CEO, Physicians Regional Healthcare System
Well, we’re just a week or so after the dropping of the ball in Times Square—as well as the dropping of countless New Year’s Resolutions by seemingly well-intentioned Southwest Floridians.
I have to be honest, I have been guilty of losing sight of my best intentions not long after settling into the next calendar year.
Legend has it that New Year’s Resolutions date back to the Babylonians. Babylonia was an ancient Semitic state and cultural region based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). The Babylonians reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favor in the coming year.
Considering this concept has been around for centuries, perhaps we should take a closer look at the benefits of maintaining our resolve.
Check almost any list of the most popular resolutions and you will see that most have a direct relationship to our health: eat healthy, lose weight, quit smoking, get more exercise, reduce stress, cut back on alcohol, etc.
Even if your resolution is to find a better job or spend more time with family, a healthy mind and body will take you a long way in achieving these goals.
As the CEO of Physicians Regional Healthcare System, my professional New Year’s Resolution is all about communication.
To begin, this column is a wonderful communication tool. (Thank you Coastal Breeze News!)
Last year, Physicians Regional Healthcare System sponsored 153 free educational lectures and events at our Pine Ridge and Collier Boulevard campuses. Plus, we participated in numerous events held throughout the community. This trend will most certainly continue in 2016.
But how can I help you today? In the spirit of communication, education and “resolve,” I have enlisted the help of several of our physicians to provide more detailed information on those resolutions that demand another look.
GET MORE SLEEP
One major improvement would be getting enough sleep. And by sleep, I mean at least eight hours a night. The proper amount of sleep will help you improve upon any other resolutions you may have made in the process.
Most people know they need more sleep. After all, that’s the reason it’s a common resolution. However, in order to motivate you, I will list and explain some of the medical/psychological/social reasons. (And, if that’s not enough motivation, let me remind you that the KGB used sleep deprivation to enhance interrogations!)
A body of medical data exists indicating that the following risks are decreased by adequate slumber: some heart disease including heart attacks, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, strokes and diabetes.
In addition, you boost your immunity as well as your memory and power of concentration, agility and alertness. Food cravings are also reduced.
During sleep, growth hormone is secreted. This has been shown to help replenish tissue and slow aging. The brain is active during this “down time” to rearrange neurons, transfer short-term memories to long-term, and “spring clean” with dreams.
This may sound fanciful, however, all of these effects have been demonstrated in scientific studies.
Dr. Laura Nowosielski works exclusively in the Walk-In Clinic at Physicians Regional-Marco Island. For information, call 239-394-1670 or “walk in.”
CUT BACK ON ALCOHOL
There are several reasons for cutting back on alcohol. Though many people don’t realize this, alcohol consumption is the most common reason for weight gain. The average person can lose nearly six pounds by abstaining from alcohol.
In addition, alcohol can cloud judgement and cause bloating and discoloration of skin. Alcohol is toxic to heart muscle, brain tissue and the liver. It also causes GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Dr. Doris Corey has office hours at Physicians Regional—Marco Island and Physicians Regional Medical Center—Collier Blvd. For information, call 239-348-4221.
Most smokers who are thinking about quitting for a New Year’s Resolution would agree that another year of smoking a pack a day—or 7,300 more cigarettes—would be bad for their lungs and bad for their health.
But what about just one more cigarette? How much damage could just one more cigarette cause after 20, 30, or even 50 years of smoking? Probably not that much—and boy would that be nice with my New Year’s morning coffee.
Unfortunately, cigarettes are smoked just one at a time and unless you decide that you are a non-smoker, like 80+% of the adults in this country, you will continue to smoke cigarettes one at a time.
Your New Year’s Resolution must be that you are giving up, not the next carton or the next pack, but the very next cigarette in order to become a non-smoker.
Your lungs will thank you, your health will be better and your life will be better—guaranteed.
Dr. Richard Roland has office hours at Physicians Regional—Marco Island and Physicians Regional Medical Center—Pine Ridge. For information, call 239-348-4221.
Just because New Year’s Day has come and gone, it’s never too late to resolve to improve your health. Plus, if you ultimately begin your 2016 resolutions on, for example, January 20, I’m certainly not going to tell. Your body wins either way.