The Kalispel Tribe owns and operates more than a dozen businesses and enterprises in and around the Pend Oreille area.

We believe in building a strong community and our economic development opportunites emphasize our commitment to the land and people.

Dr. Kersting's Korner

Healthy Resolutions for the New Year

By January 17, 2024 No Comments

At the beginning of the New year, we often make resolutions to improve our life in some manner.  Being a physician, I am biased in thinking that we should make changes in our lifestyles that improves one’s health. To me your health and the health of your family should be your top priority. Here are 10 ideas that you may consider in helping you on your journey to better health.

1)Get back to Nature. Getting back to nature has many physical and mental benefits, including relieving stress and anxiety, helping you get more exercise, increasing your vitamin D levels, and helping you get better sleep. Many people hunt or fish or shed antler hunting. Huckleberry, mushroom or herb picking are favorites. Think about trying a new sport, snow shoeing, skiing, biking, the list is endless.

2) Spend more time with family and friends. Socialization is incredibly important to our mental health. Depression and anxiety increased with Covid when family events and social gatherings could not exist. Studies show that teenagers whose parents are engaged in their lives and activities are less likely to experiment with drugs.  Make it a priority to have family meals together. Reach out to old friends.

3) Garden. Having or sharing a garden has so many health benefits including physical exercise, and stress reduction. The sense of accomplishment as you watch your garden grow and produce a bounty of healthy fruits and vegetables boosts your well-being.  Of course, your body is going to be healthy eating all those fresh fruits and vegetables.

4) Drink more water. Our bodies are made up of 60% water and every organ in our body requires water to function properly. When you urinate, your body is getting rid of toxins it has produced. The amount of water you need to drink every day will vary based on your body temperature and how active you are. The goal should be to urinate several times a day clear to light yellow urine. Keeping a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day will help you maintain good hydration.

5) Read 30 minutes every day.  Multiple studies have shown short and long-term benefits of reading to the health of your brain.  It’s recommended you read to your young children every night to improve speech function. Older children should read every day to improve school performance.  Reading before sleep is an excellent way to calm the brain and should be a part of everyone’s bedtime routine.

6) Meditate. Meditation is a stress reducer and a way to boost your mental health. Meditation gives you a way to tune out the busy stressful world and focus on healthy peaceful feelings. A traditional form of meditation is a sweat lodge which allows individuals to seek healing through the ritual.

7) Exercise for a few minutes every day. Studies clearly show that the most important thing a person can do to live longer is to stay active.    It is recommended that a person gets at least 150 minutes of moderate- intensity exercise a week. Be creative, a brisk walk first thing in the morning or during your lunch break. Learn a new sport like pickle ball. Include the family and spend a day at the Camas Center. There are so many ways to exercise but the key is finding forms of exercise that you truly enjoy.

8) Get enough quality Sleep. Getting at least 8 hours of quality sleep each night is crucial for overall health. The body and the brain need sleep to recharge themselves.  Getting quality sleep allows you to stay alert, focused and energized throughout the day.

9) Eat a more plant-based diet. Work to get more plants onto your plate. A plant-based diet helps you maintain a healthy weight, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and reduces your risk for cancer and other chronic conditions. Plants are full of the vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients we need to keep our bodies working optimally.

10) Limit screen time. Our world is becoming more and more dependent on electronics however all this screen time is making us unhealthy. Screen time takes away time to spend with family, friends and to socialize. It takes away time we could be exercising or spending in nature.  It stimulates your brain and makes it harder to fall asleep. Social networks and disinformation from news media can lead to depression and anxiety. Try putting the phone away, turning the tv and computer off, and stop your children from playing video games for hours.

Finally try to make resolutions that can be life long, not a few days weeks or months. Remember a few small changes can lead to a dramatic improvement in your health!!