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No More Excuses…the Doctor is In

Jumpstart your wellness routine by talking the three pillars of health with your healthcare professional

WASHINGTON, D.C., FEBRUARY 15, 2020 - First come the holidays, then the Super Bowl, immediately followed by Valentine's Day. While many of us make firm New Year's resolutions decidedly at the stroke of midnight on January 1, you can see how convenient it is to extend our not-so-healthy habits well into the year.

In fact, a recent "Life…supplemented" study1 found that the majority of several populations of healthcare professionals (76 percent of nurse practitioners, 75 percent of pharmacists, 80 percent of registered dietitians) agree that a major barrier to Americans staying healthy is overindulging during the holidays or vacations.

If you are wondering what first steps healthcare professionals (HCPs) recommend when trying to get back on the wellness wagon, Duffy MacKay, licensed naturopathic doctor and consultant to the "Life…supplemented" program, recommends an annual visit to your HCP to cover the basics. "I always suggest that people start with a visit to their trusted healthcare team to see exactly what they need to accomplish to get back on track."

When you get into your doctor's office, you may have trouble remembering the kinds of things you need to discuss to make the most out of your visit. "Prepare for a visit with a healthcare professional like you might for a work-related meeting. Jot things down ahead of time so you can ensure you are making the most out of your visit. There are also free, online tools that provide personalized wellness assessments, such as My Wellness Scorecard, that offer a starting point for HCP/patient discussion," recommends Dr. MacKay. He also suggests you make sure to cover the three pillars of health:

Your Diet : Share with your HCP what your typical day might look like, diet-wise-the good, the bad and the ugly. It's important to be upfront about it so that he or she can get an honest assessment of your daily caloric intake, how many fruits, vegetables and fiber you are getting in, and the kinds of nutrients you may be lacking. Also, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently updated the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. You might consider discussing these with your doctor to see how your own diet measures up.

Vitamins and other supplements : It's important to have an open dialogue about the kinds of dietary supplements you are taking or considering so your HCP has a handle on your entire wellness routine…and you shouldn't feel embarrassed about bringing it up. In fact, when surveyed1, several HCP populations indicated they already inquire about their patients' supplement usage (87 percent of registered dietitians, 81 percent of nurse practitioners, 63 percent of cardiologists, 60 percent of orthopedic specialists, and 54 percent of dermatologists and pharmacists). Studies have already told us that several healthcare populations take and recommend supplements to patients-so make sure to come ready for that discussion.

Your Exercise Regimen : Be prepared to have an honest conversation about the amount of physical activity you are getting on a regular basis…and don't embellish. Your HCP should have a clear idea of the amount of movement you are truly getting throughout the day. He or she may suggest simple, realistic tips for getting started, such as using a pedometer to set a goal of 10,000 steps a day. You might consider more outside activities, such as hiking or taking long walks around the neighborhood. The important thing is to make sure it is something you enjoy.

Jumpstarting this year's wellness routine can be as easy as making an appointment with your own HCP, as it will provide you time to assess where you are and what your goals for the year should be. There's no time like the present to get started…so don't wait until after St. Patrick's Day to make this happen.

1 Methodology: Results from the 2008 and 2009 "Life…supplemented" Healthcare Professionals Impact Studies were included for this news release. The 2009 HCP Impact Study was released in December 2009 and comprised three separate surveys - (300) nurse practitioners, (300) pharmacists and (300) registered dietitians. The 2008 HCP Impact Study of cardiologists (300), orthopedic specialists (300) and dermatologists (300) was released in November 2008. Margins of sampling error at a 95 percent confidence level are +/- 5.7 percentage points for each of the groups of health care professionals surveyed. A nominal honorarium was given to each health care professional for completing the survey. Ipsos Public Affairs conducted the survey online.

About "Life…supplemented": "Life… supplemented" is a consumer wellness campaign dedicated to driving awareness about the mainstream use of dietary supplements as an integral part of a proactive personal wellness regimen that combines healthy diet, supplements and exercise. The campaign is managed by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry, under its affiliated 501(c)(3), the CRN Foundation. The dietary supplement category includes products such as vitamins, minerals, botanicals, sports nutrition, weight management and specialty supplements. More than 150 million Americans use these products each year to promote and maintain good health. Find out more about Alpha WELLs, WELLs, WannabeWELLs and OhWELLs by clicking on My Wellness Scorecard at www.lifesupplemented.org.

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