I can hardly believe a new year is upon us! As we celebrate the start of 2023, I hope you'll join me in making a New Year's resolution to prioritize personal health. For those of us with MS, I think one chronic condition is more than enough. Let's do everything we can this year to stay healthy! Are you seeing your healthcare provider regularly? Getting enough sleep? Eating a healthy diet? Exercising most days of the week?
The beginning of the year is a time to reflect on our lives and make changes, big and small, to improve. Here are some suggestions:
1) Get a check-up with your primary care provider. Your PCP can talk to you about any health issues, bothersome symptoms, depression or mood concerns, and help you catch up on screening tests for chronic disease and cancer.
2) Make sure you've had all recommended immunizations. In addition to COVID and flu vaccines, everyone needs an updated tetanus shot every 10 years. Depending on your age and risk factors, you might also qualify for a shingles vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine, and/or other immunizations.
3) Make a plan to exercise. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week + 2 days of muscle strengthening activity. Find an exercise buddy, make a workout mix of favorite songs, or find another way to make it fun. Pick a time that makes sense for your schedule and make a commitment to yourself to stick with the plan.
You might also consider resolutions to better manage stress, sleep 7-8 hours a night, eat more fruits and vegetables, start a meditation practice, write in a journal. Write down your resolutions as "SMART" goals: something that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. I also encourage you to share your resolution with a friend or family member who can provide encouragement and help hold you accountable.
Here's to a happy, healthy new year!