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We asked our experts: Tips for the New Year

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It’s that time of year again when many people resolve to exercise more, lose weight, watch less television, or quit smoking. We asked several of our experts: If your patients could make one New Year’s resolution to improve their health, what would you suggest and why?

Sharon Bassi, MD
Physiatrist

I would suggest a regular exercise routine that includes stretching and strengthening of the spine and core muscles. There is a lot of literature that suggests physical exercise that incorporates these routines can help to prevent spine injuries as well as treat those with back pain.  Smoking cessation will also reduce the rate of spinal degeneration, and should be considered a top priority for improving spine health.

Susan Judge Burns, NP
Internal Medicine

Committing to exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week is a great resolution. Exercise improves overall cardiovascular health and also helps mental and physical health.

Kenneth Leavitt, MD
Podiatrist

The most important overall and simple recommendation for foot health is to wear a shoe or sneaker with a difference in height between the front and the back of the shoe of between one and one and a half inches. That means a shoe with a two-inch platform at the sole should have a three-inch heel.

Meredith Louko, RDN
Registered Dietitian

Treat yourself like a luxury vehicle. If you were a Ferrari or Lamborghini and took premium fuel, you wouldn’t dare put diesel gas in your tank. Give yourself the fuel each day that helps you perform as your utmost self and doesn’t leave you sluggish like most convenient, high sugar, high calorie foods.

Vivek Shah, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement Specialist of the Hip and Knee

Improving muscle tone and function is essential to joint health. Quad strengthening for knees is especially important as it helps the joint function better. Additionally, I would suggest weight loss. Extra weight is a major factor in stress on the joints.

Thomas Wuerz, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon, Hip Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine

Focus on strengthening and stretching not only your hip muscles but also your core (including lower back and abdomen). The hip joint is the connection between the lower extremities and the spine. The lower spine, lower abdomen, and lower extremities can affect each other significantly and therefore need to be looked at as a dynamic unit. Keeping your core, lower back, and hip strong and keeping the spine and hip flexible will go a long way in keeping your hips happy.

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