2023 Monthly Guide to Better Health

Discover the path to a healthier you in our 2023 Monthly Guide to Better Health! Each month, we'll unveil expert advice on different aspects of wellness, from heart health to mental well-being, nutrition to physical fitness. Missed January's goal-setting? It's not too late to make 2023 your healthiest year yet. Dive into our guide and take charge of your health, one month at a time!
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Welcome to the 2023 Monthly Guide to Better Health! In a world where we’re constantly on the go, it’s important to take a step back and prioritize our health. Whether you want to make small changes to your lifestyle or completely revamp your health routine, this guide is here to help. Each month, we’ll focus on a different aspect of health and wellness, providing tips and strategies for making positive changes in your life. From heart health to mental health, nutrition to physical fitness, this guide will give you the tools you need to make 2023 your healthiest year yet.

January: Setting Health Goals for the New Year

Although January has passed, you can still set your health goals for the new year. Here are some tips for setting goals and sticking to them this year!

  • Set realistic goals: Make sure your goals are achievable and not too ambitious, as setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation. Additionally, ensure you have a good “why” behind your goals. Think honestly about why you want to achieve these goals.2023 Monthly Guide to Better Health
  • Create a plan: Create a specific plan with actionable steps to help you reach your goals. 
  • Find an accountability partner: Having someone to hold you accountable and provide support can be a great motivator. 
  • Track your progress: This can help you see how far you’ve come and motivate you to keep going.

February: Heart Health

Maintaining a healthy heart is crucial for overall health and well-being, but it is often neglected. According to the CDC, 805,000 Americans have a heart attack every year. Additionally, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. To maintain a healthy heart, it is important to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, limit alcohol consumption, and avoid smoking. Making your annual primary care appointment is important for monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This February, we encourage you to take steps toward a healthy heart!

March: Sleep Hygiene

Getting enough quality sleep is essential to many bodily functions. However, many people struggle to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night. This can cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other health issues. To improve sleep, it’s important to establish a consistent sleep routine, which includes going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Creating a relaxing sleep environment by reducing noise and light levels, maintaining a comfortable temperature, and avoiding screen time before bed can also promote better sleep. Avoiding caffeine and heavy meals before bedtime, as well as limiting alcohol and nicotine, can also help. By making these changes and prioritizing sleep, individuals can experience better physical and mental health.

April: Stress Management

94% of workers report feeling stressed at work regularly. Stress can have a significant impact on the body, both physically and mentally. When the body is under stress, it releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can increase heart rate and blood pressure and lead to various symptoms, including headaches, muscle tension, digestive issues, and fatigue. Prolonged stress can also weaken the immune system, increase the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

To manage stress, it’s important to identify the source of stress and find ways to address it. This may include practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, engaging in physical activity such as yoga or walking, or finding creative outlets such as writing or art. By managing stress, individuals can reduce the negative effects of stress on the body and improve their overall health and well-being.

May: Nutrition

Incorporating nutrient-rich foods into your diet is essential for maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases. Despite this being so important, it is often neglected. Only 10% of American adults consume the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. Here are some ways to create a balanced diet this May:

  • Choose whole, unprocessed foods. Foods that are minimally processed tend to be more nutrient-dense than heavily processed foods.
  • Add fruits and vegetables to every meal. Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential nutrients.
  • Choose lean protein sources. Choose lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, beans, and lentils to build strong muscles and feel fuller longer.
  • Choose healthy fats. Choose healthy fats like avocados, fish, and nuts.
  • Incorporate whole grains. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, B vitamins, and other nutrients. 

June: Physical Fitness

Physical fitness has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. Studies show that regular physical activity contributes to the primary and secondary prevention of disease. Exercise is also important for mental health, reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood, and promoting better sleep. Here are some tips for staying physically fit:

  • Try to get around 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week.
  • Incorporate strength training exercises at least twice weekly to build and maintain muscle mass.
  • Make exercise a part of your daily routine, whether it’s a morning walk, lunchtime yoga, or an evening bike ride.
  • Find activities you enjoy to make exercise more enjoyable and sustainable.

By incorporating regular physical activity into your lifestyle and following these tips, you can improve your physical fitness and health.

July: Mental Health

According to the CDC, 20% of adults experience mental illness. Mental health is essential for overall well-being, affecting how we think, feel, and behave daily. Good mental health allows us to cope with life’s challenges, build strong relationships, and lead fulfilling lives. It’s crucial to prioritize your mental health by taking steps to manage stress, build resilience, develop coping skills, and seek support when needed. Taking care of your mental health can help you live a more fulfilling and satisfying life, enabling you to tackle challenges more easily and enjoy life’s everyday moments.

August: Hydration

Staying hydrated is important for numerous bodily functions and overall health. Water is essential for maintaining the balance of bodily fluids, which helps regulate body temperature, transport nutrients, and aid digestion. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and headaches and can cause serious health problems in severe cases. Adequate hydration is especially important for athletes and those who engage in physical activity, as it helps prevent heat-related illnesses and improve performance.

September: Gut Health

Maintaining a healthy gut is important for overall health, as the gut plays a crucial role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. Gut issues cause about 2.7 million hospitalizations annually. This September, focus on developing a healthy gut through a balanced diet, hydration, and regular exercise. Look for foods and drinks that disagree with your stomach and try to avoid them. By following these tips and adopting healthy lifestyle habits, you can help maintain a healthy gut and promote overall health and well-being.

October: Eye Health

October is all about eye health. Be sure to schedule your annual eye exam. This exam can help detect vision problems and eye disease early. Additionally, be sure to wear the proper PPE when working with power tools and playing sports.

Screen time is a leading culprit of eye issues. Americans spend up to 12 hours in front of a screen every day. Staring at a computer screen or phone for long periods can strain the eyes and cause dryness, irritation, and fatigue. Taking regular breaks can help alleviate these symptoms.

November: Immune System Boosters

As winter comes around again, so too does cold and flu season. Boosting your immune system is important for overall health and can help you fight off illnesses and infections. Here are some tips for improving your immune system: 

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations, including your flu shot
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth with unwashed hands

By following these tips and adopting healthy habits, you can help boost your immune system and stay healthy. However, it’s important to remember that no single action or supplement can guarantee a strong immune system, and it’s essential to prioritize overall health and wellness for optimal immune function.

December: Reflection and Goal Setting for the Next Year

As 2023 approaches, reflect on everything you accomplished and be proud of yourself! Even if you did not achieve the goals you set for yourself, you still made progress toward a healthier you. This is a great time to adjust your goals and set new ones for 2024!

It’s time to prioritize your health! Get started today by setting your goals.

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Dr. Glen Cheng

A physician-attorney with a dedication to healthcare innovation, informatics, and digital health.

  • Currently spearheads employee health protection and promotion within the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System.
  • Trained in residency at Harvard, achieving board certification as a physician; also a licensed patent attorney with experience as FDA regulatory counsel.
  • Co-founded Acceleromics, a consulting firm providing clinical and regulatory guidance to digital health startups.

Erin Davis

 Chief Clinical Officer at Work Health Solutions, certified in Adult-Gerontology (AGNP-C) and Athletic Training (ATC).

  • Oversees clinical operations and ensures high clinical standards across the company’s national field staff.
  • Former Manager of Clinic Operations and Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner at Stanford University Occupational Health Center (SUOHC).
  • Specialized in treating occupational injuries and illnesses, and provided medical surveillance and travel medicine consults at Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Lab.
  • Dedicated to sports and occupational injury treatment and prevention.
  • Assistant Clinical Faculty at UCSF, mentoring students in clinical rotations within the Adult Gerontology and Occupational and Environmental Health Program.
  • Holds leadership roles as Treasurer and President Elect of the California El Camino Real Association of Occupational Health Nurses (CECRAOHN), affiliated with the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN).

Dr. Robert Goldsmith

Founder and President of NBS Healthcare Group, with a focus on innovation in healthcare consulting.

  • Previous role as Executive Director for Employee Health at Novartis Services, Inc., leading health services and clinical support.
  • Instrumental in creating an integrated healthcare system at Novartis.
  • Former private practice in internal medicine in Stamford, Connecticut, and Medical Director consultant for GTE Corporation.
  • Transitioned to GE as a Global Medical Director in 2000.
  • Holds a medical degree from Albert Einstein College, an MPH from the University of Connecticut, and completed training at Greenwich Hospital and Yale-New Haven Medical Center.
  • Assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Vagelos School of Medicine, Columbia University.
  • Serves as a team physician for high school athletes in Stamford.
  • Published works on occupational health risks, primary prevention, and exercise-induced asthma.