Many people ring in the New Year with resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle. For those who are hoping to improve their overall health this year, several of our physicians weighed in on ways you can jumpstart your health in 2020.
Yearly Check-ups are important.
Yearly check-ups are important for preventative care, and the new year is the perfect time to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician and discuss your health goals. Dr. Tara Sarabakhsh, a family medicine physician with Dignity Health Medical Group in Northridge, notes that visiting a primary care physician for a regular physical provides an opportunity for patients to have a comprehensive exam, review preventative measures with their physician, and ensure any recommended health exams are up-to-date.
Annual visits also provide a great opportunity for primary care physicians to evaluate personal risk factors and diagnose problems or conditions early on to decrease the risk of progressing to urgent or emergency situations, says Dr. Janet Li, a family medicine physician with Dignity Health Medical Group in Northridge. Routine check-ups can also help establish a long-lasting relationship with a primary care doctor, which in turn will result in more personalized health care.
Know what to ask.
To make the most of our your appointment, it's important to prepare with a list of most important concerns. "What you ask your physician should depend on your health history," says Dr. Marie President, an internal medicine physician with Dignity Health Medical Group in Sequoia. "For
example, if you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, you should be checking in on the status of your condition regularly."
Dr. Pamela Davis, medical director and family medicine physician with Dignity Health Medical Group in Northridge, also suggests asking questions about immunizations, genetic risk factors, depression and substance abuse, as they apply to you. This information can better inform how often you need to see your physician.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Diet and exercise are key factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Davis recommends exercising 150 minutes a week, having four to five serving of fruits and vegetables daily, eliminating soda and drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Dr. President notes that it’s also crucial for parents to show children the joy of being active and get them moving at an early age. Parents can also encourage healthy dietary choices at home with their children.
Fortunately for those that don’t like going to the gym, Dr. Wendy Mak, a family medicine physician with Dignity Health Medical Group in Northridge, says that exercise can come in many different forms. She recommends focusing on what you enjoy most, whether it’s hiking with a friend, walking your dog or learning to ballroom dance. Beyond diet and exercise, our health is also impacted by lack of sleep. Getting enough sleep is important, as is de-stressing regularly and taking the time to build meaningful interpersonal relationships, says Dr. Mak.
Dr. Li added that the first – and most important – step is to define why you want to live a healthier lifestyle and remind yourself of that whenever you get discouraged.
Learn More of Book and Appointment
Dr. Pamela Davis is a family care physician with Dignity Health Medical Group – Northridge Family Medicine
Dr. Tara Sarabakhsh is a family medicine physician with Dignity Health Medical Group – Northridge Family Medicine
Dr. Janet Li is a family medicine physician with Dignity Health Medical Group – Northridge Family Medicine
Dr. Marie President is an internal medicine physician with Dignity Health Mercy Medical Group - Sequoia
Dr. Wendy Mak is a family medicine physician with Dignity Health Medical Group – Northridge Family Medicine