Staying Healthy

This morning, I will not be attending the Board Quality meeting.  I don’t think it will surprise anyone for me to confess that I did not find the structure and discussion of these meetings to be particularly engaging in terms of making meaningful changes.  The BQC does a decent enough job in reviewing metrics and oversight, but is simply not designed to make, in my opinion, meaningful changes at the Hospital.  Of course, it’s hard to make meaningful changes when you don’t see that there is a problem. 

Nonetheless, I actually am posting to give kudos to the District since much of what can be done to live a longer, healthier life has nothing to do with your medical care.  Of course, I am referring to lifestyle choices.  If you want to lower your cholesterol, control your blood sugar, lose weight, lower your blood pressure, reduce depression, etc., etc., etc. then lifestyle modification is the way to go.  In fact these are enshrined as the official first choice in the official protocols for all of the above except depression (where it is still considered a major adjunctive therapy).

The District sent this email out to everyone who subscribes and most, if  not all, of these are great ideas.   Promoting healthy lifestyles is one of those things that I definitely want to see the District doing and continue doing even if/when the inpatient acute care services are terminated.

2012 is just around the corner, and so are New Year’s resolutions. With your well-being in mind, Alameda Hospital has come up with this list to help you kickstart some healthy habits. A new routine can take several weeks or even months to become a habit, so don’t try to add them all at once! Start with the resolution you feel most confident you can keep, and go from there.  
 
  1. Watch Your Portions. Controlling portion size is a key ingredient to losing weight. When you fill your plate, go for 1/2 fruits and veggies, 1/4 protein and 1/4 grains (opt for whole grains over refined flour.)
  2. Move! Many of us sit for a good part of the day – whether it’s at work or home. So get up and get going. You can hit the gym or hit the dance floor, but a brisk walk will do the trick as well.
  3. Floss. Brush your teeth morning and night, and don’t forget the floss. Regular flossing not only helps prevent gum disease, it is also linked to a reduced incidence of heart disease.
  4. Quit Smoking. It’s hard, we know, but the benefits are life-saving There are many resources which can help you quit smoking once and for all.
  5. Stay Social. It’s tempting to turn on the TV or surf the web rather than pick up the phone to call friends and family. But maintaining social relationships is critically important to good mental health.
  6. Lower Your Cholesterol. Get your cholesterol checked. If it’s high, talk to your doctor about how to lower it through lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and regular exercise, and medications.
  7. Build Muscles. Remember resolution #2 – move? Now add a little extra time for strength training. Stronger muscles can lead to increased energy and stronger bones.
  8. Don’t Stress Out. Everyone has stress, but it’s vital for your mental and physical health to manage it. Yoga classes, massages, and even just a good venting with a friend are just a few ways to chill out.
  9. Apply Sunscreen. Even in the winter months, sunscreen is important to reduce your risk of sun damage and possible skin cancer. So don’t go without.
  10. Don’t Skimp on Sleep. Get a full 8 hours of sleep to prevent fatigue during the day. Avoid caffeine after dinner, have a good book (not your brain-stimulating laptop) handy at your bedside.
  11. Wash those Hands. Do you want to avoid getting sick and spreading germs? Washing your hands often or keeping hand sanitizer handy is a big help.
  12. Take a Technology Break. Make a regular date to unplug and unwind. Computers and smartphones are great in moderation, but heavy use can lead to back, eye, and wrist pain, among other problems.

About egorelick

Gadfly. Former City of Alameda Healthcare District Board member.
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