Resolutions, Yoga and Personalized Healthcare

Will the New Year bring you renewed health?

person standing on a rock looking into the sunrise

The end of the year brings what some people relish and others resent: New Year’s resolutions.

With the New Year comes renewed hope and motivation. Like many people’s resolutions, mine tend to revolve around health. The New Year is a chance to begin again, to remind ourselves, “I will eat healthier, exercise more.” Becoming healthier is often a process that we renew, and renew again.

Last year, I resolved to take up yoga. It’s not only a great way to exercise, but it relieves stress, too. Every Sunday, and sometimes during the week, you will find me practicing warrior, tree and pigeon.

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What do New Year’s resolutions and yoga have to do with personalized healthcare? They’re both about making healthy lifestyle choices. We all know that eating healthy and getting regular exercise is good for you, but these choices are especially beneficial in reducing your risk for disease.

Do you believe that if heart disease runs in your family, you are destined to get it? Luckily, this is not true. You really can lessen the risk with a healthy lifestyle. We all can and do make many choices that affect our health.

Another way to be proactive is to know your family health history and share this information with your doctor. This is undoubtedly one of the most important health choices you can make.

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Whatever your New Year’s resolutions are, whether getting more sleep or eating more vegetables, make sure you do two things: tell your doctor about your family health history and schedule your annual well-check. Make your doctor a partner in helping you be a healthier you.

Also, remember that even though we may struggle to make healthy changes, there’s no reason a New Year’s resolution can’t become a lifelong healthy habit.

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Kathryn Teng, MD

Kathryn Teng, MD, is Director of the Center for Personalized Healthcare and leads Cleveland Clinic’s efforts to integrate personalized healthcare into standard practice.
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