What Should Your Resolutions Be For 2013?

Our female health experts share their ideas for New Year resolutions

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Do these women look familiar? It’s because each one is a Health Hub expert contributor. We reached out and asked them to share their resolutions for a healthier and happier new year. Remember, you can reach these goals with a little help from your friends: your family, doctors and healthcare professionals.

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    1. Schedule important health screenings

    “It’s a great time to check in with all aspects of your health, and a good time to set some health-related goals. Come for your annual gyn exam, even though PAPs are no longer done every year. If you’re over 40, get an annual mammogram. Breast cancer is on the rise, and the earlier it is caught, the better the outcome.And get yourself some reliable contraception. Many forms of birth control have other benefits, too, like decreasing risks of anemia from heavy periods and protecting against certain cancers.”

    Elisa Ross, MD

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    2. Share your family health history

    “I recommend sharing family health histories. Diseases that run in the family can alert you to the need for increased screening, early detection and prevention. This can all lead to more graceful aging.”

    Charis Eng, MD, PhD

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    3. Start small to stay on track

    “Start by making very small goals to be able to attain them, and then continue to set more goals. This keeps you on track and happy with your success. Otherwise you will end up setting one huge goal that is very hard to achieve and you give up on the resolution altogether. For example: resolve to drink more water. Or to find some way to exercise daily, like scheduling in a walk during lunch.”

    Laura Jeffers, MEd, RD, LD

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    4. Be carb-smart

    “Increase the amount of intact carbohydrates — vegetables, beans, fruit, whole grains — and decrease the amount of stripped (refined) carbohydrates — white flour, sugar, corn starch and syrup, white rice.”

    Roxanne B. Sukol, MD

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    5. Set one goal at a time

    “Set a few important goals for your health and begin one at a time. Say your goal is to lower your blood pressure. Resolve to monitor your daily salt intake, keep your exercise activity constant and take your medications. Once you’ve made these changes a part of your regular routine, move on to the next one. Make sure your goals are measurable and attainable. Goals which are too lofty can lead to setbacks, and often the towel is thrown in due to too much effort, rather than not enough.  At the end of the year, you’ll be able to look back and see how much you have accomplished, one goal at a time!”

    Karen Cooper, DO

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    6. Establish healthy relationships

    “Establish a relationship with a primary care physician (pediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine) who can help you meet your health goals and prevent/delay disease.Talk to your family about their health and collect a family history to share with your primary care doctor.”

    Kathryn Teng, MD

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  • Michael Roizen, MD

    7. Keep up with women’s health trends

    “Stay abreast of women’s issues through social media. Sign up for women’s health-related e-newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. They offer free health tips, healthy recipes and breaking women’s health information.”

    Holly L. Thacker, MD

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    8. Nourish your spirit

    “This is the time of year when we all sit back and reflect upon the year passed and the potential of great things to come in the year ahead. In Eastern Medicine, there is a concept known as ‘Shen’ that can be loosely translated as ones ‘spirit.’ One way we can nourish Shen is to make a concerted effort to carve out time in our busy lives to reconnect with those we love, or even the activities and hobbies we once loved but somehow lost because life became too busy for us. Cooking with our kids; taking a hike in the park with our dogs; playing a game of cards with our parents; holding the hand of your loved one — these are just a few simple ideas. As we move forward into 2013, creating opportunities to connect with people and activities will aid to nourish our Shen and bring just a little more joy into our lives.”

    Jamie Starkey, LAc

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