For people around the world, the new year is a time for self-improvement. Some set new year’s resolutions with a focus on being healthy. After starting the year motivated to exercise, eat better, or get more sleep, some may find that their resolutions become a distant memory by the end of the year.

But 2018 can be different. AmeriHealth Caritas DC is helping District residents achieve their personal goals through the #BestMe initiative. We define #BestMe as being the most desirable version of oneself, and that includes making good decisions about your health. Join AmeriHealth Caritas DC in our commitment to improving lives across the District by making #BestMe your new year’s resolution.

Here are some quick tips to help you begin your #BestMe journey in 2018:

Stay active. Many people make exercising one of their new year’s resolutions. You can stay active by adding exercise into your daily routine. Do it at the same time every day and keep at it. It may also help to exercise with a friend. Join a Zumba® class or look up beginners’ yoga videos online. AmeriHealth Caritas DC members can also sign up for free exercise classes at our Member Wellness Center. For more information and a class schedule, call the Member Wellness Center at 202-408-3989.

Eat more healthy foods. When you eat a balanced diet of wholesome foods, you fuel your body with the vitamins and nutrients you need to be well. Eating healthy can even help your body fight certain diseases. Be sure half of your daily plate is full of a colorful mix of fruits and vegetables. The other half should be mostly whole grains, followed by a protein, and then a small portion of dairy. Visit www.choosemyplate.gov to learn more about each category and for other healthy eating tips. You can also find healthy recipes by logging in to the AmeriHealth Caritas DC Member Portal at www.amerihealthcaritasdc.com.

Drink more water. Your body needs water to survive. Drinking enough water every day can also help you stay healthy. Water helps you keep a normal temperature, helps with your joints, and protects sensitive tissue in your body. It also helps you get rid of waste by helping to keep you regular. Be sure to choose water over sugary drinks like soda to help keep you hydrated and healthy.

Schedule appointments with your doctors. An important part of being healthy is getting your annual checkups, screenings, and immunizations (vaccines). For example, you should see your primary care provider (PCP) at least one time per year. Ask if you need any immunizations, like the flu shot, or need to schedule any screenings, like a mammogram for women. You should also make appointments with your dentist two times a year and see an eye doctor once every year.

Get plenty of sleep. Your life is busy, but it is important to get plenty of rest. Adults should get 7 hours of sleep or more per night. Teens should get 8-10 hours of sleep. School-aged children should get 9-12 hours of sleep per night. Talk to your PCP if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Be happy. Living your best life means taking care of both your physical and mental health. If your emotions are controlling your life, help is available. It takes courage to admit when you are feeling depressed or angry. It takes even more courage to ask for help. Remember, you can’t be your #BestMe if you aren’t feeling like yourself. Get the support you need by seeing a therapist or talking with loved ones. It is also important to talk to your PCP about how you feel. He or she may prescribe you medicines to feel better or refer you to a specialist. Finding someone you trust can make all the difference.

If you are an AmeriHealth Caritas DC member and need help reaching your health goals, we can help. Just call Member Services at 1-800-408-7511.

We also want to know how you’re doing. Tell us about your #BestMe journey. Visit www.amerihealthcaritasdc.com/member/eng/tell-story.aspx to learn how you can share your story with us.

From all of us at AmeriHealth Caritas DC, have a happy and healthy new year!

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and United States Department of Agriculture

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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