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Top Health Resolutions: January 1, 2012

Here’s to your health! Many of our top New Year’s resolutions relate to wellness. Topping the list is losing weight.

“Every January is always crazy it’s like everybody has the New Year’s resolution to lose weight,” says Heather Parker, a group fitness trainer with Lee Memorial Health System.

Experts say the majority of us flame out in the first month. If you plan to succeed, plan on being in it for the long haul.

“You don’t have to jumpstart and try to make five to ten changes at the beginning of the year. That’s impossible, you’ll probably fall off the wagon in a month and you’ll feel like a failure. Where as if you just changed one thing it’s a lot easier to make it a healthy habit,” says Heather.

Next up on the healthy habit list is to quit smoking. Lee Memorial Health System is promoting a countywide campaign to encourage smokers to kick the habit.

“The risk factors that go with smoking are astronomical whether it’s cancer or heart disease or cardiovascular disease,” says Sally Jackson, Director of Community Relations for Lee Memorial Health System.

Lowering your stress is next up, that includes keeping your blood pressure under control. Stroke and cardiovascular disease is the number on killer in this country.

“Between 500,000 and 800,000 people that dies in this country annually from cardiovascular disease, so it’s significant,” says Dr. Sal Lacagnina, Vice President of Health and Wellness for Lee Memorial Health System.

Despite the debate about the health benefits of a small amount of alcohol, too much is a big problem. That’s why cutting back on alcohol made the list. Chronic, heavy drinking boosts risk of liver disease and a list of other ailments. And don’t forget sleep. Resolving to get more sleep rounds out our healthy habits.

“None of us get the recommended amount of sleep, which is at least eight hours. I think we’ve compensated for that by you know drinking six cups of coffee per day. But it’s very important, and if it’s ignored then there’s very real and significant health consequences,” says Dr. Javaad Khan, a sleep specialist with Lee Memorial Health System.
These changes don’t mean you can’t eat, drink and be merry. Just do it in moderation.