Disclosure: This post is sponsored by LCMC Health Urgent Care.
Small Health Resolutions That Can Make a Big Difference
So, the holidays are done. You’ve finished the pork roast leftovers, passed that remaining half of bourbon pecan pie your mother-in-law made along to the neighbor and went ahead and poured out the last bit of egg nog. You’ve also vowed to make some BIG changes this year to get healthy. While BIG changes are good, sometimes we resolve to make such overwhelming changes that we set ourselves up for failure and end up back to our old habits after that first bite of king cake. Here is a list of 10 small health-related resolutions that are easier to keep and can make a big difference to your wellness not only this year but over the rest of your life.
Check it Out
If you haven’t had an overall wellness exam with your primary care physician, kick the year off with a visit to set a baseline for your health. In addition to ruling out any major health issues, you can use your results to see what you need to work on improving over the year—weight loss, lowering cholesterol, etc. You can also plan for future regular screenings over the next few years such as mammograms, certain routine vaccines and more.
You know you need to increase your activity, but heading back to the gym (or even joining a gym) can be a bit overwhelming. Set a goal to at least do something 3 to 5 times a week—go for a walk around the neighborhood, ride the bike with your kid, or do a yoga video at the house. You’ll feel better and perhaps even work up to increase your exercise activity over the year.
Eat Less (And Better)
It’s hard to do in Louisiana, but cutting down on your calorie intake coupled with increased activity can help you lose weight and feel better. Try keeping a food journal to track how many calories you’re consuming and combine that with an increase in lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, and you’ll see a difference.
Shake the Sugar
While watching what you eat, pay particular attention to your sugar intake. Cutting out sweet tea and nixing the added sugar to your oatmeal or grapefruit are small steps. Then, pledge to cut back on the indulgent desserts over the year or try taking just a few bites rather than that huge piece. Try to aim for 100 calories or less of added sugar each day. To put the caloric amount in perspective, one teaspoon of table sugar has 16 calories.
Go Heavy on the H20
Try to drink 64 ounces of water a day. Water flushes your system, contains zero calories and also helps you feel full, so you eat less.
Catch More Zzzzzzzz’s
Persistent sleep loss can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and stroke. Shoot for seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Try going to bed a little bit earlier at the same time each night to get your body used to a routine. And don’t forget, exercise during the day can help make you tired at night so you fall asleep easier.
Pump Some Iron
While aerobic exercise is great, it’s only half the story. Make sure to add some weight-resistant workouts to build and tone muscles. Strength training is key to protecting yourself from the development of osteoporosis and enhancing bone structure while you’re younger, which decreases mobility problems as you age.
Sunscreen is obviously important when it comes to a day at the beach, but covering even during short periods spent outside is a must to protect from sun damage and premature aging. Also, if your cosmetics don’t have at least SPF 15, be sure to use other forms of protection such as sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.
Brush AND Floss
While the flossing dance craze has lost some of its luster, flossing your pearly whites should never go out of style. Making sure to floss each night removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. There’s an increasing amount of evidence linking periodontal disease to an increased risk of heart disease. So, floss away!
Be a Little (Un)Social
Admit it, you a lot of time on your phone checking Facebook, posting on Instagram, texting, messaging, etc. Take some time in 2020 to consciously reduce phone time and devote it to some of the nine items listed above. Walk the dog, do yoga with your partner, play Clue with the kids, or go have coffee with a friend in person instead of sending a text.
LCMC is Ready to Help
Unfortunately, odds are that you or a loved one is going to come down with strep, catch the flu or experience some kind of minor emergency. Remember, here in the New Orleans area, LCMC Health Urgent Care is ready to help with six convenient, walk-in clinics to treat you and your family. Our locations: Lakeview (826 Harrison Ave. Ste. A), Gretna (2600 Belle Chase, Hwy. B-2), Clearview (1105 S Clearview Pkwy.), Algiers (3801 General DeGaulle Dr.) and Marrero (4945 Lapalco Blvd.) are open 7 days a week and no appointment is ever necessary. Our reach also extends to the Covington area with our LCMC Health Urgent Care (formerly Lake Urgent Care Northshore). All clinic hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Six Convenient Locations
When minor illnesses or injuries occur, LCMC Health Urgent Care provides a convenient, affordable alternative without appointments or long wait times. Minor conditions treated include ear and eye infections, fever, allergies, minor cuts that may need stitches, possible broken bones and simple fractures, minor skin infections, severe sore throat, sprains and strains, and vomiting and diarrhea. All locations offer modern, state-of-the-art facilities with the latest technology including digital X-ray and electronic medical records. LCMC Health Urgent Care is backed by the outstanding resources and reputation of LCMC Health. LCMC Health manages some of the top hospitals in the New Orleans area including Children’s Hospital, Touro, University Medical Center, New Orleans East Hospital and West Jefferson Hospital. For more information, visit our website. Get answers at any LCMC Health Urgent Care location. Also, be sure to “Like” and “Follow” LCMC Health Urgent Care on Facebook and Instagram.