New Year: New You!

Happy 2013!

We made it through the holidays, we survived the Mayan countdown, the sky didn’t fall - so what do we do now?

Many of us take advantage of this time of the year to turn over a new leaf. It’s the perfect time to make changes and plan ahead for a healthy and happy new year.

You are what you eat, so choose wisely. Make your coworkers green with envy with some leafy salads for lunch. Eating right will put you on the path to success. Eating green salads will increase powerful antioxidants (vitamin C and E, folic acid , lycopene, and alpha- and beta-carotene) in your system, especially if your salad includes some raw vegetables.Bring your lunch to work and fatten your bank account while ensuring a balanced – healthier – meal.

With diet, comes exercise. Make it a resolution not to quit the gym this year. Instead stick with it. Many people start off strong, but generally fade out after 2-8 weeks. Exercise has a number of health benefits: it decreases stress while improving cardiovascular and overall health.

This is also a great time to inspect your office’s safety equipment. Check the sprinkler systems, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Schedule qualified technicians to inspect your heating units to make sure they’re in working order. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning dramatically increases during the winter. It’s also a good idea to do a similar safety inspection at home.

The New Year is also great for reconnecting with old friends. Put your physician at the top of the list. Schedule your annual health exam and get a check up. While you’re there, get your flu shot. Getting a flu shot is not only great for your health; it’s great for the health of your office. If you’re an employer, try to arrange incentives to get the flu shot for your employees. Many organizations offer discounts on health insurance for employees that get the shot.

Paying forward is sometimes better than giving back!

January is Blood Donor Awareness Month. The winter months are the most difficult for blood centers; putting supplies at a yearly low. Contact the Blood Donor Center at Staten Island University Hospital at 718-226-9428 to organize a blood drive at your organization.

It’s always great to make a fresh start. Remember, the better health resolutions you make now, the more years you’ll have to make resolutions.

Theodore Strange, MD, associate chairman of the Department Medicine and vice president of Medical Operations, SIUH South.

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