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Local doctor offers wellness tips for the New Year

Local doctor offers wellness tips for the New Year
Posted at 7:13 AM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 09:40:11-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Dr. John Dygert, a full-scope family physician at Pinnacle Advanced Primary Care in Colorado Springs says “building health confidence” should be everyone’s number one goal for 2022.

He believes this is the key to optimizing your mind, understanding your body, and becoming your best self. According to Dr. Dygert, people who are health confident have better health outcomes and decrease their overall healthcare expenses by understanding their treatment plans and costs associated with them.

This morning, Dr. Dygert offered viewers tips to build their confidence in managing their mental and physical well-being. He covered topics related to behavioral health, nutrition, exercise, and even strategies to break unhealthy habits.

He was able to break up his wellness tips into six different steps.

1.) Practicing Gratitude / Human Connection

  • Practicing gratitude is a key way to combat both anxiety and depression. It facilitates the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. 
  • It can lead to physical benefits as well, including lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and even pain control.  
  • People have a unique, undeniable, and indispensable connection to one another. That’s why the human connection is a key factor in our happiness.  
  • Fostering these relationships boosts your mood, makes you feel more fulfilled, peaceful, and joyful.   

2.) Nutrition & Exercise

  • Not exercising / sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking! (Cleveland Clinic, 2018)  
  • Nutrition: Fuel your body with what it needs! It will function way better. Golden rule: Don’t overeat. Silver rule #1: Go big on vegetables and fruits. They are nutrient-dense and calorie-poor, contain dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Silver rule #2: Try to consume foods that are as close to their natural state as possible (less processed). 

3.) Mindfulness

  • People tend to live too much in the past, or too much in the future. Mindfulness is about bringing your attention to the present moment.   
  • Once you get in the habit of recognizing what your thoughts are doing in the present moment, you can process them without allowing them to hijack your emotions. You can take a step back, look at what you’re thinking, and pinpoint where those thoughts are distorted and causing you problems.  
  • Meditation reduces stress, improves sleep 

4.) Breaking Bad Habits

  • Unhealthy habits are usually ways that we use to cope with stressors in our lives. Once we recognize this, it becomes important to find new coping strategies that are not self-defeating.   
  • Numerous modalities can help you quit smoking. There is the quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW / 1-800-784-8669). There are also medications (quit aids) that improve your odds of successfully quitting. 

5.) Visit Your Primary Care Doctor

  • Even if you’re healthy, it’s a good idea to establish with a primary care doctor. You want someone who knows and understands your life situation to help you navigate the complex world of health care.  

6.) Improve your Sleep

  • Poor sleep is associated with increased depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and even psychosis.  
  • There’s what is called a “bidirectional” relationship between mental illness and sleep, in that poor sleep can both be caused by and be the cause of mental illness.  
  • Improving your sleep improves your mental health. 

Dr. Dygert offers free videos with more wellness tips. For more information, visit here.