Over the past few decades, health and wellness have gone from something that’s discussed within the limited confines of a doctor’s office to a booming subculture that intersects every area of our lives. (And for good reason.)
Health and wellness topics have taken center stage in our lives, and being reactive is no longer something you can afford to do. It’s not a viable approach any longer. Instead, you need to be proactive and take matters into your own hands by preventing diseases (where possible) and setting yourself up for long-term success.
Being proactive means taking ownership over your well-being. It’s about actively participating in activities that benefit you, while also nixing habits that have a negative impact on your mind and body.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the specific ways you can be more proactive with your health so you can lower your risk of disease and improve your chances of living a long and happy (pain-free) life.
Get Regular Check-Ups and Preventive Screenings
Being proactive with your health begins with the simple step of getting regular check-ups and preventive screenings so that you can spot potential problems early on before they develop into more serious issues.
You can think of health check-ups like routine maintenance on your car. Just like you wouldn’t wait until your car breaks down to bring it to a mechanic, you shouldn’t wait until you’re sick to see a doctor. By scheduling annual physicals and following recommendations for other age-related screenings, you can address concerns early.
Many diseases are very treatable early on, but reach a point of no return later on. Take mesothelioma as an example. It only takes weeks to progress from Stage 1 to Stage 3 (at which point it becomes very difficult to treat). By getting regular screenings and paying attention to symptoms, this is something that could be addressed much sooner.
It’s not just mesothelioma, though. Diabetes, heart disease, and many cancers are the same way. The more you pay attention now, the less likely it is that a serious health issue emerges undetected later on.
While the specific screenings you’ll need can depend on various factors like your age, sex, family history, and overall health, there are some common ones that most people should consider, including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, and cancer.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Your diet impacts everything, including your body and mind. Part of being proactive about your health is eating a fresh, balanced, and nutritious diet that gives your body the essential vitamins and nutrients it needs to thrive.
Proper nutrition influences our weight, energy levels, mood, and ability to fend off illnesses. This means eating a variety of different foods (including fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats); carefully monitoring portions; limiting the amount of processed foods you consume; and listening to your body when you’re hungry and full. And whatever you do, don’t forget about hydration.
Hydration is a critical part of nutrition that’s often overlooked. Water aids in digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. It can also help you manage your weight by making you feel more full. While the exact amount of water you need can depend on your size, activity level, and other factors, a general rule is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Exercise on a Daily Basis
It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of exercise and physical activity. It’s one of the core foundational pillars of proactive health management.
The key to exercise is to do it regularly. It’s better to do 45 minutes of exercise six times per week than to do a two-hour workout twice per week. You want to get your body moving on a daily basis.
If you haven’t been exercising recently, start slow and gradually ease your way into things. Even a simple 10-minute walk can be enough to get you going. Find an activity you enjoy and make it a habit. (However, be sure to mix things up from time to time so you don’t become bored.)
Prioritize Your Mental Health
Being proactive about your health means acknowledging the significant role mental health plays in overall well-being. Stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues can profoundly impact physical health and quality of life. It’s, therefore, essential to prioritize mental health alongside physical health.
Mental health is more than the absence of mental illnesses. It involves feeling good about oneself, being able to function effectively in daily life, maintaining fulfilling relationships, and coping with stress in a healthy way. Mental and physical health are interconnected – poor mental health can lead to physical health problems and vice versa.
To improve your mental health and emotional well-being, practice self-care, mindfulness, meditation, good sleep hygiene, and healthy social connections.
Putting it All Together
There’s no secret that a proactive focus on your health leads to improved wellness and reduced risk of many illnesses and diseases. The question is, are you willing to make an investment today in order to enjoy rewards tomorrow?
Article Submitted By Community Writer