Local Physician and Collaborators Launch Health & Wellness Video Series for Rio Grande Valley

Jan 18, 2021

HARLINGEN – As communities throughout the Rio Grande Valley continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, local physicians are encouraging residents to take stock of their personal health and take steps to live a healthier lifestyle.

Dr. Christopher Romero, Internal Medicine specialist at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen, said that the Rio Grande Valley has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our Rio Grande Valley has been so heavily impacted by COVID-19 over this past year, and it has been heartbreaking. So many of us are still mourning the loss of family, loved ones, and colleagues to this pandemic,” he said. “Cameron and Hidalgo County were in the top 10 counties in Texas as far as mortality is concerned regarding COVID-19. The sad truth is that this pandemic has brought to light health issues that have been impacting our community for decades, and the rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and chronic illness has made our population more vulnerable to this horrific disease.”

To help shed light on those high levels of chronic ailments impacting the Valley, Romero, with the help of colleagues throughout the region, plans to launch a regular video series with the goal of providing local residents with practical health education they can use to live happier, healthier lives.

“The good news is that for the most part, many of the issues I referenced are modifiable – they can be changed, they can be improved,” he said. “The plan for this video series is to share how we can reverse some these chronic issues that we've been facing for a long time and work to make 2021 our best year.”

To start the series, which will cover a wide range of health topics from diet to fitness, Romero offered five tips to help start the new year on a healthier, more positive note, including:

  • Find your why. Look deep inside, maybe even talk with your family about what is that thing that really motivates you to want to make the change this year and make that change stick. Whether it's being there for your grandkids being able to be more active in your community, or just feeling good when you wake up in the morning. You have to find that thing that's going to get you over those rough days where you don't want to eat well, where you don't want to exercise, but you're going to do the right thing anyway.
  • Set a goal. If you don't have something you're working toward, it's going to be hard to reach it. Those goals could include signing up for a race or picking a date that you want to have a specific health or wellness goal achieved by. Having those benchmarks will help you actually get there and sustain that change that you're going to be able to enact this year.
  • Talk with your doctor about the health changes you're planning on making, whether it's embarking on a new diet or starting a new exercise routine. It's important to have that partnership with your physician. First, they're going to be excited for you and they're going to be motivating you as well. Second, they’re going to be able to guide you to see if there are things they need to watch out for or if you have pitfalls to avoid as you make 2021 your best and healthiest year.
  • Make a plan. It's going to take hard work, but it's also going to take some organization. There are a lot of amazing resources available online. It's important to actually set up a plan ranging from what you’re eating the next few days to what exercise activities you’re going to participate in.
  • Let your friends and families know your goals, your vision, and what you're planning on achieving. You will be pleasantly surprised about how much motivation you will get from them, and they’re going to be your cheerleaders. They’ll work with you and help hold you accountable in a great way to do the right thing to make those positive changes in your life.

“We’ll be visiting with some of the experts in the medical community and our community at large to talk about we can all improve our health throughout this year and encourage everyone to make positive lifestyle changes in 2021,” Romero said.

Watch the first short episode of Health and Wellness in the RGV series

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