The new year is upon us and it gives us a fresh clean slate to feel renewed, be reborn or reboot. Many of you may have new year’s resolutions that you hope to keep for more than 2 weeks! But maybe instead of getting lots of things done….it’s best to slow things down and get a different perspective. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Be proactive in your own health- The majority of degenerative diseases that we are at risk for (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression and dementia) have some type of inflammation involved. To delay or prevent these conditions, some of the simple preventative things are pretty straightforward but always worth repeating (read the article below by John Schumann).
2. Find a doctor or practitioner you trust- It’s worth looking around and setting up a “meet and greet” situation where you can spend 10 minutes to see if this professional and you are a good fit. Ask questions, get a feel of the staff and office space and lastly the cost and insurance info. I have many patients that go to their “insurance” doctor to get their routine procedures covered, i.e.. routine exams, mammogram, bloodwork, etc). They see me for individualized care to answer the day-to-day questions of “why am I so tired, I can’t sleep at night, I feel depressed”. But instead of me handing them a prescription, we look “upstream” to find the causes and answers to their symptoms. Trust me…these symptoms are not due to an Ambien or Prozac deficiency!
3. Stop sitting so much- Our bodies were not meant to sit all day. Sitting for more than 5 hours negates any exercise you did earlier. Try to incorporate movement in your day every 1-2 hours.
4. Take more vacations and Don’t Retire- The research shows that downtime improves knowledge and memory. Relaxing and de-stressing means to get out of your routine schedule and have fun and laugh more. When I go on vacation, I take my watch off (Yes…I use my watch to still check the time, not as a fashion statement). Delay retirement only if you love what you do. If not, then find something that makes your heart sing, i.e., take a class, learn to play an instrument, learn a new language, go on a retreat and find your life’s calling. The longer you wait to retire, the more likely you reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Wishing you the best of health and happiness in 2016!