The beginning of a new year is a great opportunity to take a look back, to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished, and also to recognize things you’d like to change in the future.

As OB/GYN’s, we’d like to suggest some new year’s resolutions that we’d love to see each of our patients make and keep. Wishing you all a healthy, happy, prosperous new year!

 

  1. Visit your OB/GYN for your annual exam.  We are amazed at how quickly time flies, and how easy it is to forget when was the last time you came for your checkup.  The well-woman exam consists of a Pap for cervical cancer screening, pelvic and breast exams, and review of your gynecologic history.
  2. Calculate your body mass index (BMI).  Your BMI will tell you if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.  We find that many women do not know where they fall on this spectrum and are surprised to find that their small increases in weight every year have pushed them into the “overweight” category.  It is important to be realistic about your weight so you can take action. Here’s one online to try, but please consult with your doctor to be more accurate.
  3. Keep a food diary for one week if you are overweight or obese.  Nearly every overweight patient tells us that they do not eat very much and yet cannot lose weight.  While it is true that metabolism slows dramatically when you are overweight, most people do not realize that they are consuming many more calories than they need.  Logging every single food that is eaten during one week will bring to light the number of calories as well as food choices that are being made.
  4. Update your health screening tests.  Screening tests help us detect disease while it is still easily treated.  The timing of the tests may vary based on your family history so be sure to discuss your risk factors with your doctor.
  5. Move your body.  Of course, exercise is on everyone’s list of new years resolutions.  But why not make 2012 the year you actually do it.  Find something you enjoy that is also realistic for your lifestyle.  If you are not a morning person, it is unlikely that you will show up at the 6am zumba class on a regular basis.  Commit to something you can do 3-4 times per week, even if it is simply taking the stairs or parking in the furthest spot from the store entrance.  Consider setting a goal such walking or running a 5K.
    • Mammogram every 1-2 years after age 40
    • Colonoscopy every 10 years after age 50
    • Cholesterol every 5 years after age 20
    • Blood pressure every 2 years after age 30
    • Bone density every 3 years after age 65
    • Diabetes screening every 3-5 years after age 30

  6. Revitalize your relationship.  Take a realistic look at the state of the relationship with your partner.  Are you feeling unfulfilled?  Has your sex life dwindled? The new year is a great time for you to take charge of the situation and make the changes to put the spark back in your love life.  You can give your partner a massage, make a special meal, or just tell him how proud you are of him.  A little support goes a long way.
  7. Sleep!  Your body needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night in order to repair the general wear-and-tear of the day.  Your mind also needs that time to be quiet and to rest in order to take on everyday stressors.  Make sure your sleeping environment is comfortable, dark, and quiet.  Keep the TV’s, cell phones, and computers out of the bedroom.  Try a nighttime ritual that helps you relax and fall asleep easily.
  8. Focus on nutrition.  Remember that food is your fuel.  And what you choose to put into your body gives you energy to function.  Consider cutting your portion size in half.  Make sure that you have something green at every meal.  Substitute water for soda.  Cook dinner at home instead of eating out or getting take-out.
  9. Spoil yourself at least once a month.  By this, we mean do something nice for yourself, like getting a pedicure, going for a walk alone, reading a book, or taking time to reconnect with an old friend.  Women want to take care of everyone, and often do not schedule time to take care of themselves.
  10. Tell or show your loved ones what they mean to you.  Giving a hug, tucking your children in bed at night, calling a friend during a hard time – these simple acts show your love.  Nurturing your relationships with your partner, your family, your kids and your friends will make you healthier and happier.