Resolutions You Really Can Keep for a Healthier, Safer, Happier 2002; What Doctors and Health Care Specialists Are Saying

Dec 21, 2001, 00:00 ET from Marshfield Clinic

    MARSHFIELD, Wis., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Tired of making New Year's
 resolutions you know you'll never keep? Here are ten surprising suggestions
 from the doctors and health care providers at the Marshfield Clinic system,
 one of the largest research, education and health care systems in the nation.
 And, not only will they insure you and yours a healthy New Year and beyond,
 they are also easy to keep.
     -- Always wear sunglasses outdoors
        "This is my number one suggestion to patients regarding their eyes,"
        said Optometrist Jill Dillon.  "Ultraviolet (UV) light can contribute
        to the formation of cataracts and retinal disease. People don't think
        they need them in winter, but wearing a pair of UV-filtering sunglasses
        year round is cheap insurance."
     -- Use antibiotics only when necessary
        "Don't ask for an antibiotic for your cold, cough or flu symptoms,"
        said Epidemiologist Edward Belongia. These infections are usually
        caused by viruses for which antibiotics are not helpful. And antibiotic
        overuse can cause serious problems that will affect you and your
     -- Encourage and reward your children
        "Most children spend more time 'being good' than not," said Child
        Psychologist Eileen Farnett. "As life gets more hectic with work and
        family obligations, we tend to focus on the negative things they do.
        Instead, catch your child being good. Look for it and respond to it. A
        kind word here, a hug there."
     -- Middle-aged men should be "prostate healthy"
        "To be prostate healthy," said Urologist Ian L. Goldman, "men should
        take 200 micrograms of Selenium per day and be sure they're getting
        zinc with their multiple vitamins. Prostate cancer is second only to
        lung cancer in the number of deaths it causes in men annually. Most men
        should start being screened annually between 40 - 45 years of age."
     -- Women trying to become pregnant should take folic acid
        "If you're purposefully trying to get pregnant," said Obstetrician
        Robert K. Gribble, M.D., "you should remember to take 0.8 milligrams of
        folic per day to lower your chance of having a baby with certain types
        of birth defects, like spina bifida. We've known about this for some
        time, but there is a still a large percentage of women that aren't
        taking folic acid."
     -- Wear your seatbelt -- and buckle up your children
        "We spend so much time in our automobiles that it's important to wear a
        seat belt," said Holly DeBlois, rural youth safety specialist for the
        National Farm Medicine Center at Marshfield Clinic. "It's also
        important to put your children in appropriate restraints in the
        backseat of the car. This is such an easy thing to do to protect
        yourself and the ones you love in the coming year."
     -- Don't drive when tired
        "Shift workers, college students and those working a couple of jobs are
        particularly at risk for late night automobile crashes," said John
        Williams Sr., M.D., of Marshfield Clinic's Occupational Health
        Department. "But there are things you can do to prevent problems.
        Experts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest
        drinking caffeine, rolling your windows down, having another driver in
        the vehicle, breaking up trips into 2 - 4 hour segments and taking naps
        in rest areas when needed."
     -- Drop some excess pounds
        "If you're overweight and have trouble dropping it," said Internist Tom
        Gabert, M.D., "don't lose heart. Even a drop of 15 to 20 pounds closer
        to your ideal body weight will improve your blood pressure and decrease
        joint strain."
     -- Enjoy moderation
        "We talk about three primary elements in nutrition," said Registered
        Dietitian Cindy Stenavich. "These are balance, variety and moderation.
        While this is especially related to nutrition, it's important to keep
        in mind for all aspects of life. If our lives become out of balance,
        then unhealthy things start to happen."
     -- Stay active
        "You don't have to be an athlete to benefit from exercise and physical
        activity," said Richard L. Canlas, M.D. "Sports medicine specialists
        often say, 'Exercise is medicine in motion.' There are so many benefits
        to activity and exercise that there's just no better way to say it."
     The Marshfield Clinic system consists of 39 patient care and research and
 education facilities in northern, central and western Wisconsin, making it one
 of the largest comprehensive medical systems in the United States.
     To learn more about Marshfield Clinic, visit on the Internet.
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here

SOURCE Marshfield Clinic