New Year’s resolutions to be healthy do not solely concern the waistline, however – adults are equally troubled by their blood pressure, cholesterol levels, the threat of diabetes and the likelihood of heart disease. Narrowing down what is making you unhealthy and working towards a reduction in that is central to achieving results. Therefore, it is important with all New Year’s resolutions to be specific about your aim and break it down into sub-goals that are concrete, measurable and time-based.
Here we offer our best practice tips for sticking to New Year’s health resolutions, exploring the actions you can perform at home, the medication you can purchase and lifestyle changes that can make a world of difference.
Start lowering your blood pressure
High blood pressure may seem like an innocuous affliction, yet having it increases the risk of heart disease, strokes and kidney failure. It is not a condition that immediately prompts a visit to your doctor either as there are no symptoms, yet it can still lead to debilitating damage. There are three obvious methods of reducing blood pressure without medication:
- Healthy weight loss
- The introduction of a balanced diet
However, if you are committed to lessening your blood pressure levels and breaking your resolution into sub-goals, start with the reduction of salt. Salt sabotages your health due to its sodium content, which is directly linked to high blood pressure. Salt should be in our diets, but it needs to be limited to 6g a day as opposed to the current average of 8.6g.
Additionally, you should avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol to keep your heart healthy. Finally, take your blood pressure medicines as prescribed without fail. The majority of patients suffering from high blood pressure will be required to take more than one drug to control their condition. This can be too costly for patients already on other medications, hence why Medix Pharmacy is popular with those affected.
Remember, do not stop taking certain blood pressure medication that you have been prescribed without consulting an expert. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to those available at your local drugstore, speak to one of our pharmacists before abstaining from your current prescription.
Don’t let diabetes hold you back
Diabetes can devastate those who are unprepared for their diagnosis. Unlike high blood pressure, there are a number of often-ignored diabetes symptoms which, if acted upon, could ease the inevitable changes ahead. The core indicators are:
- Going to the toilet frequently
- Being really thirsty
- Feeling more tired than usual
- Unintended weight loss
- Cuts and wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.
If your New Year’s resolution is to be healthy, then acting on these diabetes symptoms immediately should be a priority. They occur as a result of the glucose in your blood not being used as fuel for energy. Like high blood pressure, this can lead to damage to the kidneys and is deserving of a visit to your doctors. We offer FreeStyle Lite Test Strips that can assist in testing your glucose levels if you are serious about staying on top of your health.
Whatever your diagnoses, in the case of Type 2 diabetes, weight loss and exercise can actually reduce the necessity of medication. Again, if you are serious about prioritizing your health in 2019, treat your condition by eating well with a diabetes diet and moving more. Weight loss has actually been proven to put Type 2 diabetes into remission and give you the solution for a healthy life.
Fight heart and kidney disease
Heart disease and attacks aren’t only as a result of high blood pressure and diabetes – chances of heart failure are also increased dramatically if you have high levels of cholesterol. Firstly, it is important to understand that cholesterol is not inherently bad for us. It is a fatty substance known as a lipid and is vital for the body. Having excessively high levels of lipids, however, will damage your health.
“Bad” cholesterol can cause the arteries to narrow, increasing the chance of a stroke, and lead to heart attacks. The condition is caused by a combination of an unhealthy diet, smoking, hereditary conditions or already having diabetes. In the case of the first two causes, it can be solved by lifestyle changes.
In the case of the latter two, on the other hand, you can be a sufferer of high cholesterol through no choice of your own. In that instance, your doctor may prescribe medication that prevents developing heart disease. At Medix, for example, we stock Lipitor. This medication is used to lower “bad” cholesterol in those who struggle to maintain their levels through lifestyle changes alone.
Kidney disease can equally be accredited to diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. It can cause a strain on the blood vessels that supply your kidney, damaging its effectiveness. As with heart disease, lifestyle changes are the first method for easing any suffering. In order to stop the progression of the condition into cardiovascular disease, individuals should look to control their high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Learn tricks to prevent breathlessness
You may hear friends or colleagues discuss how they have decided to take up a class in the new year. Fitness or academic, it is usually for the purpose of self-betterment. One such class that ties in perfectly with what we are discussing here is yoga. Aside from the positions designed to increase flexibility and strength, yoga teaches the benefits of breathing control.
Breathing gently using minimal effort will help you when you are short of breath or feeling anxious. When you are out of breath, you may start to take in more air to your lungs or breathe faster – not taking the time to fully empty your lungs as you breathe out. New Year’s resolutions that are committed to healthy living should consider breathing exercises.
The reasons for breathlessness are numerous. There are obstructive and restrictive lung conditions (asthma for instance) that can exacerbate breathing difficulties, causing it to take longer to empty your lungs. Because breathing out is slower, breathing in is necessary before emptying your lungs fully, making the process uncomfortable. The British Lung Foundation has a list of positions that you can regularly take to aid comfort.
All of the conditions above can require a diverse medical solution, but the combination of medicine can create a source of financial stress for patients suffering in the new year. By changing your lifestyle and broadening your dispensary horizons, 2019 can be the year you become in control of your illness.
There are a variety of ways to contact our pharmacists at Medix. You can be sure that our team are able to assist in your health commitments over the next 12 months and beyond.