FLINT, Michigan — “New Year, New You” doesn’t have to mean starting a restrictive diet or running a marathon. Those can be extreme behavior modifications that most people can’t stay committed to. According to experts, small changes can make big improvements because those are the changes you can stick with.
Flintside recently spoke with Stacy Sawyer, Director of Communications and Marketing at Hamilton Community Health Network, who provided 7 wellness tips to help make 2023 your healthiest year yet. Here’s what she had to say:
1. Schedule your healthcare appointments for the entire year now
"Our calendars fill up and the weeks will start to fly by. Take a few minutes to schedule your wellness visits now to make sure you can get to see your doctor when it’s convenient for you. Schedule your physical or wellness exam with your doctor, an annual eye exam, and an oral exam every six months. Also, consider scheduling time to talk with a therapist or counselor about your mental health."
2. Get your blood pressure checked and labs done
"When you go in for your yearly wellness exam, talk to your doctor about blood pressure and blood work. Your blood pressure can tell us an incredible amount about your health and can even reveal issues that we might not know we have, such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Many people live with dangerously high blood pressure without even knowing it."
3. Take a close look at your habits
"What we do every day makes up who we are. If you want to make a change in your life, it comes down to the choices you make every day. What you eat, how much movement you get, who you associate with, and the efforts you make every day are what move you toward your goals. Take some time to analyze which daily habits are serving you and change what needs to be changed."
4. Improve your environment
"Our environment has a huge impact on how we feel inside. If our living space is cluttered and dirty, it has a negative impact on our mental health. Take some time to reorganize and clean your living spaces (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, even your car) so you can feel your best when you’re in your space."
5. Find an exercise that you enjoy.
"Exercise routines don’t have to involve trips to the gym, treadmills, or barbells. There are plenty of free and convenient ways to get in 30 minutes of movement every day. Go online and search for some yoga, cardio dance, or bodyweight videos. You can do these in your own living room. For a change of scenery, try taking a walk on a trail or around your neighborhood."
6. Analyze your eating
"Most of us can stand to cut back on something in our diet. Sugar, junk food, caffeine, alcohol, you name it – think of one or two things that you’re consuming too often and try to cut back. Try limiting these foods to only the weekends. If you eat healthfully Monday through Friday but allow yourself to have some of your “cheat” foods on Saturday and Sunday, you’re still eating right over 70% of the time."
7. Take your sleep seriously
"The quality of our sleep impacts our overall health. To achieve better quality sleep, have a consistent bedtime. Try not to look at your phone or a TV before bed, but do some reading instead. Avoid large meals and caffeine in the hours leading up to bedtime. Also, make sure your bed is a comfortable place – get yourself some new pillows, and soft blankets, and wash your bedding regularly."
Ready to take charge of your wellness this year? Give Hamilton Community Health Network a call at (810) 406-4246 or visit hamiltonchn.org to schedule appointments for medical, dental, vision, and behavioral health.
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