Last minute gifts for good health

Last minute gifts for good health

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By Lisa Larkin, MD, FACP, NCMP, IF Founder and CEO, Ms.Medicine

With 2021 just around the corner, we’re ALL banking on a better year. Like many Americans, you might also be taking the time to assess your own health and wellness, and set some New Year’s resolutions to improve your diet, exercise habits or lifestyle. We took a look back at some of our most popular blogs and created a list of last-minute gift ideas to help jump start those healthy New Year’s resolutions.

Eat more vegetables. You’ve heard us talk about it and have seen our blogs (like this one here about triglycerides and diet) about the importance of a plant-based diet, like the Mediterranean diet, and its numerous benefits. Even for those of us who enjoy vegetables, finding new ways to consume them can be difficult without planning. One hack we love? Drink ‘em. Smoothies are an easy way to pack in some produce and enjoy a fast breakfast or a healthy snack. We love the new portable blenders on the market that can be packed and transported to work or school (or virtual work or school.) Check out this one from Hamilton Beach or these from BlendJet. If you’re not sure where to find the best produce for your smoothies, check out this list of local CSAs — many offer gift certificates perfect for that last minute gift.

Reduce your alcohol consumption. It hardly seems realistic to talk about reducing alcohol consumption a.) in a year like 2020, and b.) right before the holidays. But the research overwhelmingly supports the need for all of us to only drink in moderation, if at all, and some data shows that as little as one drink a day can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. So, need a gift idea for someone trying to cut back in 2021? How about a gift card to one of these Cincinnati restaurants that serve “ridiculously good” mocktails, according to Cincinnati Magazine or craft sodas from Karrikan Spirits (a distillery in Fairfield) or local craft soda place Root Naturals. With “Dry January” just around the corner, now’s the perfect time.

Get moving and stress less. This year forced us to reimagine the way we do many things—from our work, to school, to how we exercise. Even though many gyms are starting to open back up, many of us found that with a little discipline and help from online workouts or Zoom sessions with a personal trainer, we could continue our workout routines at home. It might still be tough to find hand weights and other exercise gear online, but you might consider the gift of fitness through a gym membership, personal training sessions, or subscription to an online solution. More than just a way to lose or maintain weight, exercise provides psychological benefits, as well (and who couldn’t use a mood boost after the year we’ve had).We’re fans of Barre3 which offers both in-person classes and online workouts via membership subscriptions. Apps like Noom help members track calories, exercise and lifestyle choices to encourage weight-loss. A subscription to Headspace or Calm can introduce or further encourage a mindfulness practice – perfect for setting intentions and relieving stress.

Sleep More. As much as we all enjoy a good night’s sleep, many people struggle with getting one. As tempting as it is to reach for a prescription sleep med, studies show that many can be harmful—especially for women. If you know someone who is struggling with catching Zzzz’s, consider some simple gifts that might encourage a better night’s sleep, like this silky sleep mask, a lavender essential oil diffuser, or a white noise/spa machine.

Lastly, as primary care providers, our Lisa Larkin, MD, and Associates’ team is focused on the health and wellness of our member patients. We offer a number of membership options—from Telehealth appointment plans to 24/7 concierge models. And did we mention? We offer gift certificates, too. Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy holiday season.