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It’s a Resolution!

Did anyone get the number of that speeding year? As we leave 2013 behind, and 2014 begs the question: what will you do differently this year?

It's the time to make changes and set goals. Make yours health.

Just like your work schedule, plan a health calendar. You don't have to become a crazy gym rat, just set basic benchmarks for your health. Schedule exercise 2-3 times a week and add leafy greens to your diet.

Speaking to that, eating green salads will increase powerful antioxidants (vitamins 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 and stick with it. Many people start off strong, but generally fade out after 2-8 weeks. Exercise decreases stress, and improves cardiovascular health.

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

Here's an office safety resolution: inspect the safety equipment. Make it a recurring event each year. Schedule qualified technicians to inspect your heating units and sprinkler systems. The risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning dramatically increases during the winter. It's also a good idea to do a similar safety inspection at home.

Paying forward is sometimes better than giving back!

January is Blood Donor Awareness Month. The winter months are the most difficult for blood centers and put 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.

Resolutions don't have to wait until January, but the sooner you act on them, 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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