At the beginning of each New Year, we inevitably spend some time reflecting on the past and how we can better ourselves going forward.
Many of us resolve to be healthier and more active, however, within a few months, we have already lost momentum. “New Year’s goals or resolutions are a good starting point for making your health a top priority in 2019, but everyone’s main goal should be to form healthy habits,” says Dr. Randy Rossignol, an internal medicine physician at Touro.
According to Dr. Rossignol, these five habits are all beneficial to your overall health:
1. Eat more vegetables. “People who eat vegetables and fruit have a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and all sorts of disease,” he says.
2. Make exercise a daily habit. By making regular exercise a habit, instead of something that is dreaded or pushed to the end of the priority list, you will experience positive results, Dr. Rossignol says. “In addition to reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, exercise strengthens your bones and muscles, and improves your mental state. Physical activity helps to relieve stress because it produces endorphins (chemicals in the body that act as natural painkillers), which help promote an overall sense of wellbeing.”
3. Maintain a healthy weight. “Genes, hormone problems, as well as some medications, may contribute to a person’s susceptibility to weight gain,” Dr. Rossignol says. “If you are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, talk it over with your primary care physician. You will want to rule out some of the underlying conditions (such as under active thyroids, Cushing syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome) that could be contributing to the problem.”
4. Drink less alcohol. Alcohol, when consumed in excess, is associated with many health risks, including chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis and various cancers (such as that of the liver, mouth, throat, larynx and esophagus) as well as high blood pressure and psychological disorders. “There are many benefits to reducing your alcohol consumption,” Dr. Rossignol says. “Not only is it good for your overall health; drinking less will reduce your risk of developing serious health issues such as cancer, liver or heart disease. Many alcohol-related health risks don’t appear until later in life. You may not be able to see the effects of drinking less, but you can rest assured that you are making a difference in your long-term health.”
5. Stop smoking. After explaining how smoking can lead to lung disease, heart disease and cancers, Dr. Rossignol had this advice for those trying to quit smoking,.“We still do not know the long-term effects of the electronic or vapor cigarettes, so be aware that these products still include health risks,” he says. “If there is an alternative way to quit smoking, you may want to try that first.”
Dr. Rossignol believes the best bet to sticking to your goals or resolutions is to establish a relationship with your primary care physician. That way you can ensure that you are participating in preventive care and health screenings, and that you have an advocate who can help you manage your health, family history and health risk factors.
Make Time For Whole-Body Health
In addition to forming healthy habits in 2019, you should also make sure you see your primary care doctor, dentist and eye doctor for regular checkups. Preventive care can detect diseases or prevent illnesses before they start.
“At Touro, we focus on preventive care, such as making sure our patients have a yearly physical,” Dr. Rossignol says. “We want to provide our patients with the resources they need to live a healthier life. I believe in developing lifelong relationships with my patients to help them maintain these healthy lifestyle habits and prevent future illnesses.”
Dr. Randy Rossignol is an internal medicine physician at Crescent City Physicians, Inc., a subsidiary of Touro Infirmary. After earning his medical degree from Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Medicine in New Orleans, he completed his residency at LSU Health Sciences Center in Baton Rouge. Dr. Rossignol is a Metairie native and an alumnus of Brother Martin High School. Dr. Rossignol sees patients at his offices in Lakeview at (504) 325-2929 and Uptown at (504) 897-7999.
Crescent City Physicians
3434 Prytania St., Ste. 460
New Orleans, LA 70115
Crescent City Physicians (Primary Care and Specialty Clinic)
100 West Harrison Ave., Ste. 101
New Orleans, LA 70124