Expert-approved New Years resolutions

Expert-approved New Years resolutions

It’s that time of year. The transition from one calendar year to another is considered by many a fresh start. A time to get rid of bad habits and create new, better ones. Many people do this in the form of one or more New Years resolutions.

About half our population makes a New Years resolution and health related resolutions are some of the most common. Did you know that quitting smoking, exercising more and losing weight rank as three of the most popular New Years resolutions?

Less than half of people keep their resolution past July

Only about 40 per cent of people have stuck with their resolution by the time July rolls around. The key to keeping on track is setting a clear goal, writing it down and tracking your progress. You can find some tips on creating “SMART” goals here.

We asked our experts to recommend some healthy resolutions for our community. Scroll down to see what they suggest you strive for this year!

Resolve to work with your healthcare providers by offering feedback, engaging in discussion and helping them understand new things about you." Dr. Shawn Mondoux, Emergency Physician
Dr. Shawn Mondoux, a doctor in our emergency departments at Hamilton General Hospital and Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, hopes people will help health care providers improve how they care for patients by being active participants in their care.

Resolve to adopt regular exercise into your daily routine. Regular physical activity helps to prevent heart disease. Incorporating at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week can help improve overall cardiovascular health
Dr. Craig Ainsworth, director of the Cardiac Care Unit at Hamilton General Hospital, wants people to work towards better heart health this year.

“Regular physical activity helps to prevent heart disease,” he says. “Incorporating at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week can help improve overall cardiovascular health.”

He also recommends smokers resolve to butt out, even if they’ve failed at this resolution in the past. “Although extremely challenging to quit, tobacco users can resolve to quit smoking. 24 hours after quitting, risk of acute heart related issues starts to decrease. There are community resources and quitting aids available to those who are motivated to quit smoking.”

Commit to spending at least a minute a day in mindful contemplation to keep yourself grounded and help your mental well-being." Dr. Bode Akintan, Medical Director, Child and Youth Mental Health
Dr. Olabode Akintan challenges you to take a minute for mindfulness each day in 2018. New to mindfulness? Watch this quick video to get started.

"Resolve to get your pap test done if you're due for one!" Dr. Dustin Costescu, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Dustin Costescu, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Hamilton Health Sciences wants women to pay better attention to their reproductive health this year. In addition to commiting to regular pap tests, he has two more recommendations.

“Protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections by using condoms each and every time. And talk to your healthcare provider before stopping my birth control. If you’re stopping because you want to get pregnant, take folic acid before stopping.”

Resolve to make sure that all children are properly restrained in the car and wear their helmets when appropriate.  - Dr. Anthony Crocco
Dr. Anthony Crocco, chief of our pediatric emergency department at McMaster Children’s Hospital, wants parents and caregivers to commit to their kids’ safety this year.

"resolve to ask questions when you're not sure about something." Dr. Teresa Chan, emergency physician

Dr. Teresa Chan, a doctor in our emergency departments at Hamilton General Hospital and Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, and medical education enthusiast, wants patients to commit to speaking up when they are unsure about their care, but to understand their healthcare provider may not always have all the answers.

"Resolve to bring all pills or medications you are taking to all medical appointments." Dr. Alexandra Papaioannou, Geriatric Medicine

Dr. Alexandra Papaioannou, a geriatric specialist and executive director of the Geriatric Education and Research in Aging Sciences Centre, wants to see patients resolve to bring their medications to all medical appointments so their providers can keep track of what they’re taking safely.

"Most importantly, be kinder to yourself this year! Self-compassion matters!" Dr. Tony DeBono, Clinical Psychologist

Finally, Dr. Tony DeBono, a clinical pyschologist in our Child and Youth Mental Health Program, wants you to resolve to be a little nicer to yourself this year. Are you inspired? We hope you’ll adopt one or more of these resolutions for 2018!

Happy New Year!