MDVIP Benefits Can Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions

Janet Tiberian Author
By Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES
January 15, 2017
New Year's Resolutions MDVIP Can Help You

Most of us strive to be the best we can be. Although there are many approaches to self-improvement, the process usually begins with setting goals. Some people focus on new goals whenever the inspiration strikes them; whereas, others wait until the end or beginning of a year to establish New Year’s resolutions. Five of the most common resolutions include exercising more, eating heathier/losing weight, saving money, traveling and volunteering for a cause. And since life changes can be difficult, we would like to share a few tips that may help make achieving your goals a little easier.

Exercising More Often
Just a few of the health benefits credited to regular exercise include lowering blood pressurereducing inflammationpreventing dental issuesimproving sleepprotecting joints and easing menopause symptoms. While many people would like to raise their current activity level, common barriers like lack of time, self-confidence, money and motivation can interfere. Try the following tips to help overcome these hurdles.

If you lack time:

  • Schedule your daily workout as an appointment.
  • Select an activity that can double as mode of transportation, such as walking or cycling. Use equipment that lends itself to multi-tasking like an indoor recumbent exercise bike which allows for reading and catching up on emails and phone calls while you ride.
  • Step up the physical activity of your household chores.
  • Turn on music and dance while you dust your furniture to help increase your stamina.
  • Walk extra aisles while shopping at a grocery store or mall to burn additional calories.

If you are not comfortable working out around others:

  • Consider activities that you can do at home, like walking around your neighborhood, swimming in your pool or light strength training, until you gain some confidence.
  • Find an environment in which you are comfortable taking a class or using machines. Many facilities cater to specific age groups, interests and goals. If you are one of many who find higher-end gyms and boutique fitness studios overwhelming, consider joining a local community center, YMCA or JCC.       
  • Visit your gym during its downtime to avoid crowds.

If you are concerned about cost:

  • Take advantage of in-expensive, home-based fitness activities. There are many videos, shows and equipment that are exclusively designed for home use.
  • Rely on household items to double as fitness equipment. For example, using soup cans and jugs of water as hand weights. Countertops and walls can be used as push-up benches and worn pantyhose and tights work well as resistance bands.

If you can use some motivation:

  • Set goals. Whether you want to lose weight, increase stamina or lower blood pressure, working toward a goal can keep you excited about your fitness routine.
  • Choose several types of exercise. This will provide a well-rounded program and can help prevent falling into rut.
  • Figure out which types of activities you like to perform and look for corresponding workouts. For instance, if you prefer softball or salsa dancing over lifting weights or taking group exercise classes, find age-appropriate sports leagues or dance classes in your community.
  • Learn more about sustaining your motivation to exercise by reading this article on MDVIP Connect

As expected, before beginning a fitness program or revamping your current routine, it’s important to work with your MDVIP-affiliated physician. He or she can help you set goals and benchmarks using the results of your MDVIP Wellness Program. Additionally, MDVIP-affiliated physicians and members can log onto Perfect Fit, a library of exercises and workouts that may help you lose weight, manage a chronic condition or just stay in shape. 

Eating Healthier/Losing Weight
In 2015, Neilsen, the global information and measurement company, reported that “43 percent of Americans planned to lose weight by making healthier food choices.” Because eating healthy and losing weight can be difficult, click here to learn the latest trends in healthy eating and consider the tips below to help you achieve your nutrition and weight loss goals.

  • Eat home-cooked meals whenever possible. Restaurants want to serve enjoyable, tasty food; so ample amounts of butter, sugar and salt are often used, as well as artificial flavorings, colors and preservatives, which can have on a negative impact on your health and/or waistline. Click here to learn how eating at a full-service restaurant can be as just as unhealthy as eating at a fast-food joint.
  • Get plenty of leafy greens into your diet. They’re low in calories, packed with nutrients and can help control your appetite. Continue reading to learn more »
  • Learn the different types of fat. Many people banned fat from their diet years and years ago. However, over the last decade, the media began touting the importance of adding unsaturated fat to your diet. But recently some nutrition experts are having second thoughts about completely many experts began having second thoughts about including certain types of saturated fat in your diet. Learn more about healthy fats »
  • Use MDVIP Connect, your personal website to help you make healthy eating a way of life. Logon for meal plans, recipes and shopping lists designed to meet specific needs like managing diabetes, losing weight and living a vegetarian lifestyle. MDVIP Connect is also a convenient method of communicating with your physician, reading health education articles and viewing results from your latest MDVIP Wellness Program. 

By making small, but important changes in your everyday diet, you may be able to make a big difference in your overall health. A good example of this is MDVIP-affiliated member Linda, who after dodging a potentially fatal heart attack, visited a nutritionist who helped her tweak her meals and lower her blood fats. Read her story.

Saving Money
As you would guess, saving money is a common resolution. In fact, U.S. News & World Report listed saving money as one of their retirement resolutions for 2017. Granted, making a budget, performing monthly expense accounting and working with a financial planner are effective money-saving tactics; however, managing your health and living a healthy lifestyle can also help reduce your expenses.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all American adults have one or more chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer. The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease reports these and other conditions are costing our country $1.65 trillion each year to treat and many of the costs are passed on to consumers. The American Diabetes Association estimates that on average, the overall annual healthcare costs for someone with diabetes is $13,700, with $7,900 going directly toward diabetes control. Heart disease is also expensive; in fact, Medicare estimates that a person who has a heart attack will spend $1,000 a month out of pocket for medical expenses—60 percent higher than people in good health. Here are a few tips that may help you control healthcare-related costs:

For a better understanding of how these services can benefit you, read Katie’s story, as she explains how the MDVIP Wellness Program helped her lose 30 pounds and put her on a much healthier course.

Traveling More Often
Seeing the world, experiencing new cultures and trying new foods are just some of the reasons many Americans value recreational travel. And based on research recently conducted by the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, health benefits can be added to the list. Results from this study suggested that regular travel may reduce stress, lower the risk of heart disease and promote brain health. Here are a few tips to help you have safe and healthy travels.

  • Carry and use anti-bacterial wipes and hand gel to help prevent the spread of viruses in heavily traveled areas, like airport terminals, subway stations and public restrooms.
  • Contact your MDVIP-affiliated physician if you plan on traveling abroad, so that he or she can inform you of necessary vaccinations.
  • Scan your travel documents, and email them to yourself. This will ensure that you have your documents even if your luggage gets lost.
  • Remember to use MDVIP’s Travel Advantages program. Should an urgent need arise while you are away from home, call your MDVIP-affiliated doctor and he or she can connect you with a physician in your area.
  • Carry more than one source of money, pack them in different places and limit the number of bank cards you keep on your person. This can help you maintain at least one stream of cash in case you are robbed or lose your purse, wallet or luggage.
  • Keep in mind that MDVIP has a 25% discount with MedjetAssist. This premier medical air transport membership program covers the cost to transport you to a home-country hospital of your choice in the event you are hospitalized more than 150 miles from your primary residence. Get the details.
  • If you are flying, keep your baggage check-in costs under control by purchasing a luggage jacket and a durable hand-held bag.
  • Consider booking rental cars through National Car Rental or Enterprise Rent-A-Car. MDVIP has a discount with these companies via the Emerald Club, a loyalty program that offers rewards and benefits, such as car choice, automatic receipts and counter bypass. For more information, visit our member-exclusive website.

The Corporation for National and Community Service suggests that the most significant benefit of volunteering is the satisfaction volunteers feel by making a difference in their community and country. Accordingly, studies have suggested that donating your time provides mental health benefitshelps control blood pressureincreases cognitive function and raises physical activity levels. If you have resolved to serve, the following tips may assist you in making the most of your experience and help you stick to your resolution.

  • Stay motivated by volunteering for causes that inspire you.
  • Request the agency you are volunteering for to assign you projects that allow you to learn new skills or develop your current skills.
  • Prevent burnout by being mindful of your schedule and not overcommitting. You can also try group volunteering, which can allow you to serve while spending time with friends and/or family members. And if you have the required computer skills and equipment, you may be able to serve as a virtual volunteer, accepting online and email assignments.
  • Consider volunteering for a hospital, as most leading medical centers offer many opportunities for donating your time. You can begin by perusing the list of nationally renowned healthcare institutions included in MDVIP’s Medical Centers of Excellence (MCE). This program enables MDVIP-affiliated doctors to connect with experts at these centers to help you get a second opinion, consultation or specialized treatment unavailable in your area. Learn more about the MCE program, as well as many of MDVIP’s other valuable benefits and advantages.

When it comes to managing your health and following through on your resolutions, the most important resource at your disposable is your MDVIP-affiliated physician. Work with him or her to develop and stay on track with your personalized wellness plan, so you can continue achieving your goals and identifying new ones.

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Perfect Fit is the Perfect New Member Benefit to Round Out Your Wellness Needs / Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES / October 17, 2016

About the Author
Janet Tiberian Author
Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES

Janet Tiberian is MDVIP's health educator. She has more than 25 years experience in chronic disease prevention and therapeutic exercise.

View All Posts By Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES
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