The year 2021 has come and gone, but not without teaching and reminding us of the importance of maintaining great health. The second wave of Coronavirus and its aftermath will unfortunately continue to haunt us but it’s time to move on for a better tomorrow and do all that it takes for a healthy lifestyle.

At the dawn of every new year, it is not uncommon to make certain resolutions, commitments often associated with weight loss, eating clean, quitting bad habits etc., but it’s time to do it with great commitment and conviction. The Covid-19 pandemic is still looming large with new variants or mutations sprouting and the world is staring at uncertainties again.
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For the last two years, we have witnessed doctors and frontline health professionals working relentlessly for saving lives, not only those affected by this deadly virus but also the patients suffering from other ailments. spoke to medical experts from various specialities and all these eminent doctors have to say one thing in unison – make health your top priority in 2022, get vaccinated and go for a makeover of health landscape. Coronavirus and its mutations like delta have not only adversely affected pulmonary functions but also other vital organs too.

Also Read: Omicron: Understand The Facts About The New COVID Variant

Dr S Manoj, Senior Consultant and Interventional Cardiologist at Kauvery Hospital, Chennai urges cardiac patients to get fully vaccinated and take control of all medical parameters be it physical or mental. With precautionary shots being recommended for the 60 plus citizens especially those with comorbidities, Dr Manoj advises to get jabbed for better immunity. “It is not just vaccine against Coronavirus but all 60 plus should get protection from pneumonia as well. If you are a heart patient hoping to do include workouts in your daily health regimen, that’s good but talk to your doctor first. Do not go for overwhelming, sweeping changes overnight. Follow all guidelines strictly, take medication and keep up with your doctor’s appointments,” says Dr Manoj.  

His view on vaccine is endorsed by other specialists univocally. Dr C Chandrasekar, Senior Consultant, Pulmonologist, Sri Ramachandra Medical College insists on maintaining all Covid norms properly without fail. “Do not let the guard down yet. In a pandemic, mutations happen, and one must be vigilant. Getting vaccinated is always the first step and follow all other precautionary measures as well. At least for now, Omicron doesn’t seem to be as virulent as Delta variant, but it shouldn’t make us take lung health for granted.”

With lung health remaining the primary focus for almost two years now, one common advice from pulmonologists is to quit all bad habits. “This new year, bid an adieu to smoking, alcohol and get on to some aerobic exercises and deep breathing. Pollution and pandemic are a lethal combination, so avoid unnecessary travel, eat healthy and get proper sleep. Patients above 60 should get vaccinated against pneumonia and influenza besides completing their Covid vaccines,” says Dr Rowhit Yanamadala, Pulmonologist with Parvathy Hospital and Senior Resident with Balaji Medical College, Chennai.

Also Read: World Pneumonia Day 2021: Know About The Significance, Facts, And Ways To Eradicate This Lethal Infection
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Patients suffering from cancer and those who have had survived it too need extra care, says Dr Indoo Ammbulkar, Senior Medical Oncologist from HCG Cancer Centre, Mumbai. “According to WHO, fatalities due to lung cancer have been on rise for the last two years only after breast cancer. Lung cancer was once known as a disease of smokers but unfortunately not anymore. We are witnessing more pulmonary cancer cases among non-smokers even among females mostly owing to the reasons like exposure to radon and other toxic gases, genetics etc., Patients currently undergoing treatment for cancer should complete the entire course as any delay would worsen the symptoms and could be fatal. So, keep up with your appointments.”

The medical expert further opines that those who have survived severe Covid need to take extra care of their lung health as a permanent damage to the pulmonary organs like interstitial fibrosis, changes in pleura and other chronic lung symptoms can lead to cancer. “Those who have survived severe Corona virus need to be monitored closely and do not slack off when it comes to health in the new year. Get vaccinated and maintain all necessary measures,” says Dr Indoo Ammbulkar.

It is not just the elderly, children too are vulnerable, according to Dr Yogesh Gupta, Paediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Bengaluru. He says that with most adults getting vaccinated it’s time to focus on kids, health and their vaccination. “The basic structure of the virus would not change but mutations will keep happening. The vaccination program for little older kids is about to begin in January 2022 and it’s a good sign towards a healthy year ahead. Children are vulnerable to various viruses, and it is strongly recommended to keep up with their vaccination schedule. It is better to safe than sad.”

Also Read: Which Vaccines Are Important For My Baby?

With another vulnerable section being pregnant women and lactating mothers, Dr Surakshith Battina of Indigo Womens’ Centre and Hospital, Chennai recommends a slew of lifestyle modifications for those planning to conceive, pregnant women and lactating mothers in 2022. Streamlining the diet with high fibre and low carb foods, intake of folic acid tablets, vitamin A, vitamin C, moderate exercises go a long way in maintaining woman’s health. “If you are planning to conceive in 2022, make your overall mental and physical wellness a top priority. Keep ovulation kits in handy for tracking the ovulation cycle. Studies reveal that men who had Covid are reportedly having low sperm count, so it is recommended to get tested if you recovered from the virus recently. Women above 35 and seeking infertility treatment talk to your doctor about all dos and don’ts prior, during and after each cycle. Include antioxidant rich food, avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking for a healthier you and baby.  

All it takes is simple measures, lifestyle modifications, staying stress free for a healthy world.

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