Starting Off the New Year Right

Beginning a new year often brings resolutions and goals to start it off right. A focus on general health is a great way to start off right in the new year.

  1. Know your numbers, and what the healthiest numbers would be. There are several numbers that are important for your health and wellbeing. Maintaining a healthy weight/body composition, blood pressure, and cholesterol are major factors. There may be other numbers important to your health which are specific to you.
  2. Establish a relationship with a family medicine provider, in addition to any specialists you may need to see. A family medicine provider integrates your care and looks at the whole person – not just one particular body system. The family medicine provider also considers how various conditions affect one another, and treats a person with their entire health history in mind. See your family medicine provider for regular check ups as he or she recommends. Haven’t had one for a while? This is a great time to start!
    JCH&L Fairbury Clinic accepts new and established patients.
  3. Make healthy eating choices. If you don’t know what the healthiest eating choices are for you, make an appointment with a dietitian, or do research with trusted sources.
    “Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated or complex. Healthy eating doesn’t mean avoiding entire food groups or starving yourself. It means choosing foods which have more nutrients to benefit your body most of the time, and choosing less-nutritious treats occasionally,” said Lisa Edeal, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist.
  4. Drink plenty of water. Drinking fluids serves many purposes in our bodies, including controlling body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure; lubricating joints; maintaining a healthy metabolism; and removing waste.
  5. Be active. Regular exercise can help control weight, can help keep blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels, and is good for balance, flexibility, and mental health. Weight-bearing exercise is good for bone health. Most sources recommend at least 30 minutes of modest exercise (this includes walking) 3-5 days each week. The greatest health benefits come from exercising most days of the week. You are never too old to start exercising. If you want to be more active, but aren’t sure where to start, visit JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center.
    “The best exercise is one you will enjoy enough to do regularly,” said Jen Johnson, manager of JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center. “We have a variety of exercise options including classes and equipment, that can help those at all levels of fitness. Our staff is here to help you learn to use equipment or enroll in classes. Personal training is also available if you need a little extra push.”
  6. Don’t use tobacco. If you do use tobacco, know that as soon as you stop your body begins to repair damage caused by tobacco. If you are ready to quit, great resources can be found at the American Lung Association’s website: In addition, talk to your family medicine provider about help that is available through medications.
  7. Take care of your mental health. That includes getting enough sleep, keeping your mind active, spend time with family and friends, be active in hobbies or other interests, volunteer and help others, and seek help and advice early if you feel depressed, have suicidal thoughts or consider harming yourself or others.
  8. Avoid high risk behaviors – such excessive use of alcohol, reckless driving, driving while sleep deprived, smoking in bed, and riding motorcycles or bicycles without a helmet, among others.

If you need assistance with information about services available at Jefferson Community Health and Life, check out our website at

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