New Mexico Health Connections | my connection | Spring 2020

{ MYCONNECTION } 3 { W E L L N E S S } SPRING 2020 MYCONNECTION is published as a health and wellness service for the members of NEW MEXICO HEALTH CONNECTIONS. Information comes from a wide range of medical ex- perts. If you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health, please contact your primary care provider. Models may be used in photos and illustrations. 2020 © Coffey Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. ID 0740-0320 •   Your medicines don’t provide relief. •   Your peak flow number is less than half of your personal best. And you should call 911 if: •   You have trouble walking or talking because you’re out of breath. •   Your lips or fingernails are blue. Your doctor can give you further advice on what to do in an asthma emergency. Check with the experts See your doctor regularly to make sure your asthma plan is working well. These visits are also a good time for you to voice any questions or concerns about your asthma treatment. Call your doctor if you’d like to learn more about keeping asthma under control. Sources: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ONE GREAT CHANGE? STOP SMOKING. VISIT MYNMHC.ORG/ SMOKING-CESSATION.ASPX FOR H ELP. Optimize those ZZZs. When it comes to sleep, both quality and quantity count. If you’re dragging through your days, take a look at your sleep habits. It might help to: • Create a cozy, relaxing sleep environment. Think quiet, dark and cool. • Put electronics to sleep early. The type of light emitted from laptops and other screens can stimulate the brain, making it difficult to fall asleep. • Find a soothing bedtime ritual, like reading a book, taking a bath or listen- ing to quiet music. If you have ongoing sleep problems, talk to your doctor. Commit to fit. Let longer days and the improving weather beckon you to get out and moving. It’s time to enjoy long walks on balmy spring days, for example, or dig into yardwork and gardening. Being active can boost mood and ease anxiety. It can also lower blood pres- sure, improve cholesterol levels and help you sleep better. The list goes on and on. And exercise doesn’t have to be a chore—you’re more likely to stick with it when it’s fun, so pick an activity you’ll enjoy. Sun-proof your skin. While it’s not summer yet, protecting skin is a year-round endeavor. Let the brighter days of spring be a reminder to step up your game. Cover up with long sleeves, long pants, sunglasses and a brimmed hat. And use sunscreen when you’ll be outside. Remember, damaging UV rays can reach you even on gray, overcast days. Sources: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; American Heart Association; American Institute for Cancer Research; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; National Sleep Foundation PRIMARY CARE PROVIDERS A good health must-have One of the best things you can do for your health is to have an ongoing relationship with a primary care provider, experts say. In fact, people who see a primary care provider regularly have better health outcomes, lower death rates and lower total costs for healthcare than people who don’t routinely see a doctor, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. A primary care provider is the lead person on your healthcare team. He or she helps you prevent disease and maintain good health. Your primary care provider is able to diagnose and treat a wide variety of illnesses. When more specialized care is needed, he or she works with other types of doctors. There are a number of different types of healthcare providers who fall into the primary care category. For example: Family physicians. These doctors diagnose and treat problems that occur anywhere in the body and deal with most kinds of diseases. They treat people of all ages. Internists. Like family physicians, they also treat a wide variety of medical problems. The difference is that internists focus entirely on adults. Pediatricians. These doctors are experts in children’s health. They work on preventing and managing health problems among newborns, infants, children, teens and even young adults. In addition to those mentioned, other medical professionals can also serve as primary care providers. These may include nurse practitioners, physician assistants and some other healthcare providers. They often work in conjunction with a primary care physician. Having a primary care provider is one way to promote good health. Our providers are accepting new patients. Find a provider near you at find-a-provider.aspx Make an appointment. Do you have a primary care provider? If not, we can help you find one. Call 866-668-9002 or email . Find us online: Contact us: Customer Service: 866-668-9002