As the new year rolls on, sticking to a healthy lifestyle doesn't hinge only on days spent at the gym. With goals in mind and a checkup with your health care provider, 2022 could be one of the best years for your mind and body.
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Is your health a priority in the new year?
Dr. Stephen McMullan, a Mayo Clinic family medicine physician, says the best first step is to establish care.
"I always recommend if you don't have a medical provider, make sure you go either online or make some phone calls and look around, maybe ask friends and family who they see. Find someone who you can connect with and trust," says Dr. McMullan.
Regular health maintenance visits are important to get a good picture of what's happening with a patient.
"We'll recommend things like cancer screenings. We will recommend vaccines. We can update lab work to make sure we're screening for certain types of diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol. Really trying to prevent issues down the road," says Dr. McMullan.
When it comes to healthy habits, Dr. McMullan explains that several areas should be addressed. Start with seven to nine hours of sleep per night; a nutritious diet with fruits, vegetables and lean proteins; daily physical activity; and less stress.
"Stress can have a profound unhealthy effect on the body. So we try to advise people that if you're in a stressful situation or there are stressors, let's talk about ways to cope with those," says Dr. McMullan.
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