Give yourself the gift of health this holiday season

Christmas ornament on branch
Written by Staff

Between cookie baking, busy shopping trips and being with family, the holiday season can pass by in a blur. Through all the hustle and bustle, Wellstar MCG Health experts warn it can be all too easy to put off your wellness.

“During this time of year, it is important to remember that family, friends and your health are what’s most important. Make your health a priority now so you can enjoy time with friends and family this holiday season,” said Dr. William Conkright, family medicine physician at WellStar MCG Health and clinical associate professor of family and community medicine at Augusta University’s Medical College of Georgia.

“See your primary care provider now for proper health screenings and vaccinations and get a head start on your wellness goals for the upcoming year and beyond,”  added Dr. Conkright.

Start healthy habits

It’s easy to let your normal routines slip during this time of year. However, you can take small steps to stay on track every day.

  • Eat right. It’s okay to indulge in holiday treats but try to keep your main meals balanced with fruits and veggies.
  • Don’t forget about fitness. Create a routine and stick to your exercise goals, even if it’s only a 30-minute stroll.
  • Catch some Z’s. Maintain an adequate sleep regimen to help your body rest, feel refreshed and ready for the day.

Check in on your well-being

Remember, the perfect gift isn’t something wrapped with a bow—it’s putting your health first. That means partnering with a Wellstar MCG Health primary care provider (PCP) and scheduling a wellness exam.

Your provider will help you take charge of your health and create a personalized plan just for you. Because your PCP is a pro at preventative care, they’ll help keep you ahead of potential medical problems.

After your annual check-up, you’ll know your stats for:

  • Blood pressure. Taken with a simple arm cuff, a blood pressure test helps diagnose hypertension (high blood pressure), hypotension (low blood pressure), heart disease and other conditions.
  • Blood glucose level. The amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood can indicate the onset of diabetes and an increased risk for heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
  • Blood cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often called “bad” cholesterol, can indicate clogged arteries, which may lead to heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
  • Body mass index (BMI). The BMI estimates human body fat, which may indicate an increased risk for heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes.

At your exam, be sure to bring up any health goals, such as weight loss or managing a chronic condition. Your provider will work with you to create a custom treatment plan for your unique needs.

Know your family history & take action

Depending on your gender, age and family history, your provider may also recommend other preventative tests to screen for diseases before they start, such as a mammogram or colonoscopy.

Learn more about how having an established primary care provider can keep you well.