Make Health Your Habit
With the holiday season now behind us, people look forward to the fresh start of the New Year and all the possibilities it brings. For many of us, that means setting resolutions to live a healthy, full life.
Without the proper planning and support, however, these ambitions can quickly be put off or even forgotten. This year, it’s time to break the cycle and make progress toward your goals.
By following tips from Wellstar health experts, you can create realistic resolutions and better your health — making healthy choices a lifelong habit rather than a short-term goal.
Partner with a Wellstar provider
When it comes to your wellness goals, staying healthy starts with a visit to your Wellstar primary care provider.
Wellstar Primary Care Physician Dr. Nitasha Burney-Fleming shared why regular appointments are vital for your well-being.
“Primary care providers partner with patients to help them meet their wellness goals — in a realistic, healthy way that is tailored to their individual needs and lifestyles,” Dr. Burney-Fleming said. “Your provider can help you keep up-to-date on screenings and vaccines so you can stay ahead of health issues and illnesses.”
To check your health status and screen for potential medical issues, your provider will take your Foundational 4 numbers for:
- Blood pressure. A blood pressure test helps diagnose hypertension (high blood pressure), hypotension (low blood pressure), heart disease and other conditions.
- Blood glucose level. The amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood can indicate the onset of diabetes or risk of heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
- Blood cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often called “bad” cholesterol, can indicate clogged arteries, which may lead to heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
- Body mass index (BMI). A higher level of body fat may indicate an increased risk for heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes.
The screenings your provider recommends will vary based on your gender, age and other factors such as family history.
Personalized OB/GYN care for women
“Gynecologists partner with women in their healthcare across the lifespan,” said Dr. LeThenia “Joy” Baker, a Wellstar obstetrician and gynecologist. “The first gynecologic visit is recommended between 13 and 15, and the first exam between 18 and 21.”
Gynecologists are uniquely positioned to care for women from adolescence through menopause and beyond. “We’ll make sure you are up-to-date on screenings like mammograms and Pap smears, help you make informed decisions about family planning and fertility, and provide medical and surgical treatment for a variety of conditions affecting the female reproductive system,” Dr. Baker said.
Primary care, anywhere
In addition to in-person primary care visits, Wellstar also offers virtual care options. Connect with your Wellstar provider over the phone or with video on a computer, smartphone or tablet.
“While primary care physicians help patients meet long-term wellness goals, we’re also here for you when you’re sick,” said Wellstar Primary Care Physician Dr. Georgia Forrest. “Your primary care provider is already familiar with your background and health needs, so we can seamlessly continue that care and help you get back on track when you’re ill.”
If you need to see a specialist such as a cardiologist, pulmonologist or neurologist, your primary care provider will refer you for that specialized care while continuing to help you manage your overall wellness.
“Through Wellstar’s patient portal MyChart, specialists and primary care physicians can see test results and visit summaries and stay updated on how each of us is working with the patient,” Dr. Forrest said.
For more immediate healthcare needs that are not life-threatening, you can talk to a provider with WellstarON, our virtual urgent care.
In an emergency, such as if you are having trouble breathing or experiencing chest pain, call 911.
Learn more about the different types of care Wellstar offers and where to go if you’re not feeling well.
Become your healthiest you in the New Year
Whether your resolution is to lose weight, better manage a chronic condition or be more active, your healthcare provider is a great source of support. They will work with you to create a personalized plan to help you succeed
Ready to tackle your wellness goals this year? Book an appointment with a Wellstar primary care provider today.
Get moving to stay well
If you’re focused on improving your fitness routine, put a plan in place to be more active. According to Dr. Burney-Fleming, consistency is key to success.
“Do something that raises your heart rate 45 minutes a day, at least five to six days a week,” Dr. Burney-Fleming said. “Find an activity you enjoy, like dancing, biking or swimming, and gradually work it into your routine so it becomes a regular habit.”
For those looking to slim down, your healthcare provider can help jumpstart your health journey with a tailored diet and exercise plan. That way, healthy habits become second nature.
Set a sleep routine
Having a bedtime routine is essential to catch more Zzzs over the year. When you wake up feeling rested, you often feel more productive and energized throughout the day.
Get started by setting a specific time to go to sleep — and sticking to it. Make sure you reserve at least seven to nine hours per night for sleep.
Limit your screen time before getting in bed. Bright screens from a phone, computer or TV can keep your brain awake and make it harder to fall asleep.
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, have a decaffeinated cup of tea or take a warm bath to help you relax.
Eat a balanced diet
When it comes to losing weight, many people look for a “quick fix,” which can often create unhealthy ways of eating. Creating a healthy eating plan from the start can help avoid any fad diet pitfalls.
Nutrition plans that restrict or eliminate food groups and those with extreme calorie deficits are difficult to maintain and can often produce more weight gain or undesired results. Diet trends can also create a negative relationship with food, which can make it harder to achieve your goals.
A healthy nutrition plan is balanced and emphasizes whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.
Try not to overcomplicate healthy eating. Focus on starting with small changes like filling half your plate with vegetables or having fun trying new recipes.
Take care of your mental health
Self-care is an important aspect of your mental well-being and should be made a consistent part of each day.
“Just like exercising and a healthy diet strengthen your physical health, self-care enhances your mental well-being,” said Dr. Pooja Dave, a Wellstar psychologist.
Take time for activities you enjoy, whether that means visiting with friends or family or a hobby like reading or cooking.
If you feel overwhelmed by stress or anxiety, Wellstar’s behavioral health specialists are here for you.
“Mental health professionals are trained to provide compassionate, expert care. We’ll take the time to get to know you and will work with you to identify some tools to help you feel your best,” Dr. Dave said. “Our psychologists can also help you manage more complex conditions with evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. We can also get you connected with a provider who can help you with medications, if necessary.”
Need support? Connect with a Wellstar behavioral health specialist.