CEO, Physicians Regional Healthcare System
I have often wondered why so many people make New Year’s resolutions every year, yet few seem to follow though. And yes, I have been guilty of this as well.
But who says the “New Year” has to start on January 1? When it comes to your health, the day YOU resolve to make positive changes could be defined as your personal New Year’s Day.
As I look at my calendar, I see that the issue of Coastal Breeze News that will carry this specific column will hit newsstands on Friday, February 5. Considering that all of the most popular New Years’ resolutions are directly or indirectly related to one’s health, why not resolve to start your year anew on February 6 or February 7? After all, is January 1 really all that important?
Even if your resolution is to find a better job or spend more time with family, a healthy mind and body will take you a long way in achieving these goals.
My most recent Coastal Breeze News column specifically addressed several popular resolutions: get more sleep, cut back on alcohol and quit smoking. That said, the topic of healthy self-improvement requires our ongoing time, energy and focus.
As the CEO of Physicians Regional Healthcare System, my professional New Year’s resolution is all about communication. In the spirit of communication, education and “resolve,” I have enlisted the help of several of our physicians to provide feedback on even more popular resolutions.
Dr. Alexandra Grace, Gastroenterology
Losing weight is an important New Year’s resolution to keep. Increased weight increases your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
As a gastroenterologist, I know that the incidence of reflux/heartburn increases with weight gain. There is also an increased risk of colon cancer in overweight patients.
You don’t have to significantly cut calories and start an extreme exercise regimen. Start slow with watching your portions.
Enjoy our gorgeous Florida weather and get out for a walk every day.
Make yourself a list of small goals and stick with them. As you accomplish these goals, you’ll be rewarded with feeling better about yourself and knowing you’re taking steps to extend your quality and length of life.
Dr. Alexandra Grace has office hours at Physicians Regional – Collier Boulevard, Physicians Regional – Pine Ridge, and Physicians Regional – Marco Island.
Dr. Robert Atkins, Family Medicine
Stress is something that is universal among patients. Stress from health, family and financial issues are just a few of the many stressors voiced by patients.
Reduction of stress may be the single most important component to a healthier life. We have known for years that stress causes aging, just look at the President of the United States and how each president ages over the course of their administrations.
Stress can lead to elevated blood pressures, insomnia and other illnesses. Therefore, reduction of stress is a topic that is discussed frequently during patient visits.
My advice to all patients is that the best reliever of stress is exercise. Exercise, within your tolerance and with your physician’s approval, will decrease stress levels, and release endorphins in the brain that give you a sense of wellbeing.
Exercise can be as simple as walking. A goal of walking five times a week for 30 minutes at a time has been shown to be beneficial. Of course, achieving this goal may begin with an exercise regime that involves a five-minute walk with the goal of increasing over time.
Stress, like other issues in life, must be managed to achieve your optimal health. Even if the patient tells me that they do not have time to exercise, I discuss starting slow with a short exercise routine. Once they begin, they realize the benefits and many begin adding exercise to their daily routine.
Dr. Robert Atkins has office hours at Physicians Regional—Marco Island and Physicians Regional – Collier Boulevard.
Dr. Nicole Costello, Family Medicine
The New Year’s resolution to “eat healthy” tops the list every year. This is a great resolution to have for many reasons.
Healthy eating reduces your chances of developing chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Healthy eating often leads to weight loss, which in turn treats chronic diseases. Healthy eating is a wonderful habit to get into this season and every season!
Dr. Nicole Costello has office hours at Physicians Regional – Pebblebrooke.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with any of these physicians, please call 239-348-4221.