New year, new you, right? As the slate mentally wipes clean with the flip of a calendar page and minds shift to physical and emotional wellness, it can be overwhelming to make it reality.
Goals are personal, based on what you feel you can and should address to be a better, healthier, happier person and suggestions from your primary care provider.
Once you focus on an objective — or two! — Hartford HealthCare has experts who can help you be successful this year.
At a loss for what healthy upgrades to tackle in 2022? Consider some of the more popular, including:
- Lose weight. As if we didn’t struggle enough with our waistlines, the pandemic caused us to gain weight (Read the full story HERE) with gym closures and isolation. Dr. Darren Tischler, director of metabolic and bariatric surgery at Hartford HealthCare, started hosting weekly walks on Facebook Live during the pandemic to remind people to move. The program offers various options for medical and surgical weight loss at whatcanyougain.org.
- Eat healthier. Cornell University research (Read the full story HERE) revealed how even one small change a day can improve your nutrition. One tip? Plan the week’s meals in advance to stay focused (Read the full story HERE). For more help, go to https://hartfordhealthcare.org/services/cancer-care/support-survivorship/nutrition-counseling.
- Exercise more. We sit more than ever, but researchers say exercise counters the negative effects (Read the full story HERE), boosts your heart and lungs, shaves off pounds and leaves you feeling stronger. The Hartford HealthCare Rehab Network (https://hartfordhealthcarerehabnetwork.org/) team can suggest exercise options for your lifestyle and interests, and help you develop habits that stick all year.
- Find a PCP. Regular physical exams provide the baseline for a healthy lifestyle with routine lab work and diagnostic imaging tests that can reveal abnormalities. A primary care provider is your most important ally for good health (Read the full story HERE). If you don’t have one, go to https://hartfordhealthcaremedicalgroup.org/.
- Quit smoking. Every puff increases your risk for a host of medical conditions, including COVID (Read the full story HERE). Help is available (https://healthnewshub.org/trying-to-quit-smoking-heres-some-help/) if 2022 is the year you plan to kick the habit.
- Address drinking or drug use. It’s not only COVID killing people these days. More than 100,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in the pandemic’s first year (Read the full story HERE). Related isolation also left people drinking more and seeking professional help less. Rushford (rushford.org), part of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network, remained open throughout the pandemic and continues to offer in- and out-patient treatment for people with alcohol and substance use disorders.
- Get heart healthy. Only half of us have our blood pressure under control, a statistic that worsened during the pandemic (Read the full story HERE). Starting with a PCP visit, make this the year you check your ticker. If you need it, the Heart & Vascular Institute (https://hartfordhealthcare.org/services/heart-vascular) offers nationally-renowned experts in cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment.
- Sleep tight. If you look forward to bedtime and you haven’t even gotten up for the day, you’re probably not getting quality sleep or enough of it. Sometimes it’s a planning issue, but the cause might also be a sleep disorder (Read the full story HERE). If you’re chronically tired, consider a sleep study consult at a Hartford HealthCare Center for Sleep Medicine near you (https://hartfordhealthcare.org/services/sleep-disorders).
- Find happiness. It sounds simple enough but many people struggle with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, which can cause physical conditions like headaches and stomach upset (Read the full story HERE). Connect with experts at the Behavioral Health Network (https://hhcbehavioralhealth.org/) to find a path to happiness.