Wellness Resources

October Cardiovascular Screenings – Schedule Yours Today!

Emory Healthcare Mobile ScreeningsEmory Healthcare, along with our mobile health screening partner, HealthFair, continues to offer cardiovascular screenings around the metro Atlanta area in the month of October. This collaboration provides metro Atlanta communities greater access to important screening services and to the Emory Healthcare Network of physicians and providers. Below is listing of screening dates and locations coming to your neighborhood.
Cardiovascular screenings offered by HealthFair meet the established screening guidelines by the American College of Cardiology. Each patient, along with the medical staff, can tailor their screening packages to their specific needs. Details about the screenings can be found at emoryhealthcare.org/screening.

October 2014 Cardiovascular Screening Schedule

  •  October 1, Kroger, 4915 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur
  •  October 2, Publix, 2325 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta
  •  October 3, Target, 5950 State Bridge Road, Duluth
  •  October 4, CVS, 4595 Highway 92, Acworth
  •  October 4, Kroger, 2205 Lavista Road NE, Atlanta
  •  October 9, Walmart Supercenter, 600 Carrollton Villa Rica Highway, Villa Rica
  •  October 10, CVS, 485 Concord Road, Smyrna
  •  October 10, Parc at Piedmont East Cobb, 999 Hood Road, Marietta
  •  October 11, Super Target, 1850 Jonesboro Road, McDonough
  •  October 13, Pacifica Senior Living Roswell, 11725 Pointe Place, Roswell
  •  October 14, LA Fitness, 3023 Chapel Hill Road, Douglasville
  •  October 15, Cobb Harry’s, 70 Powers Ferry Road SE, Marietta
  •  October 16, CVS, 202 Grayson Highway, Lawrenceville
  •  October 17, Home Depot, 2635 Peachtree Parkway, Suwanee
  •  October 18, Target, 140 Woodstock Square Avenue, Woodstock
  •  October 20, Kroger, 4045 Marietta Highway, Canton
  •  October 21, CVS, 3401 Northside Parkway NW, Atlanta
  •  October 22, Kroger, 4875 Floyd Road SW, Mableton
  •  October 23, Kroger, 2205 Lavista Road NE, Atlanta
  •  October 23, Walgreens, 2035 Candler Road, Decatur
  •  October 24, Walgreens, 7935 Tara Boulevard, Jonesboro
  •  October 25, CVS, 3027 Jim Moore Road, Dacula
  •  October 27, Walgreens, 3725 Cascade Road SW, Atlanta
  •  October 28, Whole Foods Market, 650 Ponce De Leon Avenue NE, Atlanta
  •  October 28, CVS, 3285 New MacLand Road, Powder Springs
  •  October 29, Kroger, 1799 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta
  •  October 29, CVS, 80 Fairview Road, Ellenwood
  •  October 30, Parc at Piedmont East Cobb, 999 Hood Road, Marietta
  •  October 31, Kroger, 455 Grayson Highway, Lawrenceville

For more information on screening options and/or to schedule your screening appointment, visit www.emoryhealthcare.org/screening.

Vertigo: What is It and What Causes It?

VertigoLightheaded, woozy, unsteady, dizzy – these are all words used frequently by doctors and patients alike to describe vertigo, a well-known balance disorder that gives you the sense that your surroundings are spinning or moving. According to the NIH, more than four out of 10 Americans will report an episode of dizziness to their doctors. Teasing out the root cause of vertigo can be a difficult task because it can be related to problems with the inner ear, brain, vision, migraines, circulation, or even emotional hardship and anxiety. Fortunately, the majority of causes for balance disorders are not life-threatening. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons your head might be spinning.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
The most common cause of vertigo is BPPV. BPPV produces a short, but intense sensation of spinning typically triggered by specific head movements or laying back. The symptoms last seconds. The onset can be spontaneous or it can follow head trauma. Although anyone can develop BPPV, older individuals are more likely to experience it. BPPV is thought to be secondary to dislodgment of inner ear particles known as otoconia (crystals). Once these particles come loose within the inner ear, certain head movements will cause the crystals to abnormally flow within our inner ear structures, thus triggering a perception of movement or spinning. BPPV is typically self-limited. However, some patients will require evaluation by a physician to have repositioning maneuvers in order to aid in the recovery.

Vestibular Neuronitis
Another common cause of vertigo is vestibular neuronitis, or an inflammation of the balance nerve. The dizziness and vertigo induced by this condition can often last days. Patients are typically quite sick and experience nausea and vomiting. Any movement will exacerbate the sense of motion. As a result, patients often are stuck in bed until they receive medication. The inflammation of the balance nerve is often caused by a viral illness, such as a cold or upper respiratory infection. Treatment involves medications to control the dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Most people recover within a few weeks time, but you can still experience imbalance for months. When there is associated hearing loss, the condition is called labyrinthitis. The hearing loss may be permanent.

Meniere’s Disease
Fluctuating hearing loss, ear fullness or pressure, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and vertigo – all experienced together — is also known as Meniere’s disease. The cause is thought to be elevated inner ear pressures (idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops). The vertigo associated with this disease lasts anywhere from 20 minutes to hours and can leave patients with residual fatigue and a feeling of imbalance for days. Though people of all ages can have Meniere’s disease, it is more common in middle aged adults.

Although we may think of migraines as bad headaches, atypical migraines can present with the primary symptom of vertigo. Certain foods and alcohol, sleep deprivation and stress, hormonal changes and visual stimulants can all trigger attacks. The vertigo associated with migraines can last hours to days. Associated light and sound sensitivity is not uncommon. Treatment focuses on avoiding triggers.

Rare Causes of Vertigo

Acoustic Neuroma or Vestibular Schwannoma
One in 100,000 people will develop these rare benign tumors that typically grow out of the nerve fibers of the balance nerves. Patients also often have hearing loss and tinnitus. The treatment depends on the age of the patient, hearing status, size of the lesion and growth characteristics of the tumor. Surgery, radiation and observation are all treatment options. An MRI is the typical diagnostic study.

Miscellaneous Causes of Vertigo

  • Stroke can manifest as vertigo, but typically has other associated neurological deficits.
  • A labyrinthine bleed causes severe vertigo and hearing loss that is irreversible.
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Primary or metastatic brain lesions can also present with vertigo, but typically have other associated neurological deficits as well.

About Dr. Vivas

Esther Vivas, MDEsther Vivas, MD, is a board-certified otolaryngologist and graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY. She completed both her internship and residency in Otorhinolaryngology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She attended the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA for her fellowship in Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery.

Planning for An Emergency: The Whole First Aid Kit and Caboodle

first-aid-kitNothing is more frustrating than reaching for the tube of antibiotic ointment in your emergency kit, only to find it’s empty, or rummaging through the drawer in an attempt to find the roll of gauze you thought you saw last week, only to find out your kids used it to make mummy clothes for their dolls.

Creating a home first aid kit helps keep all your first-aid items together in an easily accessible place and is relatively easy and inexpensive to do. To create your emergency supply kit, you can either start from scratch, or purchase a first-aid kit from a local drug store and then tailor it to your family’s needs.

Items For a First Aid Kit:

In either case, make sure the following items are included in your family’s emergency supply kit:

10 Small Steps You Can Take for Your Health, Today!

Healthy Tips Weight Loss Tips

Improving the health and wellness and of our community is our number one priority. Recently, Joe, one of our most successful weight loss patients, reminded us during an online chat that no matter how small the steps or how large the goal, small changes can add up to have a big impact on our health. To help you take the first step(s) toward improved health, we’ve outlined our top ten steps for improving your health today!

1) Take the Stairs
If you’re looking for ways to take baby steps towards better health, taking the stairs is (literally) one of the best places to start. Making small lifestyle changes that incorporate more physical activity into your daily life can add up to have a big impact. Climbing just two flights of stairs a day can lead to 6 pounds of weight loss per year!

2) Don’t Skip Meals, Especially Breakfast
When you skip meals, especially breakfast, you lose an opportunity to kick start your metabolism and may often end up consuming more calories on the days you skip meals. As our registered dietitian, Meagan Moyer puts it, “Eating only one or two large meals at the end of the day is like throwing wood into a fire that has no flame.” Skipping meals will slow your metabolism and trick your body into storing fat in anticipation of an upcoming period of starvation. Consuming small snacks between meals–instead of simply eating three large meals per day–can increase your metabolism and curb your hunger.

Here are a few snack ideas & tips to try >>

3) Stay Hydrated
Making up more than 60% of our total body weight, water is clearly a critical component to our health and well being. Just a few of the benefits of staying hydrated include:

  • improved weight loss efforts
  • healthier, glowing skin
  • increased mental & physical energy
  • illness prevention

Check out these additional hydration benefits & tips >>

4) Breathe…Deeply!
Many of us forget that oxygen is the most important chemical in our body. 70% of our bodies ‘waste products’ are removed through breathing. Proper breathing can make the heart stronger, improve weight loss efforts, boost energy levels and stamina, and increase circulation.

Learn more about the benefits of breathing >>

5) Skip Dessert…Unless It’s Fruit…or Dark Chocolate
Reducing or eliminating simple sugars from your diet is a good way to lower your risk for excess weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. Many baked confections and desserts contain trans fats that should be avoided. If you’re sweet tooth won’t leave you alone, grab a bowl of fruit or a piece of dark chocolate. The phenols in dark chocolate may help lower blood pressure, while its flavanols help keep LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized and clogging up coronary artery walls.

Learn more about the health benefits of dark chocolate >>

6) Nap
As a culture, Americans are becoming more and more sleep deprived. There are countless negative side effects of sleep deprivation, but an easy remedy for most of them– napping! Alertness and physical performance can be improved by napping, and so too can our psychological well being. Furthermore, sleep deprivation can also cause your hormones to fluctuate, which can result in unnecessary weight gain. Remember, no matter how busy you are, sleep is not a luxury, it is a priority.

7) Wash Your Hands More Often
Washing your hands regularly, and in the right way, can drastically help limit the spread of illness and harmful bacteria. Here are a few tips to make your hand washing most effective:

  • Rub hands together with warm water and soap for at least 15 seconds
  • Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, cleaning up after your pets, or handling money.
  • Always wash your hands before eating.
  • Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands.
  • Refrain from putting your fingers in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Avoid touching people and surfaces with unclean hands.

Check out these additional hand washing tips >>

8) Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Salt consumed at the recommended serving size of 2300 mg a day is fine for seventy percent of the population who are not considered sodium sensitive. The problem is that on average Americans consume two to three times the recommended serving size…every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about ninety percent of Americans eat more than the recommended amount of salt. In fact, if you dined out for even just one meal today, it’s possible you’ve already reached or exceeded your sodium allotment for the day.

Learn more on why it’s a good idea to be mindful of your salt intake >>

9) Act Now to Strengthen Your Bones & Joints!
Joint pain can be debilitating. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to strengthen your bones and joints now and protect them in the future. For example, maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight can cause significant joint pain and damage over time. Help prevent osteoporosis by getting plenty of calcium via dairy products, leafy green vegetables, or in supplement form. Eat more fish to up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness in people suffering from arthritis. If you’re not a fish fan, you can take fish oil supplements instead. Also make sure to get plenty of vitamin C, which helps speed the recovery of damaged muscles and ease joint pain. Citrus fruits, guavas, red bell peppers, and Brussels sprouts are all great sources of vitamin C.

Learn more about joint health >>

10) Moderate Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol not only adds hundreds of calories to your diet – a regular beer can add up to more than 150 calories while a glass of wine can cost you 100 calories – but it also temporarily halts your body’s ability to burn fat. So, while the beer you had with pizza and wings might not be a major caloric offender, your body insists on breaking down the calories from the alcohol first, leaving the calories from what you ate to get stored as fat.

Learn more about how wine affects your waistline >>

Do you have additional tips that have helped you improve your health? Share them with us in the comments below!

Prevent Sunburns & Other Skin Burns this Summer!

Sunburn Skin Burn ProtectionSummer fun and sun means increased risk for sunburns and other burns to the skin which may be caused by heat sources like the backyard grill, July 4th fireworks and outdoor fire places. And did you know that chemicals, such as pool chlorine and household products, can also inflict burns to the skin?

As part of our Emory Johns Creek Hospital “Know When to Go to the ER” series, the below you’ll find an overview of some common types of summertime burns, tips on treating minor burns at home, and warning signs that mean a burn may warrant emergency treatment.

Why Is Sunburn Protection Important?

The skin is the largest organ of the human body and plays a key role in protecting our bodies from infection, regulating our internal temperature, and allowing us to feel sensations. Because of the skin’s important role in our general health and wellness, it’s understandable why it’s important to protect the skin from sunburns. Sunburns cause general discomfort that we’d all like to avoid, but sunburns can also lead to long-term skin damage, accelerated aging of the skin ( including wrinkles, freckles and age spots), and even the development of skin cancer.

Only about 25% of melanomas come from a pre-existing mole, and about 75% of them occur in areas in which there was previously normal looking skin. Once sunburn happens, there are ways to treat the symptoms of the burn, but the damage to the skin has already been done.

Sunburn Prevention

To prevent sunburns and avoid long-term damage to the skin, make sunscreen a part of your daily routine, even on cloudy days. Look for a sunscreen with a minimum SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30, and search for a product that provides coverage against A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Always read the instructions, and re-apply as directed. A good rule of thumb is to reapply at least every two hours, or more frequently if you’ve been swimming or sweating. In addition to sunscreen, try to catch a patch of shade while you’re outdoors and wear hats, shirts or cover-ups to provide additional sun protection.

If you do manage to burn, drink lots of water to rehydrate and apply aloe vera to the affected areas. You can ease the pain with cold compresses or bathe in lukewarm water. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can also help with the pain and reduce inflammation. Seek medical attention if the skin blisters after a sunburn or appears white when applying pressure to the area, or if the affected area goes numb. These may be signs of a more severe burn.

Summertime Burn Treatment

Similar to sunburns, burns sustained from grills, outdoor fireplaces, fireworks and other heat sources can range from mild and irritating to serious and life-threatening.

Burns are classified in terms of their degree: first, second and third. First-degree burns affect the top-most layer of skin (epidermis) and create redness, swelling and pain, whereas second-degree burns, which penetrate into a deeper layer of the skin (dermis), create pain, redness and swelling, as well as blisters. The skin around second degree burns turns white when pressure is applied to the area. First degree burns are typically dry burns, whereas second degree burns are typically wet. Third-degree burns sear through all layers of the skin into the fat layer and can create permanent nerve and tissue damage. These burns can appear leathery or waxy.

Seek immediate medical attention for major burns, including third-degree burns, second-degree burns larger than three inches in diameter, burns that cover a major joint or completely cover the hands, feet, face or groin. Always seek medical attention for chemical and electrical burns. Also seek medical treatment for infants, who can be affected by burns differently than small children or adults. Until you reach emergency help, or help reaches you, do the following:

  • Remove any tight clothing, but do not remove clothing from the burned area.
  • Rinse the area in cool or cold water, carefully dry and place a loose sterile cloth on the area.
  • Keep the burned area above heart level
  • Keep as still as possible until you reach care.

Now that we’ve taken a closer look at burns and the types of burns that may warrant a trip to the Emergency Room, make sure you’re also familiar with the 10 medical conditions that warrant a 911 call or trip to the emergency room, as defined by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) .

Related Resources:


What is the Difference Between a Heart Attack and Stroke?

Although the risks and effects can be similar, heart attacks and stroke are two different medical problems with different symptoms. While both are vascular events, meaning they involve the blood vessels, mainly the arteries, they affect different organs in the body. However, for both heart attack and stoke victims, every minute counts!

Heart attacks occur when a coronary artery is blocked, usually as a result of progressive coronary artery disease (CAD). With CAD, plaque builds up in the arteries preventing oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart. Every minute that the cardiac tissue goes without oxygen results in more damage to the heart muscle – hence the saying “time is muscle.” The key is to get the blocked artery opened as fast as possible, to prevent further damage to the heart muscle and improve chances for survival.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States . A stroke is a “brain attack”, and occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot, or bursts. When that happens, brain cells in the part of the brain that cannot get blood begin to die. Stroke treatment is most effective when given within the first few hours after a stroke has occurred, so it’s important to recognize the symptoms and act quickly.

Heart attack and stroke risk factors

Although heart attack and stroke are different, the risk factors are the same for both:

- Smoking
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Diabetes
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history
- Atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm)

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attack vs. Stroke

Heart Attack

  • Chest Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Discomfort in arms, back, neck, jaw or upper stomach
  • Nausea
  • Sleep problems
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy


  • Face drooping — Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
  • Arm weakness — Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty — Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • Time to call 9-1-1 — If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Do you know how to recognize stroke symptoms and when to “Act F.A.S.T.“? Are you familiar with the symptoms of a heart attack?

A Home Away From Home, The Birth Place at Emory Johns Creek Hospital

The birth of a child is a memorable and emotional time for the members of any family. When the big day finally arrives, it is important for your family to have privacy to celebrate together. The weeks and months leading up to the birth of a child are full of excitement and anticipation. When your bundle of joy arrives, the experience should be an unforgettable one. That is why The Birth Place at Emory Johns Creek Hospital focuses on providing the perfect space and amenities to help expectant mothers and their families welcome a new life into the world.

The Birth Place offers a host of benefits, including:
• All-private rooms
• Labor, delivery and recovery suites
• Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
• In-house, 24/7 neonatology services
• Sleeping/lounging areas for spouse or coach
• Certified lactation consultant
• Flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi
• Patient- and family-centered care

We Focus on You! At The Birth Place, your comfort is paramount. For every woman who chooses to give birth at EJCH, a team of experienced nurses and physicians work to promote family togetherness and happiness surrounding the birth of a child. The care provided by this team creates a birthing environment that is simply second to none. “The mission of The Birth Place is to provide mothers and families with a comfortable setting in which to welcome their newest additions,” says Lyn Harrington, RNC-OB, C-EFM, MSN, director of Women’s Services at EJCH. “Putting the ‘special’ in our patients’ special day is our top priority. Each day, our team of nurses focuses on making sure patients and their families receive individualized care so that they get the most from their experience.”
If you’re interested in taking a closer look at our birthing suites, come take a tour of the Birth Center!

Related Resources

As Allergy Season Approaches, Emory & MinuteClinic® are here to Help!

CVS Minute Clinic Emory HealthcareMore than 35 million Americans are sensitive to pollen and as spring approaches, so also do the days of yellow dusted cars, sneezes and runny noses. While we’re all looking forward to the upcoming warm weather and sunny skies, for those of us with allergies or pollen sensitivity, spring can be an especially difficult time of year.

In our previous coverage of allergy season, we outlined our top 5 tips to help you beat pollen sensitivity, which shed light on easy steps you can take to protect yourself from allergy flare ups and sneeze attacks this spring. Unfortunately, sometimes protective measures aren’t enough to control allergy symptoms.

For many of our patients who experience seasonal allergies and thus, anticipate them coming each year, planning to schedule an appointment with our Emory Sinus, Nasal & Allergy Center doctors well in advance of the season, is common. But what happens when your sinus pressure is building, the sneezes won’t stop, and it’s Saturday? Or what if you’re close to home and haven’t scheduled an appointment with your allergist? Not to worry!

Thanks to our clinical affiliate MinuteClinic®, the medical clinic inside CVS/pharmacy®, and their 37 local neighborhood locations conveniently located across the Metro Atlanta area, you’re in luck! MinuteClinic’s family nurse practitioners can help diagnose, treat, and prescribe when medically indicated for your seasonal allergy symptoms. If an over-the-counter medication will do the job, their practitioners will help you choose the right one.

As part of our affiliation and with your permission, MinuteClinic will send a visit summary to your Emory doctor. This will ensure you receive the most coordinated and best possible care to help you stay healthy.

So you can find convenient, close-to-home treatment for your sinus, nasal and allergy problems, without an appointment? You read right. MinuteClinic is open seven days a week, including evenings and weekends. Most insurance is accepted. For more information MinuteClinic , our affiliation and their metro Atlanta locations, visit: http://www.emoryhealthcare.org/community/local-partnerships/cvs-minute-clinic.html.

Nutrition Month Facts: Fruits & Vegetables

Fruit Vegetable FactsMarch is National Nutrition Month! You’re probably seeing lots more tweets about ways to boost your vitamin and mineral intake and a whirlwind of Facebook posts  about the latest fad diets and weight loss trends. What you might NOT being seeing quite as much of, is a focus on what we know to be the most overwhelmingly potent, natural source(s) of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in our world– fruits and vegetables!

To celebrate National Nutrition Month and the nutrition found naturally in fruits and vegetables, we’ve put together a list of vegetable and fruit facts, specifically related to the fruits and veggies that are in-season in March!

Fruit Fact: Citrus Fruits (in peak season in March)
We all know that citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges, tangerines and kumquats are high in Vitamin C. Many citrus fruits are in the peak of their season during March, and they’re one source of MANY impressive nutritional benefits. Citrus fruits contain limonins, a compound which is shown to have preventive effects against certain cancer types. Heavy hitters in the potassium, folate, calcium, niacin, phosphorous, and Vitamin B categories, citrus fruits pack nutritional punch that shouldn’t be overlooked this month.

Vegetable Fact: Artichokes (in peak season in March)
A study conducted by the USDA back in 2004 found that artichokes rank 7th on their list of fruits, vegetables and nuts with the highest antioxidant content, and placed as the vegetable with the highest disease fighting antioxidant levels out there. Artichokes also contain substantial levels of calcium, potassium, iron and are rich in Vitamin B. Artichoke, anyone?

Fruit Fact: Berries (peak season winds down in March)
The antioxidants in berries have been shown to have anti-aging, memory, and urinary tract health benefits. Berries are also high in fiber, which means that despite their sugar content, they can safely be counted as a serving of fruit for people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), berries are actually a diabetes superfood because of their low-carb count and their high antioxidant, vitamin and fiber content.

Vegetable Fact: Broccoli (in peak season in March)
Broccoli is high in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin A, and many other vitamins and minerals. Studies have found that the nutritional content of broccoli can help prevent colon cancer, and even lower risk for cataracts! Pound for pound, it contains more calcium than a glass of milk and more Vitamin C than oranges. When you’re shopping for fresh produce this month, make sure you have broccoli on your list.

These are just a few fruit and veggie facts that relate to closely to the produce you can find in-season this month, but we encourage you to seek opportunities to try new fresh fruits and vegetables every month! It’s a fact that fruits and veggies purchased while fresh and  in-season come with more flavor and boosts in nutrients; oftentimes, you can find fresh fruit at an even lower cost!

We’d love to hear what your favorite fruits and veggies are! Let us know in the comments section below! And let us know if you give any of the above fruits and veggies a try!

4 Ways to Keep Your Healthy New Year’s Resolution Momentum Going!

Richard Liotta, DO, & Kela Hendry, MD

Richard Liotta, DO, & Kela Henry, MD

As we approach the end of the first month of the New Year, the enthusiasm around New Year’s resolutions has started to wear off. Below are four popular healthy resolutions, followed by helpful reminders for how to stand by them. The advice is provided by Dr. Kela Henry and Richard Liotta, DO, family medicine practitioners of Emory Gwinnett Family Physicians in Suwanee, GA.

1. Lose Weight

Probably the most popular New Year’s Resolution as well as the most easily abandoned one. So why do so many people fail to succeed at shedding excess weight? “People cannot succeed at losing weight unless they accept that it will not happen overnight,” says Dr. Henry. “People become frustrated when they don’t see the pounds fly off immediately. Lasting weight loss comes with time and a change of lifestyle,” she adds. Portion control, keeping a food journal and having a support system in place are some ways to help fight the battle of the bulge.

2. Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your overall health if you want to live a long life. Even if you have been smoking for years, by quitting, your lungs will begin to heal and your heart will get stronger. “The benefits of quitting smoking begin immediately,” says Dr. Richard Liotta, DO. “Within hours of a person’s last cigarette, their blood pressure and heart rate drop, and carbon monoxide levels in the blood normalize.” Quitting can be challenging, so make sure to consult with your physician to develop an individualized smoking cessation plan that will prevent you from falling off track.

3. Reduce Stress

In this fast- paced and often crazy world we live in, stress is unavoidable. But constant stress can be damaging to your overall health. Studies have linked chronic stress to obesity, heart disease, depression, insomnia and more. “Learning how to cope with stress is crucial to an individual’s mental and physical well-being. Exercise, meditation and spending time with family and friends are common methods used to manage stress,” recommends Dr. Henry.

4. Get More Sleep

Sleep is essential for a person’s well-being and health, yet millions of Americans suffer from lack of sleep. While the amount of sleep each individual requires each night varies, most people need around eight hours. According to Dr. Liotta, “Adopting a bedtime routine helps a person slip into a restful state more easily. Shutting off all electronics, taking natural supplements, such as melatonin, and going to bed at the same time each night, are ways to achieve a most restful night of sleep.

Related Resources: