With your busy life, visiting the doctor can be a hassle. Fortunately, performing self-checks can give you peace of mind and ensure you take command of your health without frequent doctor appointments. Here are some routine self-checks you can perform at home to keep track of your health.
1. Check Your Mental Health
You might be surprised to learn that your mental health affects your physical health. Stress can manifest in myriad ways, even causing physical symptoms. In extreme cases, high stress can increase the likelihood of cancer patients dying by 32%.
Prioritizing your mental health will look different for everyone, but it starts with asking yourself purposeful questions. Check on how you feel and how you can improve your mental health if you find it’s lacking. Find ways to incorporate joy into your life in ways that are meaningful to you.
Journaling can spark self-reflection and creativity. Dance classes can reduce anxiety and depression and improve strength and bone health. It only takes 75 minutes of intense physical activity or 150 minutes of weekly moderate exercise to mitigate the risk of cancer or other diseases. Prioritizing your mental health can improve overall well-being and lead to a happier life.
2. Measure Your Waistline
While checking your waist circumference may not be your favorite activity, it’s essential to your health. Your body can reflect common disease symptoms and encourage you to develop a healthier lifestyle. Measuring your waistline will give you a better idea of risk factors for stroke, heart disease and diabetes, regardless of your weight or body mass index (BMI).
When women’s waist size is less than 31.5 inches, they have fewer health risks than those who have a higher waist circumference. Men’s waist circumference should be slightly higher at 37 inches or less. Ensure that you measure your waist and not your hips by using your belly button as a guide. Don’t hold your breath or hold the tape too tightly to get an accurate measurement.
If your waistline measurement exceeds 31.5 inches, don’t fret. You naturally gain weight as you get older because your metabolism decreases as you age. There are many ways to lose weight, starting with an active lifestyle. Explore other ways to minimize risks, like changing your sleep routine and becoming more active.
3. Perform A Breast Self-Exam
Every woman should perform routine breast exams to catch potential abnormalities early and gain peace of mind. Familiarize yourself with your breasts and report any changes to your doctor. Breast awareness will ensure you understand how your breasts look and feel so changes will stand out to you between appointments.
The first signs of breast cancer often reveal themselves to women who perform self-exams on their breasts. To self-examine your breasts, you can start by inspecting them in the mirror to look for changes in symmetry, size, shape, inverted nipples, and more. If you want to be as thorough as possible, ask your doctor for a demonstration to help you perform self-exams throughout the year at home.
You can do manual exams with your hands in the shower or lying down to feel for changes. Don’t be alarmed if something feels off — make an appointment with your doctor for a professional exam. Lumps can be noncancerous.
Self-exams on your breasts can help you be proactive, but they cannot replace screenings for breast cancer.
Keeping Track Of Your Health
Being proactive is essential to your overall health. When you perform self-checks, you can mitigate the risks and anxiety surrounding yearly exams by your doctor. Utilize these self-checks to take control and optimize your overall health.