Clark Regional Medical Center
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications
Brighter Days Ahead: Celebrate the New Year with a Healthy Start
By Katherine Kinsel, MD
A new year is always an opportunity for a fresh start. A new beginning. That’s one of the big reasons so many of us set New Year’s resolutions. Turning the page on the calendar gives us a chance to turn the page on unhealthy habits, resolve to be better, healthier versions of ourselves and look to the future with hope for what’s to come.
As we look ahead, there is certainly much to be hopeful for in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As more effective treatments have been instituted and with vaccines on the way, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is still essential to our health and the health of our community that we continue to wear our masks, maintain social distancing and practice good hand hygiene – until the pandemic is safely at an end.
In addition to these essential precautions, there are a few key things that can help you get and stay healthy for 2021 and beyond. If you’re looking to make a couple resolutions to take better care of yourself, these are a great place to start.
Healthy eating is an important component to your overall health. Good nutrition can reduce your risk of illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It can help boost your energy, help shed those holiday pounds and improve your mental health. Simple changes can help make a big difference. Incorporate more vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and healthy grains into your diet. Plan your meals for the week to help ensure healthier eating and less temptation at the grocery store. Drink more water instead of soft drinks and other sugary beverages. Changing your eating habits overnight can be difficult. Make your healthy eating an easier and longer-lasting shift by making one or two healthy changes a week. They’ll add up over time and help you maintain your new healthy eating habits.
Physical activity is one of the best tools to improve or maintain good physical and mental health. Regular exercise can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, help reduce your risk for heart disease, strengthen your bones and muscles and help you reduce stress and anxiety. As little as 30 minutes a day can be effective. If you’re not used to regular exercise or feel like you don’t have time in your schedule for it, try simple activities like a lunchtime walk, playing in the backyard with your kids or pets, or a home workout using an aerobics or yoga video. Dogs and kids are great excuses to get moving! Whatever you choose, be sure and consult your primary care provider before beginning a new fitness or sports program.
Staying on Top of Your Health
Taking charge of your own health is essential to your overall well-being. Establishing a good, trusting relationship with a primary care provider and scheduling annual physical exams can play a big role in helping you to do this. Annual exams can help prevent unwanted health surprises and setbacks, aid in early diagnosis of any conditions to help achieve the best outcomes and allow you to discuss any health concerns you might have. Your primary care provider can also ensure that you’re on top of key health numbers like your blood pressure and cholesterol, keep you up to date on any needed immunizations and help you manage any chronic conditions you may have.
We have all experienced stress at one time or another (especially this year). It’s a natural reaction when things aren’t going as smoothly as we’d like. However, managing stress is important to maintaining physical and mental health. Too much stress can cause depression, increase blood pressure and contribute to weight gain. It’s okay to ask for help! Talk to a trusted friend or loved one, or seek help from a health professional to discuss what you are going through.
Whether you’re hitting the reset button on your health or looking to make improvements in a specific area, it’s important to remember that your health journey is a marathon, not a sprint. For example, this week consider starting one or two new healthy eating habits, get moving with some physical activity and make an appointment with your primary care provider for your annual check-up. Small changes can make a big difference!
And don’t forget to wear your mask!
If you need a primary care provider, Clark Regional Medical Center can help. Call 888.847.DOCS (3627) or visit the Find a Provider tab at ClarkRegional.org to get connected with quality care today.
About Clark Regional Medical Center
Clark Regional Medical Center, part of LifePoint Health®, provides high-quality healthcare services in the east Central Kentucky region and is dedicated to Making Communities Healthier®. A 79-bed, acute care facility, Clark Regional Medical Center offers a wide range of both inpatient and outpatient services, including emergency medicine, cardiology, general surgery, oncology/hematology, orthopedics, radiology, rehabilitation services, transitional care, women’s services, women’s imaging (including 3D mammography) and wound care. The hospital has been recognized for its commitment to quality care and patient safety by national organizations such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American College of Cardiology (Chest Pain Center accreditation), American College of Radiology, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety and the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. Additionally, Clark Regional Medical Center has earned designation as a LifePoint Health National Quality Leader for its ongoing efforts to transform its culture of safety and achieve high standards of quality care, performance improvement and patient engagement. For more information about Clark Regional Medical Center, please call 859-745-3500 or visit ClarkRegional.org. For more information about LifePoint Health, visit www.LifePointHealth.net.