Make a plan before you make your New Year resolutions.
If you have been reading our weekly posts on prevention and self-care, the science is not always clear about what to do. So we’ve compiled a list of things for you to discuss with your doctor before you set your resolutions this year. Why?
New Years is the time of year most people reflect on their life and set their goals for things that they want to do, improve and achieve. Exercise, diet and weight-loss often make the resolution list. The problem is that few have a good plan before they set their resolutions. Without a good plan most people fail to achieve their goals.
Now is a good time to start developing your plan for success. Book an appointment with your doctor to get clear on what lifestyle changes you need to make to achieve your goals.
Five things to discuss with your doctor now
1/ Diet: How should you modify your diet?
Diet is not just about cutting calories but rather figuring out how many calories your body needs to sustain good bodily function and your lifestyle. From there it’s about making some sensible changes so that your body gets proper nutrition. Cutting out whole food groups rarely makes sense especially if you don’t have a good plan for replacing the essential nutrients in that group. Sugar is not a food group. However, going cold turkey on sugar may make your new diet seem restrictive and unsatisfying.
2/ Exercise: How should you approach exercise?
New membership at gyms surge in January but attendance usually drops off by the end of March. Why? In short, too much too soon. If you haven’t exercised in a long time and/or you have a chronic health condition, talk to your doctor about your concerns and get their input on the best types of workouts for you.
3/ Supplements: What supplements do you need to improve your nutrition?
Unfortunately, there isn’t one pill or one right answer on supplements. There are some quality seals and consumer guides to guide your purchasing. If you’re taking medications or lost in the sea of choices, talk to your doctor about what you should take and how much your body actually needs. Getting too much of some nutrients can also be harmful.
4/ Personalized Medicine: How often do you really need to see your doctor?
Medicine is becoming more personalized. Get input from your doctor on whether standard screening intervals apply to you given your demographics, lifestyle and genetics. Talk about your goals for input on how they can help. Baring any unusual events or accidents, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of how often you need to see them and how much it will cost.
5/ Pain: How can you live pain free or at least reduce your pain?
Identifying and addressing the problem is better than treating the symptoms. Talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes and complimentary care that can decrease the amount of pain you experience day to day. Reducing your reliance on medications may actually make you feel better too. Medications often have negative side effects.
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