FROM DOCTOR TO PATIENT
This year you’ve resolved to get your health back on track. Great idea! Maybe you’ve tried before, maybe it’s an all-new concept for you – doesn’t matter. New year, fresh start – you can do it! Just remember you’re making a lifestyle change, and don’t let yourself get frustrated. Keeping that good attitude is a solid key to success.
Good health is holistic — involving the whole person. That means you want to find solutions and strategies that will help you mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
So look for ways to treat your body better, of course, but don’t forget your mind and your spirit. Keeping stress under control and doing things you enjoy will help make you feel good inside and out.
Think baby steps, not giant leaps and bounds. It’s tempting when you’ve made a resolution to do everything at once and seek instant results; after all, we live in an instant-gratification society. But if you try that, you’re more inclined to end up frustrated and burned out. You might even give up — and nobody wants that! Slow and steady wins this race.
And, of course, check with your doctor before starting any new health regimen.
So, a few tips:
For diet and exercise:
- Start keeping a food diary to get a feel for how much and what you’re eating in day – you might be surprised.
- Begin removing the junk food from your house – the less that’s there, the less you’ll eat.
- Start each day with a 10-minute walk — and work up to 30 minutes of physical activity a day. If it’s too nasty to go outside, start with a series of stretches to wake up and get your body moving.
- Make small substitutions – they really work. Have an apple or a yogurt instead of a bag of chips for that mid-morning snack; try having a carbonated water instead of a soda once a day.
- Enjoy a meatless meal for dinner once a week – it’s good for you, and you’ll save money, too.
For stress and self-care:
- Write it down. Some people find writing down what they’re stressed about helps keep it in perspective. Others find keeping a gratitude journal helps them remember all the things going right in their life.
- Don’t do it alone. Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times, and being part of a social network also can boost your feelings of self-worth.
- Listen to music. Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as stress hormones. Nature sounds also can be very calming. This is why they’re often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.
Trenton resident Dr. Justin Adams, D.O., is a Henry Ford Wyandotte family physician with an office in Allen Park. His wife, Dr. Nicole Taurence Adams, D.O., was born and raised in Trenton. She is a resident working in the emergency room at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital.