The new year presents an opportunity to take stock of your health and and plan ahead for 2020.
Your local GP or pharmacist can provide a range of services that can assist in this.
"With school about to start this year and workplaces now getting back into full swing, we need to ensure people are taking their health into account, especially in light of recent events," pharmacist Mark Davis from Terry White Chemmart said.
"Bushfires have affected air quality throughout Australia and been a nightmare for asthma sufferers, particularly kids going back to school.
"Knowing your health numbers in general - blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose - and managing weigh are also important."
Mark offers the following advice on how to be healthy in 2020.
Update your vaccinations
Whopping Cough (pertussis), influenza and measles are highly infectious and it pays to have regular vaccinations and boosters.
"For adults a whooping cough booster is recommended every 10 years, two measles vaccinations are recommended for those born after 1966 and a flu vaccination yearly, with the best time between April and July," Mark said.
For further information on vaccinations and particular vulnerable categories, contact your doctor or pharmacist and note vaccination-trained pharmacists in NSW can administer Influenza (Flu), Measles (MMR, Priorix) and Pertussis (Boostrix, Adacel) vaccines for adults 16 years and over.
This year's extreme bushfire season has resulted in extended exposure to poor air quality. Understanding your asthma has never been so important.
"Parents whose children may be showing symptoms from smoke exposure should seek advice from their doctor before heading back to school as their medication and Asthma Action Plans may need to be updated," Mark said.
"We have seen a spike in breathing difficulties and emergency callouts over this holiday period and research has also shown that there is a dramatic rise in the number of children visiting hospital due to asthma flare-ups when they head back to school."
Visit asthma.org.au/back-to-school for a great checklist to ensure your child is asthma ready for school.
"A spacer is recommended for children and adults and studies have shown a spacer can improve inhaler dose delivery by 40-60%, so talk to your doctor or pharmacist about a spacer for you," Mark said.
"Remember to dismantle and wash your spacer monthly and replace your spacer every 12 months."
Know Your Numbers
One of the best things you can do to be healthy in 2020 is to know your numbers and have a health check.
Have your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose checked, be weighed, know your BMI and have your waist measurement checked.
"Knowing your numbers helps you understand your risk factors to cardiovascular disease, stoke, diabetes and being overweight," Mark said.
"Talk to your doctor or pharmacist today and have a health check so you can know your numbers and plan to be healthier in 2020."
Losing unhealthy weight can reduce the potential risk of ailments and diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, cancer and arthritis.
It can also reduce aches and pains, improve concentration at work and energise you after sleep.
"If you have been advised by a health professional or want to take control of your health, weight loss and weight management programs can kick-start you towards a healthy, balanced lifestyle free from health complications associated with weight," Mark said.
"Poor eating habits and inactive lifestyle choices over years are large contributors towards unhealthy weight gain."
Scientifically formulated meal replacement programs, healthy meal plans packed with professional advice will help to kick-start your weight loss journey.
For more information on how to be healthy in 2020, call Terry White Chemmart Hamilton on (02) 4961 1269.