Today’s entry is via CWH nurse practitioner and fitness fan Kathleen Bornhoeft, APN-C:
1. Eat healthy and lower your sugar intake:
Studies show that too much sugar can make you gain weight, can cause or worsen diabetes, is a risk factor for some cancers, can affect your memory, and can cause headaches and depression. Cutting back on added sugars especially from processed foods and sweetened drinks can help you achieve and maintain optimum health. Watch out for flavored coffees! Ask for half the pumps, it means less sugar!
2. Exercise More:
Experts agree that physical exercise can control your weight, lower your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, strengthen bones, improve balance, and is key for optimum mental health and well being. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week, or break it up any way you like to total 150 minutes per week. No one ever finishes exercise and says, “I shouldn’t have done that.”
3. Take time for yourself:
Women have many pressures today. We are mothers, daughters, partners, caregivers, and professionals. We need “me” time! Try yoga, meditation, a massage, a walk, a cup of chamomile tea, acupuncture, a night out with the girls. Make yourself a priority in 2015!!
4. Save Money:
Prepare a budget and write down all of you expenses. Set short term financial goals and long term goals. Figure out how much money you can put aside each month. Even a small amount will grow in just a year! Don’t forget to put aside “fun money!”
5. Help someone:
It makes you feel good about yourself, you can make a difference in someone’s life, it keeps us all connected and makes the world a better place as kindness is contagious. Find a good charity. Don’t forget to always pay it forward!
6. Get vaccinated:
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2014, vaccine coverage among adults is unacceptably low. There may be limited patient awareness of which vaccines are needed. For example there is a new pneumonia vaccine called Prevnar! Talk to your healthcare provider, no matter what your age is, about staying healthy. We have too much to do to get sick, so get vaccinated!
7. Have a physical exam:
Think prevention! Be responsible for your own health. See your healthcare provider at least once a year. Be honest and truthful about your lifestyle and unhealthy habits. An annual physical exam is a great time to discuss not only illness or disease but also to learn how to stay healthy!
8. Get screened:
According to the CDC, not counting some kinds of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. Getting a high-quality annual mammogram is still the best way to detect breast cancer early. Talk to your provider about when to start screening for breast cancer.
Colon cancer and death from colon cancer can be prevented by a screening colonoscopy. According to the American Cancer Society, this screening tool also has the potential to prevent colon cancer because most cancers start as a polyp which can be biopsied and/or removed during colonoscopy. Talk to your provider about when to start colon cancer screening. It’s all about prevention!!!
9. Quit smoking, why?:
For your health, to save money, to improve your sense of taste and smell, and to save everyone around you who has to be exposed to second hand smoke. For more info:
American Lung Association or Helpguide.org or Smoking: Medline Plus
10. Learn something new:
The lifelong practice of learning is what keeps us on our toes, keeps us up to date, and it is what makes us human and our lives worthwhile. Besides being an expert at what you do in your daily job, try something totally different. Although it may be scary, it can increase your self-confidence and it may deepen your character! Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?!
11. Read a good book:
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Reading keeps your brain active, which can increase your brain power to keep it strong and healthy. Read for stress reduction, improvement in your vocabulary, knowledge, and focus. But most importantly read for tranquility and relaxation. Center for Women’s Health has a list of “favs and must reads!”
12. Make family dinner a priority!
In a report from Columbia University in 2010 on the importance of family dinners, benefits for kids included; better academic performance, higher self-esteem, lower risk of substance abuse, lower teen pregnancy, lower risk of depression, and less obesity. Kids that eat dinner with their families tend to eat more veggies throughout their life. Family dinners allow time for great discussions about all kinds of things. You never know what you will find out!!
13. Tell someone you love them:
Love is contagious, it can lower stress levels, it can make you live longer, it can renew a relationship, it makes you more trusting and it is an emotional connection. Some studies show a link between an intimate relationship and a drop in blood pressure and a longer life. So, love matters!
14. Turn off the electronics:
This is the age of electronics, we can’t escape it, but we can all use computers, cell phones, and video games wisely. Don’t forget to hit the off button and tune into yourself and your family. It’s okay to become “unplugged.”
15. Be Grateful and peaceful:
Some say, being grateful is the best way to inner peace. Appreciate all of the good things in your life. Be sure to tell someone you appreciate them. Remember to start every day with the idea, “the glass is half full.”
AND FOR 2015, LADIES PLEASE REMEMBER:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a Ride!” Hunter S. Thompson