kept wrinkles away?
Tip #5: Drink More Water: It’s recommended that women consume 11.5 cups (93 ounces), and men consume 15.5 cups (125 ounces) of water each day. Keep in mind that most people typically consume 20% of their daily fluid intake from food. The rest should be from drinking water. Well, did you know that it’s especially important to drink more water when you’re running on less sleep (specifically 6 hours of sleep or less)? The less sleep you get, the more dehydrated you are after a night of disrupted sleep. This is because the hormone (Antidiuretic) that regulates your body’s waters conservation is released in later stages of sleep. So, make sure you’re getting adequate water intake each day for your body.
Tip #6: Prevent Work Burnout: While some may say it’s important to find work-life balance, you may consider a different approach — finding work-life harmony. It’s important to be connected to and care about the work you’re doing, as well as those you are working with. When you’re at work, be fully present and leave work at work. Your family deserves the rest of your time. Burnout also comes a lot faster when you’re spending 4 hours a day at a job that empties your tank than working 10 hours a day at a job filling your tank. Some other ways to prevent work burnout are taking breaks throughout the day, limiting your number of early mornings or late evenings, and completely unplugging while taking time off for personal days or vacations.
Kickstart 2022 by focusing on your goals and improving your overall wellbeing. You can start by scheduling your physical exam today! There’s no better time to start than now and know that Fresh Start Health Center is here to keep you and your loved ones healthy and happy through dedicated patient-centered care.