Wellness Tips for the New Year I

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It is the start of a new year and a great opportunity for a new beginning. It’s a  good time to set some things in order. Try these simple and often unthought of tips to get the year started off right. And for some of these ideas you really don’t need to wait for spring cleaning.

Taking of holiday pounds:
It is so easy to put on pounds during the holidays because there are so many treats, fancy meals and parties. Researchers estimate that a person on the average will gain 5 pounds over the holiday season. What to do?
For those of you who live in snow country, get out the snowshoes and take a trek. Snowshoe walking uses different sets of muscles and is a good work-out. Cross country skiing will burn the calories off. For those of us who are not in that kind of shape or don’t fancy those activities, go sledding on a hill. Take your children, hike up that hill, and slide down for a lot of fun. Walking your sled up the hill will burn calories.

For folks who are not in snow country or just feel that it is too cold to do the outdoor stuff, exercise indoors. I happen to like the indoor “Walk Away the Pounds” program by Leslie Sansone. Use an exercise ball. Ride an indoor bike.

Keep a food diary. Pain in the hind end, right, stopping to record everything you put in your mouth? Actually, it makes you more aware of just how much you are gnoshing. Try this just for a week or two. It will help you recognize patterns so you know when you start to binge.

Organize your health:
What does that mean and who wants to do it? It may seem daunting at first, but once you get through the basics, maintaining it won’t be difficult. Here’s what I mean: Keeping your health history and that of your children is actually very important. When was your last mammogram? When did Baby Jane get her last vaccination? Is it time for new glasses yet? Keeping on top of the info can really be simple. Try these tips:
-Create an electronic or paper health file for each family member that includes basic info, like name, social security number, birth date, contact info, and a copy of all medical records.
-Keep a record of all vaccinations and any illnesses family members have already had, like chicken pox, etc.
-Keep a record of dental and vision visits, lens prescriptions, surgeries, or orthodontic care.
-Record all surgeries, childbirths, hospital stays, serious injuries and illnesses, and major tests, including results.
-List all allergies.
-List current medications and past ones.
-Include in this file insurance information, advance directives, living wills, or organ donation requests.
-Prepare a contact list of every doctor, dentist, medical providers, pharmacies, and emergency contacts. This is also a great item to have posted in an obvious spot for babysitters should an emergency arise.
-Put reminders in your calendar to schedule upcoming exams, ie. annual pap smear, annual physical, etc.

Yes, it does sound like a lot of work up front, but you’ll have peace of mind once it is completed and instead of frantically searching for something in an emergency, you’ll be able to stay calm knowing where the info is located.

Stay tuned for part II of Wellness Tips for the New Year.

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