A change of seasons often changes our day-to-day routines, particularly as Fall turns to Winter. School is back in session. Traffic is a little more challenging. That trip to the beach is a faded memory, and the days are increasingly shorter. Our tendency can be to place health maintenance on the backburner. However, this time of year can bring new opportunities for improving our physical, emotional, and relational health. Often, small choices can make a large impact (see “Swiss Army Knife” sidebar).
Holiday celebrations can often revolve around holiday meals and libations. Try to balance each day of merriment with a day of clean eating that same week (perhaps with a modest caloric restriction). Of course, don’t let a concealing winter wardrobe hinder your exercise routine.
Less daylight and outdoor activities can affect our mood and energy level. The first step is recognizing this possibility. Consider a few weekend getaways to lift your spirits. Of course, see your physician if you find yourself stuck in a funk.
We depend on social interaction. Try to connect with friends and family at least weekly. Intimacy will also improve your overall health. For problems under the sheets, see your regular physician or a urologist.
When it comes to our health, it’s easy to get lost in the woods. Common sense is often the best compass for staying on a healthy path. Be sure to look for my article in the next issue, “Men’s Health: A ‘Brief’ History.”
THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE OF GOOD HEALTH
Movement – Strive for at least 4 hours of exercise per week. This is where a smart watch can live up to its name.
Sleep – Make sleep a priority. If your night is interrupted with trips to the bathroom, see a urologist.
Social Interaction – Shorter days can affect our mood. Try to connect with friends and family rather than slip into hibernation.
Dental Hygiene – Schedule your next dental visit and don’t forget to floss. Poor oral health increases your risk of heart disease.
Sunscreen – Even when you don’t feel the heat, sun exposure is still a risk.
Foot Care – Reward all those daily steps with a new pair of shoes. A poor foundation can lead to knee, hip, and back problems down the road.
Scott D. Miller, MD, MBA, is Wellstar’s Medical Director of Urology and of Robotic Surgery. He has practiced in Atlanta for over 20 years and sees patients at Wellstar Urology in Roswell, Wellstar North Fulton Hospital and Wellstar Avalon Health Park.
Wellstar North Fulton Hospital offers the Know Your Heart Screening that can determine your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious conditions. Call 770-956-STAR (7827) to learn more or schedule an appointment.