Monday, January 04, 2010


Ten health tips for 2010

While politicians continue to debate how to institute meaningful healthcare reform, there’s no need to wait for legislation Washington.

Everyone can play a role in reducing the cost of healthcare, and improving their health, in 2010. And you don’t need a complex congressional bill to do it.

Here are 10 things you can do in 2010 that would make a difference:

1. Fight obesity. This is the fastest growing health public health issue, affecting millions of Americans. By losing weight through diet and exercise you can reduce your chances of getting diabetes, heart disease and maybe even cancer.

2. Quit smoking. Despite the fact that cigarettes cause cancer and other illnesses, more than 43 million Americans still smoke. Stop now. And if you can’t quit cold turkey, there are pharmaceutical options and smoking cessation classes available.

3. Get enough sleep. Good sleep habits make for healthier people. It’s that simple. Tips include keeping your bedroom dark and avoiding big meals, alcohol and exercise around bedtime.

4. See your doctor regularly. Having a relationship with a primary care doctor can help you avoid costly and frustrating trips to the emergency department.

5. Take your tests. Screenings for cholesterol, high blood pressure and cancer can help you catch health problems early. This can mean the difference between life and death.

6. Check your meds. Failing to keep your medications up to date, and keeping track of what drugs you are taking for what reason, can be harmful, costly and even deadly.

7. Stay informed. When it comes to the latest health issues, consult with your doctor and trusted web site resources, such as, to keep updated on the latest health information.

8. Get the right shots. Vaccines for flu, pneumonia, meningitis and other illnesses exist for a reason.

9. Ask questions. You should always ask your healthcare provider three simple questions: What is my main problem? What do I need to do? Why is it important for me to do this?

10. Have a hobby. Many people can improve their mental and physical wellbeing by relieving stress through hobbies. They can be anything from reading to volunteering to sports.

For more information on these 10 tips, visit

Gillian Mosier is a registered nurse and manager of the Backus Trauma Program. This column should not replace advice or instruction from your physician. E-mail Ms. Mosier or any of the Healthy Living columnists at To comment on this or other Healthy Living columns, click below or go to the Healthy Living blog at

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