The New Year often presents a feeling of a clean slate and a fresh start
to achieve some long-overdue goals. If your aim is to achieve better health,
that’s great! We’ve pulled together some tips from our wellness
experts to help you get there.
Choose Good Nutrition
Ring in the new year by establishing healthier eating habits! “Making
healthier food choices promotes health and well-being while reducing your
risk of chronic disease,” says Renee Greene, RD, LDN, Wellness Dietitian
at Catawba Valley Health System’s (CVHS)
Health First Center. Where do you start? Renee gives us these simple tips for healthier eating:
- Set healthy, realistic goals. Start with a plan for lifelong health. Then,
choose one or two goals that you can achieve and follow long-term, like
eating more fruits and vegetables, limiting sugary drinks, cutting down
on fast food, or eating smaller portions.
- Plan meals ahead of time. Set aside time each week to plan healthy meals.
Include a variety of fruits & vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins,
low fat dairy, and healthy fats. Be sure to eat at least 3 times each
day and avoid skipping meals to prevent a slowed metabolism.
- Sip smarter and snack better. Drink water and naturally unsweetened drinks
instead of sugary drinks with empty calories. Healthy snacks include fresh
fruits and veggies or low fat dairy like yogurt. Avoid packaged and processed
snacks and choose more whole foods.
“To see true success and improve your health you have to commit to
lifestyle changes,” explains Marcus Osborne, CVHS’s Director
of Wellness Services. “This includes incorporating regular exercise
into your routine.” Not only does regular exercise help us control
our waist lines, but it also decreases incidence of cancer, heart disease
and stroke risk, improves cognitive function, reduces feelings of anxiety
and depression, as well as the risk for dementia. Exercise really is medicine!
As you look to the new year and consider what changes you plan to make
to better yourself, make room for exercise. It doesn’t have to be
extreme, but it will take commitment and it will be worth it. To help
you plan a New Year workout routine, Marcus recommends a comprehensive
exercise program (ACSM; July, 2011):
Aerobic exercise: improves heart/ lung function and increases HDL (good
- 150 min/wk of moderate intensity
Resistance exercise: improves/maintains muscle tone and improves independence.
- Two times per week, eight to 10 exercises that work the major muscle groups
of the body
Flexibility stretching: improves/maintains range of motion of joints
- Two times per week, controlled static stretching of the major muscle groups,
hold for 20-30 seconds.
Neuromotor exercise: improves balance and functional mobility
Two times per week, balance, agility, and/or coordination exercises
- Includes Yoga and Tai Chi
Be Proactive about your Health
How long has it been since you’ve seen your primary care provider?
“Many people, especially men, put health-related issues on the back
burner,” says Adam Benfield, Certified Physician Assistant at
Catawba Valley Family Medicine – South Hickory. “However, it’s important for everyone to see their primary
care provider at least once a year and if you notice a change in your
“If you’re someone who will power through a sprained wrist
or disregard changes you’ve noticed in your health rather than get
it checked out, a great resolution this year is to visit your healthcare
provider to address all those issues you’ve been ignoring,”
says Adam. “While you’re there, get caught up on preventive
- Cholesterol check
- Blood pressure check
- Diabetes screening (especially if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol)
- Colorectal cancer screening
Thinking about starting a new diet or exercise program this year? Your
primary care provider can be a valuable resource as you formulate and
carry out your New Year’s resolutions for better health. Get 2019
off to a healthy start by scheduling the most important appointment of
the year, your annual well visit with your primary care provider.
To make an appointment with Adam Benfield or any of the other providers at
Catawba Valley Family Medicine – South Hickory located at 1985 Startown Road, call 828.327.4745.
For more information about CVHS’s onsite fitness center,
Fitness Plus, contact Marcus Osborne, CVMC’s Director of Wellness Services, at
828.326.3680 or visit
Interested in learning some tips and tricks to navigating the grocery store?
Sign up for our next
Shopping Healthy. Made Simple. Grocery Store Tour held on January 22nd. Renee Greene, RD, LDN, Wellness Dietitian will help
make grocery shopping less intimidating by taking you through a personalized
tour of the grocery store.