Did you know that there is a secret to living a longer, healthier life? It’s not a gimmick — it’s called preventive health. The idea is taking the right precautions now so you can lower the risk of a health scare down the road. Natural, holistic health can be achieved, and it can be as easy as getting active, being informed, and not sweating the small stuff.
The last thing you want is to experience painful and costly medical procedures as you grow older. Practice preventive health now, and your body will thank you later. Here are the basics.
See Your Doctor
To master your preventive health, you must stay ahead of potential risks so you do not find yourself in bad shape, both physically and financially, later in life. First, make it a habit to visit a health professional at least once a year so you can get the necessary tests and education to continue your healthy lifestyle. While you are visiting your doctor, do not be afraid to bring up any ailments you may be feeling, because if it ends up being a real concern, you will want to nip it in the bud immediately.
You should also ask about cancer screenings for your gender and risk level. For women, the cost to treat breast cancer can skyrocket to over $100,000, and colon cancer treatments can cost close to $30,000. Cost aside, the pain and stress associated with treating cancer can result in side effects ranging from fatigue and flu-like symptoms to sexual health issues and nerve problems. In the end, it is always better to be proactive.
When you go to the doctor for a physical examination, they also complete many tests that check the little things that could result in something big. For example, they test for high blood pressure, which, if untreated, can result in strokes, heart attacks, or even memory loss. A typical doctor visit will also include a test of your respiration rate or how often you inhale and exhale every minute. This simple test could be vital in determining if you have irregular breathing patterns, which could lead to heart or lung problems later in life.
Fight The Effects Of Stress
No matter how much some people may deny it, we all deal with stress in or lives in one form or another. Whether it is your job, family, or the overall state of the world, there is a lot out there that can lead to anxiety, and if left unchecked, these feelings can lead to advanced symptoms in the future. When stress goes too far, it can lead to heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and advanced aging.
So how do you practice preventive health and manage your stress? You can start by talking it out with friends or family members who are willing to listen and provide real, helpful solutions. Some people try other activities to reduce stress. Yoga can be beneficial because it helps you to focus on your breathing, which can be useful when having an especially stressful moment. Some experts have also turned to CBD oil to help with stress and relaxation. This cannabis plant extract comes in a liquid form and when you ingest it, the oil can help with anxiety and nervousness by interacting with the endocannabinoid system in your body, which regulates your mood.
Another key to reducing stress is getting enough rest. When you sleep, you fall into a calm state that restores your body for the new day ahead. A lack of sleep can actually increase your risk of car accidents and diminishes your mental capacity, and both of these side effects can contribute to additional stress. Sleep and reduced stress go hand in hand, and if you are not proactive in breaking the cycle, you could have health issues down the road.
Diet And Exercise
They sometimes say that you are what you eat, but as far as preventive health goes, what you eat could determine your health in the future. Many people have diets that are high in sugar and carbohydrates, and while the food might taste good, it can cause many significant issues later. An excess of carbs can raise your blood sugar levels, which can, in turn, result in diabetes. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain in addition to heart disease and even cancer.
The solution is to have a well-rounded diet that involves most of the foods included in the healthy eating pyramid including protein, fish, dairy, vegetables, fruits, and wholegrain foods. Even particular fats such as omega-3s should be added to your diet as they aid in reducing your blood pressure and providing a healthy heart rhythm. What’s more, alcohol has been found to be advantageous in moderation, but you don’t want to overdo it, or it could lead to blood clots and heart problems. Of course, you also want to avoid smoking of any kind.
While eating healthily is half the battle, you also want to get some degree of exercise on a regular basis. Those who engage in very little to no physical activity will see their body start to deteriorate as their metabolism slows and their bones get weaker with age. Since exercise and diet are intertwined, those who tend to sit around will often be drawn to unhealthy food, and the cycle continues. For your preventive health, you don’t have to run a marathon every day, but 150 minutes per week of brisk walking or active gardening will keep you in good shape, increase your bone health, and help you get better sleep.
While we cannot predict every medical issue that will come down the pike, preventive health can give you the foundation you need to live a long and happy life. It may sound easier said than done, but eating well, stressing less, and regularly visiting your doctor could make a big difference for your future self.