Doctors from AdventHealth Medical Group provide insight and advice for making 2019 your healthiest year yet.
The New Year is a time for change. Like most of us, you may feel there’s some room for improvement in your life – in your physical fitness, your relationships, or your work-life balance. If there’s a piece of your puzzle missing, what simple changes might help bring the picture into focus? What can you do to make 2019 the year you really feel whole?
“We’ve been thinking a lot about this in our practice lately, because our organization has just undergone a name change. Florida Hospital Medical Group is now AdventHealth Medical Group,” says Nejda Lugo Mandes, MD, Oviedo. “Change can be challenging, but moments of transition, whether it’s a new name or a new year, are the perfect times to get plans in place to help yourself and your family feel whole. ‘Advent’ is a word that signifies the promise of a fresh start. We’re asking what our patients need to feel whole, to feel in perfect balance in body, mind and spirit.”
Doctors at AdventHealth Medical Group suggest starting with these seven steps.
1. See your primary care provider.
Make an appointment and, when you go in, don’t just sit there in the room. Instigate an open and honest conversation about your real health goals and what you and your care team can do to achieve them.
“Tell your doctor: ‘I’m ready to change, to maximize my health, and I need your help,’” says Dr. Lugo. “Talk about your emotional and mental health and any concerns you have there. How is your attention span? Are you overly tired? It’s all connected to your overall wellness.” Your doctor will likely start with a physical to get baseline numbers for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and other important measurements. That way, you can track your health progress and make lifestyle or medication modifications if necessary.
2. Get a move on.
In other words, move and make it a quick enough pace that you can’t hold a conversation or update your social media status. Do it every day for 30 minutes.
“You won’t believe how much better you’ll feel meeting this easy goal. Getting started is as simple as walking in one direction for 15 minutes and walking back,” says Arianna Becker, DO, Winter Park. “Do whatever it takes to make time – it’s not an exaggeration that regular exercise greatly improves your body, mind and spirit.”
Without the right kind, and right amount, of sleep, you cannot function, recover, get healthy, stay healthy, control weight, nor keep your sanity. You need 7-8 hours per night, and if you’re not getting it, your doctor needs to know.
“If you do feel like you’re sleeping, but are still tired, that’s a problem,” says Lauren Bedney, MD, Apopka. “People think significant fatigue is a natural part of aging, but it isn’t. If you’re waking up tired, you may have a treatable sleep disorder. It’s easy to find out.”
4. Eat, drink, but be healthy.
Dietary recommendations vary widely by individual health, disease, allergies, and preferences. There is no single best plan and perhaps that is what makes it hard for many. Get your doctor’s recommendations based on the findings of your physical. If you need to lose weight, prepare healthy meals in advance so that you’re not tempted to eat out or grab quick, processed food. Drink water – a lot of it – and let that be the clear majority of what you drink.
“Hardly anyone drinks enough water,” says Dr. Lugo. “The benefits of hydration are real. Challenge yourself to drink 64 ounces a day for a week and see how you feel.”
5. Schedule a well-child visit.
However you want to refer to it, an annual check-up, or a well-child visit, is important. “We use well-child visits to track a child’s growth and development,” says Anita Moorjani, MD, Winter Garden.
These visits are a time to review and discuss each of the important areas of development, not just physical health. “Talk about your child’s emotional and mental health and any concerns you have there,” says Dr. Moorjani. “How is her attention span? Does she seem overly tired? All of these things are connected to a child’s overall wellness.”
Your pediatrician should also use this time to discuss preventive measures for infectious diseases, obesity and sports injuries. Make a list of topics you want to discuss. As your child gets older, have your child contribute questions he or she would like to ask.
6. Put the family in motion.
In other words, get everyone out of the house and moving, and make it a quick enough pace that no one can update their social media status while walking. Do it every day for 30 minutes.
“You won’t believe how much better you’ll feel meeting this easy goal. Getting started is as simple as walking in one direction for 15 minutes and walking back,” says Robert Chong, MD, College Park. “Do whatever it takes to make time – it’s not an exaggeration that regular exercise greatly improves the body, mind and spirit of every family member.”
7. Kids need rest too.
Without the right kind, and right amount, of sleep, kids cannot function academically, stay healthy or control their weight. Children and teens need 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night, babies need even more, and if they’re not getting it, your doctor needs to know.
“If you do feel like your child is getting enough sleep, but still seems tired, that’s a problem,” says Dr. Moorjani. “We all have very busy lives, kids included, but if we don’t prioritize their sleep, it’s harmful to their overall health.”
“These goals are realistic and trackable,” says Dr. Chong. “If you start now and address each one through the year, it will go a long way toward helping you feel whole.”
AdventHealth primary care physicians share what feeling whole means to them.
Spending quality time with my friends and family brings me so much joy; and caring for my patients at work gives me a sense of purpose. Choosing to focus on the positive aspects of every situation, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is what makes me feel whole.
– Dr. Arianna Becker, Winter Park
I feel whole when taking care of my patients and meeting their needs – focusing on the whole patient, body, mind and soul. It makes me feel complete when my elderly patients
feel I care, especially when they feel
no one else cares for them.
– Dr. Nejda Lugo Mandes, Oviedo
I feel whole when I give my best effort at work, and with my family and friends.
I am fortunate to work in a very collegial environment, which is a blessing. Finding balance has always been a priority to me. My life is filled with laughter and joy,
and I am thankful.
– Dr. Anita Moorjani, Winter Garden
When I give back to my patients and my community in some way, I feel whole. Spending time with family and friends, being active in my church, traveling and seeing new places, experiencing new people and reading a good book help me to maintain balance and feel whole.
– Dr. Lauren Bedney, Apopka
Feeling whole to me is the never-ending journey to make my place in this world as a good father, husband, friend, and physician. Because I am not perfect, it is fleeting. But the times when I feel whole, I treasure those moments and allow it to sustain me when things are difficult.
– Dr. Robert Chong, College Park
To find the perfect primary care physician or pediatrician for your family, call 407-490-4985 or visit AdventHealthMedicalGroup.com for a customized search by zip code. All of our physicians are part of the AdventHealth Care Network.
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