There’s nothing like starting the New Year with healthy habits that are reachable and will make a big difference in your life. Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) has selected five healthy habits to inspire you in 2020 and beyond.
Healthy Habit #1: Get regular preventive screenings.
Preventive screening tests can detect illness early, when it’s most treatable. The screenings you need will depend on your health history and age. Here are some recommendations to jump start a conversation with your healthcare provider:
- Ages 18-39 – Most of the recommended preventive screenings in this age group can be completed during an annual physical. Depending on your health history, your provider may screen for high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and diabetes. For women, your provider may recommend routine pelvic exams and pap smears screen for cervical cancer and other conditions. Don’t have a healthcare provider? Contact YRMC’s Physician Listing Service at (928) 771-5106.
- Ages 40-65 – Additional screenings are important for women and men 40 years and older. Mammograms, which screen for breast cancer, are recommended annually for women starting at age 40. Most men age 50 or older should have a prostate blood test and an exam. Male or female, when you reach 50, your physician will recommend a colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer.
- Age 65 and older – Bone density screenings – which measure bone strength to prevent fractures – typically begin at age 65. If you’re a postmenopausal woman, age 50 or older and have recently suffered a broken a bone, talk to your healthcare provider. Another screening schedule may be recommended for you.
And men, ask your physician if you should be screened for osteoporosis, too. You could be at risk for osteoporosis if you used steroids for an extended time, are considered low body weight, smoke, use alcohol frequently, or had a fracture after age 50. Women, talk to your healthcare provider about the breast screening and bone density screening plan that fits your health history.
The latest screening mammography and bone density screening technologies are available at:
- The BreastCare Center at YRMC at (928) 442-8900
- Prescott Medical Imaging and Prescott Valley Medical Imaging at (928) 771-7577
- YRMC Imaging Services at (928) 771-7577
Round out your preventive health habits in 2020 with regular dental and eye exams, as well as updated immunizations and annual flu shots.
Healthy Habit #2: Eat right.
Whether your goal is weight loss or weight management, moderation – not deprivation – is the key to success. Eat smaller portion sizes and fill up on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein. Be mindful of what you eat and stay hydrated to maintain the energy you need throughout the day as well as to manage cravings.
YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen offers nutritious, delicious and affordable plant-based meal options. Check out Your Healthy Kitchen’s recipes on YRMCHealthConnect.org.
Healthy Habit #3: Commit to regular exercise.
Physical activity is crucial to long-term health. Work, family obligations and lack of energy can interfere with those needed workouts. If hours at the gym are not an option, or even an interest, get creative. Try walking during your lunch break, stretching while watching TV or riding your bike to run that errand.
Hold yourself accountable by exercising with a friend or tracking your progress with a smartphone app. Has it been a while since you’ve exercised? Ease into a routine. You may also want to talk to your healthcare provider.
Healthy Habit #4: Manage stress and pay attention to your mental health.
As life gets busier, that to-do list and social calendar can start to feel overwhelming. Taking care of your mental health is another piece of the overall health puzzle. Calming practices like meditation and deep breathing are equally as important as taking some time for yourself and talking with a friend. Identify your stressors and look for ways to reduce them. Remember, a good laugh, a brisk walk or a hot bath can go a long way to easing a difficult day.
Healthy Habit #5: Catch your ZZZs.
Getting enough quality sleep not only keeps you sharp for the day but it is also critical for mental, emotional and physical health. When you sleep, your brain and body have a chance to repair and rebuild. A good sleep helps you learn better, get along with others and even builds muscle. So, turn off those screens, unwind to some calming music and get some rest. You deserve it.
To keep you motivated during 2020, visit and subscribe to YRMC HealthConnect. We’ll inspire you with healthy living tips, local learning opportunities and answers to your healthcare questions.