By Maria Ledger – CEO, My Choice Family Care

The start of a new year is traditionally a time when people want to make a fresh start, especially when it comes to health and wellness. And, because January 2018 is also Celebration of Life Month, I hope you’ll resolve to celebrate your life, body, and soul, and find small ways to become even stronger, healthier, and happier.
Simple changes can help you achieve big results in your overall well-being, and here at My Choice Family Care, that’s our focus—supporting you with information about your health, and providing education and guidance to help manage it.
We all know that chronic conditions such as arthritis or heart disease can stand in the way of living life to the fullest. That’s why My Choice is developing toolkits to help you and your caregivers. Initially, we will address high blood pressure and obesity, along with the importance of physical activity. The toolkits will include information on eating healthy food, taking medications as prescribed, and exercising to decrease your risk for stroke, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.

We’re always looking for better ways to serve you and, in today’s world, that often means using technology. That’s why, in addition to our toolkits, we will be developing a pilot program to explore how technology can help us work together with you to improve your health and well-being.
While this pilot program will take time to launch and show results, there’s no time like the present for you to take ownership of your health by taking a few simple, small steps toward better living. Just making a few changes, one at a time, can make a big difference in your life.

Here are a few quick tips:

Drink more water. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of hospitalization. If you aren’t a fan of plain water, add a bit of mint, lemon, or cucumber for flavor.

Don’t skip meals. Fueling your body regularly keeps your blood sugar steady and gives you energy to be more active.

Find time for a quick workout. Regular physical activity is good for everyone’s health. Getting active can help you:

  • Strengthen your heart
  • Build strong muscles and bones
  • Improve coordination
  • Relieve stress
  • Improve your mood
  • Feel better about yourself

Even 10 minutes of exercise a day is helpful. If you can’t do a full workout, walking for a few minutes is better than nothing. Be sure to touch base with your caregiver, care manager, and doctor before starting an exercise program to discuss your goals and desired outcomes—we’ll help you achieve them safely.

Try a pedometer. This is a fun way to challenge yourself daily and see if you can walk farther each time.

Get colorful with your diet. Bright foods are rich in vitamins and nutrients, so choose to eat more fresh vegetables and fruits like red and green peppers, broccoli, oranges, and bananas. As an added bonus, you may find you’re not craving processed foods as much.

Remember everything counts—even drinks. Just because you’re not chewing doesn’t mean you’re not taking in calories. Soft drinks, alcohol, and coffee can be loaded with calories, so cutting back on these can make a huge difference when trying to lose weight.

Don’t put yourself “on a diet.” Think of healthy eating as a positive, permanent change rather than restrictions. And if you eat too much one day, don’t give up—give yourself permission to start fresh the next day.

Give yourself a pep talk. Negative thoughts can bring you down, but positive ones can lift you up. Be grateful for all the good things you have and the milestones you’ve achieved throughout your life. You are a valuable and worthwhile person, and your thoughts should reflect that!

As always, your team at My Choice wants to support you as you take ownership of your health. You are the most important member of your care team, so let’s continue to work together to make this year, and all the ones ahead, more positive.

No matter where you are in your journey, celebrate life and who you are today. It’s one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself –and you deserve it!

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018 to all!