Following are tips from health professionals with Northside Hospital-Cherokee to help make those resolutions a reality.
Leigh Bonacci, RN, BSN, CDE, diabetes education specialist, Northside Hospital-Cherokee
* Keep positive. Concentrate more on what you’re eating than what you’re depriving yourself of. Focus on eating more servings of healthy foods. Strive for at least two servings of fruits a day and three servings of vegetables a day. Start eating more whole grain and high fiber foods in place of more refined products.
* Know what a “healthy plate” looks like. Lean cuts of protein should be about ¼ of your plate. Starches such as bread, pasta, rice potatoes should be limited to about ¼ of your plate. Vegetables should constitute about ½ your plate.
* Keep a food journal. Write down everything you eat you eat in truthful amounts. This practice lets you see how much you are actually eating and makes you aware of habits you have that are sabotaging your efforts, such as nibbling or over-portioning.
* Remain Hydrated – The Mayo clinic recommends about nine cups of total beverages a day for women and 13 cups of total beverages a day for men. All fluids count toward the daily total but water is the best bet because it is calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available. Every body system relies on water. Water helps flushes out toxins, carries nutrients to the cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. Proper hydration also helps maintain optimal energy levels.
* The American Heart Association recommends the following exercise guidelines – Aerobic Exercise: five times a week for 30 minutes or 150 minutes a week. Strength training: three times a week working the large muscle groups, also is beneficial in that it helps raise metabolism.
* Most people do best beginning with small exercise goals. Choose goals that are realistic and something you know you can accomplish. Accomplishing the small goals raise the self-esteem and sets the stage for more ambitious goals.
* Do something fun. Fun activities help you stay motivated. Play a fun and active game with the kids. Splash around in a pool. Add music or books on tape to your exercise activity for added enjoyment.
Dr. Gregory Petro, cardiologist, Northside Cherokee Cardiology in Woodstock.
* Buy a pedometer. There are several companies that make them. You can wear them around your wrist or attach to your belt.
* Recent studies suggest walking 10,000 steps a day reduces heart problems by as much as 70 percent. 10,000 steps equals approximately five miles. The average sedentary American walks between 1,000 and 3,000 steps daily. I recommend start with your baseline and increase 500 steps every week until you reach 10,000 daily, For instance, if you start with 3,000, the next week would be 3,500 until you reach 10,000 day.
* There are many ways to increase your steps. Here are a few: Park farther away from the store; walk the dog; walk with spouse, child, friend; Take stairs instead of elevator.
Dr. Jamie Rollins, pediatrician, Northside Cherokee Pediatrics in Holly Springs
* The best way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
* Make small changes in your diet like drinking water instead of soda, or having only one sweet treat a day. You are more likely to stick with one easy change than a completely new diet.
Jamie Marcinkowski RN, BSN, Northside Hospital-Cherokee Cardiology Department
* Exercise 30 minutes, three to five days a week. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, make little changes. Start walking, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and park further away from entrance.
Quit smoking or don’t start. There are many resources to help with this. Medication success rate is about 50 percent. Northside Hospital Smoking Cessation line – (770) 544-3497 Georgia Tobacco Quit Line - 1-877-270-7867.
* Sleep at least seven hours a night.
* Limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day. One drink = 12 ounces beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
* Adhere to a heart healthy diet which includes low-cholesterol/low-fat diet. 2000 calorie diet: 16 g saturated fat for men.1600 calorie diet: 12 g saturated fat for women.
Northside Pediatrics now in Holly Springs
Dr. Jamie Rollins of Northside Cherokee Pediatrics is available to help patients at the Holly Springs location which opened in October.
The medical practice provides high quality, compassionate and comprehensive medical care for patients from birth to 18 years of age.
“As a mother of two, I feel that I understand the concerns that many of the parents of my patients have,” Rollins said. “And as a physician, I want to offer the quality one-on-one care they demand to keep their children happy and healthy.”
Board-certified in pediatrics, Dr. Rollins provides complete care to children in every stage of development – from infancy to adolescence, with special interests and training in prenatal and neonatal care, breastfeeding, developmental issues and behavioral disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder.
She, along with her staff, offers patients short wait times, same-day appointments and personalized care at a location convenient for parents’ busy lifestyles.
The practice is committed to providing timely feedback and reports to patients. Exams are completed in the office and tests results are usually available the next day.
Northside Cherokee Pediatrics is located at 684 Sixes Road, Suite 220, in Holly Springs. For more information call (678) 388-5485.