Buckeye Community Health Plan urging adults to form checklist of Healthy Habits for New Year
An Ohio Medicaid care coordination plan, Buckeye Community Health Plan (Buckeye), is urging adults to formulate a checklist for healthy habits so they can be prepared to improve any bad habits at the beginning of the new year.
“This is the time of year when people start thinking about how they want to improve their lifestyles and start making resolutions, “says Ronald A. Charles MD MHA FACP FACHE, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Buckeye. “Resolutions to improve health habits are a smart direction to take and if people start making a checklist now of the main areas they’ll focus on in 2012, they’ll have a better chance of really accomplishing their goals.”
Dr. Charles suggests these areas to consider when making your checklist:
· Sleep – Sleep is vital to good health and emotional well-being. The National Sleep Foundation says more than two-thirds of older adults suffer from sleep problems and many adults don’t get the minimum amount of shuteye. To avoid lagging memory, sluggish learning and illogical reasoning, adults need at least 7 hours of sleep.
· Get Regular Exercise - According to the Center for Disease Control more than 60% of Americans do not get regular exercise. Benefits include controlling weight, promoting psychological well-being and reducing the risk of heart disease. Short term results include helping people think and move better, managing stress and getting an energy boost.
· Eat Breakfast Everyday – Studies have shown people who have a morning meal tend to take in more vitamins, less fat and cholesterol. The result is a leaner body, a lower cholesterol count and less chance of overeating.
· Snack Healthier - The ADA recommends five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day as part of a healthy diet. These plant foods can do many things to boost good health, including reducing risks of some cancers and enhance the immune system.
· Enhance Natural Resistance to Colds – Eat smart, get enough sleep and exercise, turn the thermostat down and keep humidity high in your home.
· Get Flu Shots - Especially if older than 65 years of age or have chronic health problems. Best to get a shot earlier in the year, but even a shot in January may protect against a late winter outbreak.
· Drink Water - The body needs water to keep properly hydrated and individuals vary widely in how much water they need. Joints need it to stay in motion, and vital organs such as the heart, brain, kidney, and liver need it to work properly.
· See your primary care physician and your dentist regularly, rather than waiting until you get sick.
· Take a Daily Walk – Ways to infuse walking into your routine during the winter months include things like pacing during phone calls, while brushing your teeth or watching your kids play soccer.
· Plan – If you plan things like daily exercise, activities, grocery lists and meals you will be working towards staying aligned with your healthy habits checklist.
Positive reinforcement and education about items on a healthy lifestyles check list can also make the difference in accomplishing the goals.
“Buckeye now orchestrates initiatives like the ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ program to teach plan participants how to eat healthier, stop smoking and incorporate exercise into their daily lives,” adds Dr. Charles. “The important thing is to understand what areas you need to improve, find out the best way to make the changes, and stay motivated so you will notice positive changes throughout the coming year.”