New Year’s Eve is a day of fun and celebration when we say good-bye to the old year, and welcome in a new year. New Year’s is seen as the perfect opportunity to assess the past year, and make resolutions to improve our lives in the coming year. New Year’s resolutions typically involve promises to change bad habits in order to be healthier, take on new challenges to expand our horizons, find more ways to enjoy life, cut down on stress, commit to better money management, and more. New Year’s is also a great time to take stock of your asthma, what has worked to control your asthma symptoms and what you can do to cut down on asthma attacks in the future.
New Year’s Asthma Resolutions
Following are some basic ideas on resolutions you can make to improve your overall health and better control your asthma in the coming new year.
1. See your doctor or health care provider for an asthma check-up. You should see your doctor or health care provider at least once a year for an asthma check-up. A check-up should include a look at your overall health, assessment of your asthma symptoms, and look to see if your asthma medications and action plan are keeping your asthma symptoms controlled.
2. Keep a daily record of your peak flow. Daily monitoring of your asthma symptoms, with a peak flow meter, is an easy way to control your asthma and prevent an asthma attack. A peak flow meter is a simple tool that measures how well your lungs are able to move air. By taking daily readings of your peak flow, you will be able to see incremental changes in your breathing, with lower readings showing an asthma attack could be in process. The benefits of using your peak flow meter will enhance your well-being on all levels, and save you money by avoiding trips to the doctor and to the hospital. Keeping a daily record of your peak flow is also a helpful tool for your doctor and health care provider. This record can alert them to your asthma triggers, show if your action plan is working, and will be an excellent guide as to when asthma medications need to be adjusted, or more medications added. Commit to using your peak flow meter every day, and have fewer asthma symptoms in the new year.
3. Take medications as directed. Sometimes life is very busy and challenging, and we forget to take our asthma medications. Other times we feel great and believe we don’t need to take our medicine. Being forgetful or not taking our asthma medications is one of the worst ways we can sabotage our breathing. Doctors and health care providers give us these medications to make our breathing easier, and will help us avoid costly visits to the ER. As asthma patients, we need to take care of ourselves and follow doctor’s orders to take the medications prescribed to us. If you’re not good about taking your asthma medications, work with your doctor and health care provider to find the ways to take your medicine every day and on time. Doing so will help you to breathe easier and live the life you want in the coming new year.
4. Diet & exercise to achieve better breathing and overall health. Being overweight can have a direct negative effect on your asthma. Overweight children and adults often find it more difficult to breathe, thereby requiring increased amounts of medication to control their asthma. However, losing weight can improve overall health and asthma symptoms. Being a healthier weight can lead to lower amounts of medication, fewer visits to the doctor and ER, and increased lung function. So, if you’re overweight, consider ways and means of losing some weight in order to improve your breathing. However, before making any lifestyle changes, be sure to check with your health care provider first. They will be able to help find the best diet and exercise regimens for you and your asthma.
5. Manage stress. Stress has a direct impact on your asthma. Asthma symptoms generally worsen with increasing stress levels. Stress management is great for your total health, and will help you to have better control of your asthma symptoms. Stress management involves identification of the major stressors in your life, and finding ways to relieve these major stressors. Suggestions for stress management include: exercise, getting plenty of rest, eating a healthy diet, and practicing relaxation techniques. It is always recommended you seek out the advice of your health care provider before making any lifestyle changes.
These are basic suggestions you can choose for your new year’s resolutions to achieve better overall health and better control of your asthma. Be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider before making any changes to your asthma care regime and lifestyle.
I would like to wish you all a very happy and asthma-free New Year!
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