If one of your resolutions this year involves weight loss or exercise, some of the most common resolutions every year, it’s important to make an appointment for a physical with your primary care physician first. This appointment will help establish a baseline of health and create an exercise plan that is appropriate for you. For most adults, providers recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity every week, but it’s important to work up to that amount. When it comes to exercise, every little bit counts. It can be helpful to incorporate exercise into your everyday life, say, by taking the stairs or parking at the back of the parking lot so you’ll walk more. Once exercise becomes a habit, it’ll be easier to incorporate more and more of it into your life.
Primary care providers play a critical role in preventive care by making sure you get the right screenings when you need them. If a primary care provider knows your family history, they can also watch for illnesses that you are at risk for and monitor your risk factors. Primary care providers can also act as an advocate for their patients, especially when it comes to their health goals. If someone’s New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, your physician can help you consider different factors that may be affecting your weight and offer encouragement during follow-up appointments throughout the year.
Regular dental hygiene appointments are also a key part of overall well-being that are often overlooked. Whether you have a regular dentist or you visit local dental schools when you can, your dentist can be a great partner in your health. While cleaning your teeth, your dentist will also look for anything that could be an indication of other issues, including oral cancer. For example, they may notice that your mouth has been unusually dry, a possible sign of diabetes. If they find anything, they’ll refer you to your primary care physician for screening.
Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care providers dedicated to educating and caring for individuals throughout the community in order to promote overall well-being and good quality of life.
Zoe Stallings, MD, is a family medicine physician with Primary Care at Pomona and a member of Cone Health Medical Group. Stallings received a bachelor’s degree in biosciences from the University of Chicago. She attended medical school at the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency at West Suburban Medical Center in Illinois.