Lubbock doctors offer advice for getting healthier in the New Year

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 6:22 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 6:32 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - As 2022 comes to an end, millions of people are making resolutions for 2023, looking to kick old habits and start some healthy new ones.

Many people focusing on health as we move into the Jordan-year of the 21st century.

Dr. Drew Payne with Texas Tech Health Science Center says a focus on weight loss could reduce the risk of other health issues down the road.

“The higher your weight is or the higher your BMI is, the higher your risk for cardiovascular disease, for pulmonary disease, for joint problems, for cancer,” Dr. Payne said. “All these things start to rise, and in fact if we look at mortality, the higher your weight is the shorter your lifespan is.”

But Dr. Payne says you don’t need to fight that battle alone. Finding someone to team up with can help you achieve your goal.

“Find a partner, whether that’s your primary care physician or someone at the house that’s going down this weight loss journey with you,” Dr. Payne said.

But don’t jump into a rigorous training program without speaking to your doctor first.

“Once you have that green light to exercise, then really, 30 minutes five time a week is really what I recommend,” Dr. Payne said.

Another health goal some will be taking on, putting down the cigarettes.

Dr. Ebtesam Islam says a decision to quit smoking could have a profound impact on more than just your lungs.

“Poor lungs can definitely affect you whole body because that’s where we get our oxygen from,” Dr. Islam said. “So it can affect the heart, it can affect the brain, or your organs if you’re not getting enough oxygen.”

Dr. Islam says your lungs can eventually heal from long-term smoking, and kicking the tobacco habit can lower your risk of experiencing a heart attack, stroke or being diagnosed with cancer. But she says changing this habit can be tough, so don’t be to upset if it takes multiple attempts.

“Don’t be discouraged if you try to quit and you’re not able to and you try again,” Dr. Islam said. “It may take multiple tries before you can quit smoking.”