Putting health at the forefront of New Year’s resolutions for the family is definitely what 2023 should be about. But what is a priority, and how do you make it sustainable?
PARTNER CONTENT: Alongside festive cheer, winter brings in either immense work or enormous amounts of indulgence. And one thing that easily gets put on the back burner is your health. Trips to the doctor are pushed off until the New Year, where they get lumped in with the all-time favourite New Year activity… … making resolutions!
From travelling the world to eating healthily, there is no end to the fantastical promises we make to ourselves. However, the tale is as old as time, and hardly any resolutions survive past January. If you think about it, it is not doing the initial groundwork of establishing support and putting some accountability into place that might be to blame.
For starters, make it fun. And when it comes to health, get the entire family involved. Right from asking the little ones what they would like to do, to evaluating your own needs, it keeps everyone both responsible and answerable to one another.
Build holistic wellness
According to Dr Samina Ahmad, Consultant, Family Medicine and Medical Director for HealthPlus Family Centers, overall wellness should be the focus. That of course, includes, “good physical and mental health. Sleep, exercise, and nutrition are the three pillars that support physical wellness. And of course, avoiding or learning to deal with stress.”
In an era where information comes from social media, exercising vigilance when it comes to healthcare is also extremely imperative. With so many videos telling you the best way to live a healthy life, keep an eye out for how much of it is medically reviewed. And even then, consult with your doctor first.
The doctor says there are certain things to keep in mind while at a routine check-up. “You must enquire about your BP, weight and BMI, especially if there has been a change in any of these. That aside, you should also regularly conduct Cancer Screenings, Blood Tests, Age-Related Exams, and Counseling for a Healthy Lifestyle.”
Remember your last dentist visit?
Another key aspect of overall wellness that remains overlooked is oral health. According to Dr Radia Zouzou, General Dentist at HealthPlus Family Center – Al Bandar, it’s advised to “visit the dentist at least every six months for a dental check-up and dental cleaning (scaling and polishing), with increased visits as per your needs.”
Brushing twice a day, mouthwash, and flossing is a routine as etched in our brains as it is ignored. That aside too, being mindful of what you consume on a daily basis is just as significant.
Dr Radia says: “Fruits and vegetables such as cranberries have nutrients that help us to fight bacteria, reduce inflammation and help protect teeth and gums. Foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D, can help develop healthy teeth. Meanwhile, sugary food and beverages such as chocolates and candies are harmful to the surface of teeth and cause tooth decay, as well as, acidic drinks such as carbonated drinks and lemon juices.”
A pearly white smile has forever been the coveted look for all; however, the doctor clarifies that this is not indicative of much, and could just as easily be covering up dental decay or gum issues. More importantly, you should not opt for whitening procedures without first ensuring you have a strong and healthy set of teeth!
With all the fundamentals covered, there is one family member that needs some extra attention alongside love. The littlest adorable ones, according to Dr Carla Slaba, Specialist, Pediatrics, HealthPlus Family Center – Al Bandar, are where you will have to make some of your most informed decisions.
Parents, both new and old, tend to walk a fine line between caregiving and paranoia when it comes to babies. So easing up might be a good resolution.
That said, picking the right pediatrician is a good place to start. Given that they might be overseeing the formative years of your child, there’s a lot to consider; perhaps most importantly – location. Whether you like it or not, the resolution chart for babies will definitely feature doctor visits. And the first one should be within five days of delivery.
Dr Carla adds: “After the initial check-up, your doctor may schedule a one-month appointment. Then at least every two months up until they are six months old. After that, it is quarterly visits until 18 months, and then half-yearly until the baby is 30 months old. Post this, wellness checks will be scheduled annually.”
Resolve to treat each check-up as a platform for all your questions. From the baby’s growth, feeding habits and developmental timeline, it is a complete physical examination.
“During this visit, you will get answers to many questions about your baby such as how long they should sleep, what to do about the crying, how often the poops should be, etc.,” Dr Carla elaborates.
By putting appointment-relevant incentives in place such as fines for defaulters, and possibly putting your children in charge – a health-focused resolution can also provide quality time for the family. And that definitely sounds like a good way to ring in 2023.
MYTHS TO RETIRE IN 2023
Myth: Infants need to be bathed every day
FACT: It’s fine if you do, but except keeping their face, neck, hands and nappy area clean; you don’t have to!
Myth: Flossing causes bleeding gums
FACT: If you stop, it will worsen the tartar build-up.
Myth: Starvation diets work
FACT: The opposite; it could lead to rebound weight gain instead.
Myth: Wisdom teeth need to be removed
FACT: Don’t fix what’s not broken.
Myth: Sunscreen’s for the outdoors
FACT: Apply each morning and reapply every two hours even when you stay indoors.
Myth: Putting honey on a dummy will help with teething
FACT: Nope, it could cause botulism! Avoid food-coated dummies altogether.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit hplus.ae
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