The road to better health starts with you. Your actions can help you feel better now and make a difference in the future. When you take care of your health, you can prevent many health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. By taking control of your health now, you can prevent these medical conditions from developing or get worse.
Are you ready to take the challenge to a healthier you? Here are 12 awesome ways to take charge of your health:
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1. Select a good primary care doctor
The keyword here is – “good”. Choosing a “good” primary care doctor is important. You take the time to select a good barber or hair colorist, right? You take the time to select the right therapist, tutor, or mechanic. So, what’s the difference in selecting the best doctor for you? You want one that really cares about your needs and is open to getting you on the right track to good health. There are many doctors who are primary care physicians. That doesn’t mean they have good bedside manners, or stay in the exam room long enough to discuss what you really need.
A good primary care doctor will really listen and educate you, not just give you medicine and tell you to have a great day. A primary care physician that wants to run all the tests to make sure you are healthy is key. A “good” doctor can help make suggestions for your health and well-being, and also give you options, and educational material. You need to select the primary care doctor that is a good fit for you.
2. Schedule your annual wellness exam
Start off every year by scheduling your annual wellness exam. Regular check-ups are an important way for you and your doctor to find health problems early, and also help prevent some medical conditions. This is also the time to talk with your doctor about any health issues, concerns, or questions you may have regarding your health.
It’s important to talk about your health history with your doctor, to help identify health conditions. It’s helpful to take a list of questions, medicines, and any notes with you during your visit. Write down a list of all the medications, including the dosage that you take. Make the doctor aware of any health changes that may have occurred since the last visit, and any health problems you would like to discuss. It’s also a great idea to notate your physical activity, the stress in your life, safety habits, and nutrition. Your doctor can then determine which tests, screenings, and vaccines you may need.
3. Get a seasonal flu shot
Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and the ones you love from the flu. And the great news is, if you have health insurance, it’s part of your preventive health coverage, which should be covered at 100%. The flu is very contagious. It’s a viral respiratory illness that infects the nose, throat, and sometimes lungs. The flu can cause either mild or severe illness which can even result in death.
The flu can be spread by tiny droplets when talking, coughing, or sneezing. The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone, ages six months and older should receive the flu vaccine every year. The benefits of getting a flu shot outweigh the risks. The flu vaccine can prevent you from getting sick with the flu, and it can also reduce the risk of hospitalizations resulting from the flu. The flu vaccine can be life-saving, especially for children who suffer from asthma.
4. Get or schedule a dental cleaning 2x year
Oral health is very important. When you take good care of your oral health, meaning your mouth, tongue, and teeth, you decrease the risk of heart health conditions. It’s important to see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups to ensure that any dental issues do not cause harm to your health.
5. Get or schedule an annual skin screening with a dermatologist
Were you a sun-baker at one point in your life? Perhaps staying out in the sun, baking your skin for a good tan? It’s important to see a dermatologist for your skin health. Sunburns, even during childhood can be harmful in your adult years. It’s important for your dermatologist to evaluate your skin with an annual skin screening. They will check your moles, skin tags, dark spots, and health of your skin to determine treatment and preventive care during the aging process. Extremely important: Wear a UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen every single day to help prevent skin cancer.
6. Schedule an annual eye exam
When was the last time you got your eyes checked? Do you struggle to see up close, or far away? Typically, as people age their eyesight changes. It’s important to get an annual eye exam from your ophthalmologist to make sure that your eyes are healthy. It’s equally important to have your doctor check your vision to ensure that you don’t have eye strain, which can result in headaches.
7. Check if you’re up-to-date on vaccines
Besides the Coronavirus and flu vaccine, do you know what other vaccines are recommended? It’s important to know what vaccinations are available to you for your age group. For a list of Adult screenings and vaccines, check out the (CDC) Centers for Disease Control Prevention.
8. Get your blood pressure taken regularly
Do you know the blood pressure machines in your neighborhood pharmacy? Yeah- those are for everyone to check their blood pressure. You may think you’re healthy, but sometimes your blood pressure can suggest otherwise. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked. There are blood pressure machines and also blood pressure cuffs that you can buy over-the-counter for regular checks.
9. Drink at least 32 ounces of water a day
Staying hydrated with water improves your mental focus, and is very important for brain function. Swap out beverages with water. If you think you’re drinking enough water, drink more. There are cups that you can purchase to help keep track of your water intake. Drinking water has so many health benefits- way too many to list here.
10. Walk at least 10,000 steps every day of the week
Exercise is important for your overall physical health, mental health, and well-being. Keeping track of your steps is the latest trend. You can purchase any step tracking device or track steps on your phone and make sure that you at least get in 10,000 steps every day of the week.
11. Check and change your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries regularly
Smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors can save lives. By law, every home should have a smoke detector. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, you need to get one. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Make sure your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors are working and functioning properly. Write down the last time you checked them both and keep a consistent schedule to check them regularly.
12. Wear your seatbelt every day, or a helmet and safety gear
Safety first! There’s nothing more to say other than a seatbelt, a helmet, and safety gear can save your life. Make sure you and your loved ones are always protected and safe.
Better health starts with the little things in your life. Taking baby steps toward changing the bad habits and turning them into healthy ones, will make a significant difference in the long run. When you change your mindset to take charge of your health and create an annual or regular routine, you set yourself up for a healthier and more protected version of yourself. Create a health routine, schedule annual health checkups, and practice habits to keep you and your family safe. These tips can be lifesaving and life-changing. Start the process of improving your health by manifesting a healthier version of yourself year after year.