Prioritize You in 2022: Advice from Carbon Health’s Healthcare Providers

Carbon Health Editorial Team
January 5, 2022
6 mins

Whether or not you’re the type of person who makes New Year’s resolutions, now is a great time to prioritize your health — and start making strides in your wellness journey. (Wondering how to make resolutions that really stick? Read our recent post “Setting an All Year’s Resolution.”) 

Carbon Health’s primary care providers are here to help you on that journey. We recently asked several of them to share their advice for a healthier new year, as well as to tell us about the steps they’re taking to improve their health and well-being in 2022.

Have questions about your health? Wondering how to make a positive change in your life or your daily habits? Make an appointment today with a Carbon Health primary care provider — and read on for some great advice. 

+ What are your recommendations for people who want to live healthier in the new year?

“You only get one body. You have to treat that body well — respect your body, mind, and soul…. I’m a huge proponent of exercise — whatever makes someone excited to get their body moving. Also, think about food as medicine: go back to basics … enjoy natural unprocessed foods that are good for our bodies.” — Marisa Jayakar, MD (she/her) 

(Getting back into exercise after a bit of a break? Read “Tips on Restarting a Fitness Routine — or Starting a New One!”) 

“I’m a big believer in exercise. Other than not smoking, it’s the single most important thing people can do for their mental and physical health. The recommended amount of exercise is 150 minutes per week of activity that brings a higher heart rate — to the point of being a little uncomfortable to talk. The best exercise is the one you enjoy: gardening, running with your dog, push-ups. It doesn’t have to be at a gym — it could be walking around the block.” — Laura Sharp, NP-C (she/her)

“Adopting small incremental changes — not trying to do a fad diet. A lot of people set unachievable new resolutions and fall off. When starting exercise, it’s better to start with one day a week than several days a week, and then gradually build up. In general, if you’re trying to cut something out of your life — drinking, smoking, vaping — develop a plan with the help of a partner in your health journey. Also, mental health aspects, like anxiety and depression, can get in the way of your resolutions, so digging into looking at your life as a whole is the first step.” — Kyle Losoya, PA (he/him)

(Need some resolution motivation? Read “Setting an All-Year’s Resolution: How to Form Habits that Stick.”)

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+ What are some common misconceptions about good health that you would like to see left behind in 2021? 

“The number one thing that I think is people taking over-the-counter vitamins — because they are advertised as natural and have an herbal leaf on the package. They very likely aren’t necessary: vitamin deficiencies are really uncommon in the developed world. You’re paying a lot for some expensive urine. As long as you eat a nutritious diet, supplements aren’t really necessary, can put stress on your liver unnecessarily, and could interact poorly with medications you are taking. Taking vitamins and supplements without a known deficiency is not recommended — always talk to your healthcare provider before adding supplements to your diet.” — Serene Tareen, MD (she/her)

“As a primary care doctor, I put a lot of importance on the annual physical exam. That’s because there are many conditions that brew underneath the surface, and people have no idea. So a misconception I want to leave behind is the idea that you can go for a long time without going to the doctor because you ‘feel fine.’ So many young people who consider themselves healthy don’t have a partner in health like a primary care provider, and find out they have prediabetes (as an example), when they could have been preventing this earlier.” — Marisa Jayakar, MD (she/her) 

“I hope that the misinformation about COVID-19 will be left behind. COVID-19 vaccinations help you and your family — billions of people have gotten vaccinated, and it’s working.” — Sadwika Reddy, MD (she/her)

“The misconception that good health fits only a certain body shape or size or age group. I love to prevent things from happening before they start. Good health is more than just treating illness…. It’s about getting people to the best versions of themselves so they can do things they enjoy — so their life has as much meaning as possible.” — Laura Sharp, NP-C (she/her)

“Two misconceptions: one, that exercise is a chore, and two, that you need to be restrictive to maintain a healthy weight to prevent chronic illness. I’d like my patients to rethink their relationship with their health. I encourage them to take a no-shame approach to food and exercise. Instead of thinking of food and exercise through a lens of guilt and shame, I encourage anyone to reframe food and exercise as nourishment and self-care.” — Kerry Lamb, PA-C (she/her)

“I stress in my practice that there is not one way to eat or exercise or relieve stress. There are multiple ways to bring these things into your life, and they can be personalized. I work with my patients and ask, ‘What is your individual plan?’ Not following the latest fad they see on social media.” — Noel Battle, MD (he/him)

(Want to learn some ways to reduce stress? Read “Take Steps to Alleviate Stress in Your Life.”)

+ What are some of your personal resolutions for staying healthy in 2022? 

“Getting a stationary bike because I have small kids. Fitting in more cardio. Incorporating advice I give to patients into my own life. Making sure half my plate is green vegetables. Doing more things for myself — more yoga, art, and reading. More hiking with friends. Signing up for a fitness class. And doing more self-care like getting my nails done.” — Serene Tareen, MD

“Lowering stress in my life where I can.” — Laura Sharp, NP-C (she/her)

“I like to give myself time to take a breathing break: ‘four-seven-eight’: four seconds in, seven seconds hold, and then exhale for eight seconds. This helps me stay clear and not too caught up in the rat race. I love to try to achieve 8,000 steps a day. I want to contact my mom at least one time a day. Staying grounded — breathing, walking, laughing, talking to family, and staying connected to my husband.” — Connie Huyhn, PA-C, MPH (she/her)

“Setting five minutes four days per week to meditate — to practice what I preach! Prioritizing self-care — we cannot be there for others if we are not there for ourselves (that airplane oxygen mask analogy: it’s true!). Making an impact on the health and wellness of my patients by building trusted relationships. Making healthcare more accessible. Empowering my patients to take on their own health. And helping people get back on track with their health after lapses in care due to the pandemic. — Kerry Lamb, PA-C (she/her)

“I’m a pretty healthy person, but my goal is to do better — and to smile and laugh more, work on continually getting a better night’s sleep, and hug my kids as often as I can. I’m training for a tough mudder event next year, and I’m looking forward to doing something I’ve never done before.” — Noel Battle, MD (he/him)

Carbon Health Editorial Team

The Carbon Health Editorial Team is a group of writers, content creators, and thought leaders who are here to empower you to take charge of your health.