It seems our approach to health is more often reactive than proactive. We visit our primary doctor or dentist when something is wrong. We are called to action when our health has declined, and we expect quick fixes. This system and approach to health is flawed. It is far easier to maintain our health than it is to find it again once we’ve lost it.
A significant percentage of chronic diseases and aliments are to some degree preventable. For example, heart disease. Heart disease can be caused by tobacco use, high blood pressure, poor diet, high cholesterol, excessive weight, and inactivity. Making positive lifestyle choices can greatly reduce your chances of battling heart disease. The same goes for strokes and certain types of cancers. Gum disease is another preventable malady that in its advanced stages can contribute to other inflammatory diseases. Bi-annual cleanings, a proper daily hygiene routine, and a healthy diet can prevent periodontal disease.
The point is, your health is in your hands. Being proactive will spare you from having to be reactive down the road, which can be expensive, time consuming, painful, and even life altering. The little steps you take throughout the year to keep your health in check will play a major role in your future health and overall happiness.
Here are some way to be proactive about your health:
- Stay on top of your annual and biannual check-ups.
- Trust your body and your instincts. When something doesn’t look or feel right, don’t write it off.
- Make a list of questions and concerns prior to seeing your doctor. This will help you address everything that is important to you during your appointment.
- Know your family medical history.
- Keep your body moving. When the option presents itself, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator; for shorter distances, bike instead of always driving; take your dog on an extra walk; or go outside and play with your kids or grandkids.
- Set realistic exercise goals doing something that you actually enjoy doing.
- Drink more water and give up those sugary beverages (or at the very least limited them).
- Incorporate Juice Plus+ into your life. Ask Honi or Blake about this health game changer.
- Stop smoking.
- Sleep more. When we sleep, our body performs critical functions. It is also when we sleep that our body heals and repair itself. Sleep it crucial for our cognitive functions, as well.
- Manage your stress levels. Stress is an incredibly damaging force. Managing your stress levels involves finding ways to avoid stress and release the stress that does come into your life. This is different for everyone but could be as simple as just taking a long walk, meditating for five minutes, or sitting outside with a cup of tea.
- Spend more time doing the things that you love to do with the people whom you love to do them with. A positive mindset and overall sense of happiness greatly contributes to your physical health.