Charleston, SC — With the New Year comes a new opportunity to make positive changes that can add meaning and improve our health. Following are some suggestions and observations from members of the Trident Health medical staff.
Preston Wendell, MD
Trident Health Emergency Services
"In order to make positive and lasting change in one’s life, what you chose to alter is less important than setting yourself up to be successful in this difficult endeavor. We all know that we need to eat healthier, get more sleep, stop smoking, and exercise regularly but underestimate how difficult it is to break old habits and establish new routines. Keys to success include thinking prudently about your objectives, setting specific realistic goals, scheduling necessary actions daily, garnering support from friends and family, and persevering though the setbacks that will inevitably occur. New Year’s resolutions that involve our health do not have a finish line that we are racing to cross, success comes when our new habits become so routine that we cannot understand how we ever did it any other way."
Stancie Rhodes, MD
"The number one thing I recommend to people looking for a challenge or to improve their health is to sign up for a race. It doesn't have to be a major event; a local 5K or holiday fun run works great. Committing to something will give you a deadline to focus on and a concrete goal to work toward. Signing up with a friend or group of friends can make it really fun, and you can push each other to stick to a training schedule. There'll be no backing out then!"
Marc New, MD
Coastal Carolina Gastroenterology & Hepatology
"I would recommend avoiding desert and high sugar content sodas during the week, but have fun and relax the diet on the weekends. Avoid late night snacking and increase exercise by walking one or two flights of stairs and parking your car at the far end of the lot and walking in. The simplest steps can achieve steady, substantial results. Write your goals down and read them three times daily visualizing the result i.e. the new you."
Darren Sidney, MD, Electrophysiologist
Charleston Heart Specialists
"Last year my New Year’s resolution (that I actually kept) was to never take the elevator at work. It got hard when I had a patient on the top floor! This is a great resolution along with parking further away from your location and walking to your destination. I hope the stairwell doesn't get too crowded!"
Kenneth Perry, MD
"One of the easiest things that patients can do to make sure their resolutions come true in 2018 is to get a primary care doctor and make sure that they schedule a check-up. Maintaining a regular schedule with a primary care physician helps patients learn their risks for many manageable chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes."