Carolinas HealthCare System
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New Year, New You – Make it Easier to Succeed

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When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, almost all of us have lined up resolutions to eat more veggies, to exercise regularly and to finally give up candy or cigarettes or soda. Unfortunately, by the end of February, most of us have given up our promises and moved on. "Making resolutions that are overly ambitious like ones that are a major departure from your current lifestyle or trying to make too many changes at once can be setting yourself up for failure," says John A. Tenini, MD, with Mecklenburg Medical Group-Steele Creek, part of Carolinas HealthCare System.

Dr. Tenini advises making realistic, sustainable resolutions in the New Year to make you healthier. "Creating a healthy lifestyle is not a one-time decision," says Dr. Tenini. "It is about making smart decisions on a day-to-day basis."

Here are five ideas to jump start your resolutions that might make 2015 your healthiest, best year yet.

  1. Make exercise more fun by signing up for lessons or a class to learn something new. There are lots of opportunities to try new things that will help get you moving and don’t involve a treadmill! Ballet, swimming, tennis, even belly dancing. Check your local community college, YMCA or community center for classes.
  2. Quit smoking. Get help and do it. The risks to your health are well documented. Take advantage of available resources. Check out
  3. Training is not just for serious athletes. Check online for an upcoming charity 5K walk or run, and sign up for it. Look at something three to six months out so that you have time to prepare physically. And then start your training! By committing to an event, you’ve created a built-in motivator as well as an opportunity to start slowly – maybe just walking around the block once at first – and build up to the 5K.
  4. Speak up at the doctor’s office. The best way to make sure your relationship with your doctor is a true partnership is to ask questions and share any worries you are having with him or her. "Sometimes patients are hesitant to talk about certain health issues with their doctors, saving such topics until the end of appointments or avoiding them altogether," Dr. Tenini says. "Doctors want to help patients. Talk to your physician about your concerns, whatever they may be."
  5. Take a close look at your salt intake and make a big change. Studies show Americans consume almost twice the daily recommended salt allowance (6 grams). "Lower sodium diets are associated with lower blood pressure and body weight as well as decreased risk of heart disease and mortality," says Dr. Tenini.

Partner With a Doctor for Good Health

The primary care doctors at Carolinas HealthCare System can help you get (and stay) on the path to wellness.

Call 844-881-2180 or complete an online request form to find a doctor near you.