Let’s start your year off right with these health tips for everyone! By Dr. Jose Canario

Dr. Jose Canario, Medical Director


With the new year comes a clean slate. Another chance to adopt new, healthy habits and keep up the old ones. And we’re not just talking about healthy eating and staying active, preventive health is just as important to your overall health.

Now is a good time to review some healthy reminders to take into the new year.

Primary Care Providers matter

Do you have a primary care provider (PCP)? If not, now is the time to choose one. A PCP is the key to overall good health. You want to start by establishing a relationship with a clinician, such as a physician, family nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, someone who wants to get to know you personally. This will allow the provider to give you healthcare solutions that are specifically tailored to you. Your healthcare should be just as unique as you are.

Your PCP will become familiar with your medical history as well as the medical history of your family. If an incident were to occur, your provider will have the knowledge and be better equipped to treat you. PCPs can also help you manage chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure and help detect these diseases early with routine screenings.

Speaking of routine screenings…

Staying on track with routine healthcare screenings is the best way to detect major health concerns early on. Common diseases like colon and breast cancer have a greater chance of being detected during a screening, even before a critical stage. Make preventive healthcare a priority by meeting with your PCP and scheduling your healthcare screenings regularly. It’s a good habit to establish and will keep you on top of your healthcare game.

Healthy eating habits

You also want to think about your daily health habits when it comes to overall health. Are you paying attention to what you eat? How about how much exercise you’re doing? These are important factors to consider when maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

One of the best tips is a simple one. Keep track of what you eat and drink. Whether you use a journal or notepad to jot down what you consume and the approximate caloric intake, studies show that setting specific goals and having a way to track our progress, greatly increases our chances for success. There are even apps that can do this for you, making it easier to take the guess work out of calories per meal.

Try http://www.MyFitnessPal.com or http://www.SparkPeople.com to track what you eat and develop a program based on your goals. However, for a truly personalized program we recommend that you get your healthcare professional or registered dietitian involved for a program that incorporates all your health and lifestyle needs.

Don’t forget to stay active

According to the Mayo Clinic, healthy adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you find that some days are hard to schedule time for exercise, try brief bouts of activity instead; even three 10-minute sessions offer some benefits. If you want to lose weight., you may have to exercise more to reach your goals. Of course, work with your healthcare professional to create a plan that works best for you.

The Mayo Clinic also recommends that you try to reduce the amount of time you sit daily. The more hours you sit, the higher your risk of metabolic problems, even if you do achieve 30 minutes of physical activity. Moral of the story: get moving.

It’s never too late to take steps to improve your overall health, so take the new year to start off on the right foot. At Finger Lakes Community Health, we’re always here to help with your healthcare needs. We would love to be your provider! Give us a call today, 315-531-9102.