As we get older it becomes harder to maintain our health so it is suggested that you start while you are young enough to take control of your health and maintain it. Trust me, I am speaking from experience.
Obviously, there are many factors that go into play when considering your general health. Age, genetics, lifestyle, and the environment you live in. These are just a few things that come to mind, obviously, if you dig around a little more you will find some more information about other factors that I didn’t mention here but you get the drift. If you are healthy, good for you, however, if you do not then consider all the good that comes from getting healthy. How about lowering blood pressure, reducing your chances of diabetes, lowering cholesterol, stroke prevention, heart disease, possible cancer prevention, and reduce the chance of injury when older and active. Bone get brittle, having some muscle surrounding your skeletal structure will prove to be beneficial in your golden years.
How Do You Get Healthy? Where Do You Start?
A great place to begin is a change in diet. Eating healthy has so many benefits that it may be the most important first step you take in this journey. Healthy foods like fruits and vegetables can be rich in antioxidants and packed with vitamins. Eating healthy can improve your digestive system, lower cholesterol, and blood pressure. If you are eating unhealthy at the moment, and you know what that means (not going to list it here).
The foods you eat have a direct correlation to your general health. With a balanced diet comes many health benefits. By eating certain foods you can prevent disease, and some super foods can contribute to the recovery of other illnesses. I’m talking about the serious ones like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Eating healthy and monitoring your portion control can help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol levels, as well.
Introduce More Exercise into Your Diet
Exercise does the body well and can help prevent things like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer. Regular exercise can also help treat depression, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. Believe it or not, people who exercise regularly are less likely to get injured. Regular exercise can help keep weight gain down and has a positive impact on mental health. Getting out and getting active an hour a day is ideal, if you can include more exercise into your life then all the better. If you don’t have the self drive to motivate then think about doing some Martial Arts or hiring a personal trainer.
You Gotta Lose Weight If You Are Obese
America has an obesity problem and the numbers suggest people are getting fatter and lazier than ever. I’m not even talking extreme obesity; I’m talking middle aged men with guts and moms that have more wine than water. Carrying too much weight around isn’t healthy and can increase your risk of the following conditions.
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
- High Cholesterol
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Gallbladder Disease
- And Various Cancers
Obesity can also make you vulnerable to weight-related injuries. Lower back injuries are common, so are the neck, ankle, and knee injuries. Your legs can take a lot of abuse trying to support all that extra weight. Another issue that can stem from obesity is arthritis in the weight-bearing joints, like your spine, hips, and knees. There are many ways you can tackle weight loss, consulting with your health care provider is a great place to start.
Other Health Conditions to Consider
Keep your skin healthy by preventing long-term sun exposure. Overexposure leads to things like skin cancer and other issues. Find some sunblock and apply it regularly while out in the sun to make sure you are safe. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. If possible, stay out of the sun as much as possible when not protected by clothing or sunblock. Wear sunglasses. Make sure that when you are choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen that it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. It should be at a minimum and SPF 15 sunblock. Using tanning oils and other artificial tanning methods are not recommended.
Keep the Sex Safe
If you are having casual sex and your health is of importance to you, wear protection. The best way to stay safe is to find a partner and keep the love between you, but that’s not always the case, especially when you are younger. Wear a condom to prevent the spread of STDs and to prevent contracting other diseases that may have long-term effects on your health.
Don’t Smoke, Don’t Drink
Smoking and chewing have long-lasting effects that can be extremely harmful to your health. I had a buddy that was a lifelong chewer, 2 kids, and worth a few million bucks. All that money couldn’t save him from the throat cancer he got as a result of chewing. He completely lost his voice, as they had to cut most of his throat out to try and save him. Turns out that wasn’t enough. He lived a year unable to speak, and died with his young boys next to his bedside, unable to tell them he loved them. Not good! These also cause heart disease, throat and lung cancer. They also lead the way with emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a real pain in the neck, I suffered from that as well and trying to get healthy with exercise becomes difficult if you can’t breathe. The sooner you can quit and get going the better your chances are of evading these nasty diseases.
Don’t Drink As Much
If you are a drinker, and I was most my life you should consider scaling back on that as well. The recommended daily dose of your favorite toxin is no more than 2 drinks a day for men, and 1 drink a day for women. I wish I would have thought about this 20 years ago, maybe I wouldn’t be writing this article trying to help others recover and relive a healthy life. As most of you know, too much alcohol can damage your liver. It can cause throat, liver, and/or pancreas cancer. The abuse of alcohol also creates issues at the office, in the home, is responsible for vehicular homicides yearly, suicides, and other violent outbreaks. Drink Responsibly.
The aforementioned are more of the obvious pointers that most adults already know contribute to your overall health. If you truly want complete health you will need to equally invest in your mental health, relationships, your home, and the other things that bring you happiness. Miserable people are not healthy. Also, visit your doctor yearly for a physical and also when you are sick. When I was younger I skipped doctors visits, now I go for a common cold. You never know when something like COPD or chronic bronchitis can rear its ugly head. Get your vision and teeth inspected as well. Both of those contribute to overall health. By taking preventative measures you can keep ahead of the progression and avoid sinking deep into the health hell hole.
Women should make time for breast checkups; breast cancer is a leading cause of death for women. Men can get breast cancer, too. If you have moobs you should consider getting them looked at. Consult your physician to get started with mammograms. You should start screening early if you have a family history of breast cancer. Like men with testicular cancers, women can perform monthly self-checkups on their own breasts, check for lumps, and abnormalities.
Routine pap smears for women should be performed starting at age 21 and should happen about every 3 years for preventative measures. This can change depending on the health of the individual and medical history.
You can check with your care provider about other check-ups that should be performed yearly. Once you hit your 50’s you should begin regular colon cancer screenings yearly. Again, this process can change depending on the health of the individual and medical history.
Stay free from as many meds as possible, if you can find natural ways to lower cholesterol or blood pressure then you should opt for that option before buying a prescription. Keep a list of current medicines you take. As you get older you should stay up on your shots. Adults should have a Td booster every 10 years or so to protects against a whooping cough (pertussis). Women who are pregnant should have the Tdap vaccine. Anyone that is treating or caring for babies should also be treated.
Monitor Your Intake
Count calories, this is crucial for weight loss and maintenance efforts. This will also help you control your portion sizes so that you are not overeating. Eating small portions regularly will help keep your metabolism up and prevent you from tanking yourself with a massive over-served plate of food.
These are some of my recommendations for getting healthy and staying healthy. Of course, there are always additional ways to improve your health but these are some very common and affordable strategies to introduce into your everyday life.