As we prepare to leave the old year behind and greet the new year, I would like to propose the following health-related resolutions:
- If you smoke, quit.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in
- Develop a routine exercise program.
- nmprove your diet — increase fruits and vegetables and decrease fats and carbohydrates.
- Buckle up every time you enter your car.
- Don’t talk on your cell phone while driving — it’s not only very dangerous, it’s illegal.
- Get regular dental check-ups and eye exams.
- If you are overweight, try to lose weight. If you can’t, at least remain physically fit.
- Use sunscreen when outside during the sunny months.
- Routinely examine your skin for any unusual changes.
- Keep your immunizations up to date — that means all the usual ones that babies and children receive, as well as a diphtheria-tetanus booster every 10 years for adults and a yearly influenza vaccine.
- Have your blood pressure checked at every health care visit.
- For women, get a pap beginning at age 20 and continue per your doctor’s recommendation.
- Get a cholesterol level test, starting at age 20.
- For women, get a clinical breast exam and mammogram, beginning at age 40.
- Blood sugar test starting at age 45.
- Get a colon screening (colonoscopy), beginning at age 50.
- For men, get a prostate exam, starting at age 50.
- See your doctor sooner rather than later if you have a family history of any significant medical problems such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
Having practiced medicine for more than 35 years, I can assure you that the above resolutions will likely add years of healthy living to your life.
It’s been a pleasure writing this health column every other week for the past year, and I look forward to continuing it for as long as I feel I have something to contribute to promote good health. If you can think of a topic that could have a fairly broad appeal to the community please drop me a line. I do enjoy hearing from you.