If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our health is precious, and we all want to be around as long as possible for our loved ones. With 2020 in the rear view and a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, there’s no better time to take steps for a healthier you.
It may mean backing away from habits you’ve used to cope with the stress of the pandemic, like smoking, eating junk food or having a drink at the end of the day. Giving up cigarettes and starting exercising are common resolutions during any given year. More recently, the “Dry January” campaign sprung up as a way to take a break from alcohol for a month.
If you’re interested in launching into a new healthy habit, your health care provider is an ideal partner for keeping you on track. Its’ particularly important to check in with your provider before starting a new exercise routine if you are older, overweight or out of shape. If you’ve put off health issues or preventative screenings in 2020, start getting those appointments on the calendar for 2021.
Common screenings for men and women include:
- Blood pressure
- Colon cancer
Additional screenings for women may include a pelvic exam, Pap smear and a mammogram for breast cancer. Men may also need a screening for prostate cancer. Talk to your provider about whether it’s time for you to have these screenings based on your age and risk factors. Don’t forget those immunizations typically given at wellness visits, such as flu and tetanus shots. Depending on your age and risk factors, you may want a pneumonia and/or a shingles vaccine. Your provider can advise you on these options and more.
Dr. Robert Kemp
Williston Medical Center