Staying healthy requires you to work on your health daily. Creating good habits and eliminating bad habits are the two simplest ways to improve and maintain your health. Anyone can start on a path toward a healthier life when they have the right information. The good news is that it is not overly difficult to stay healthy, but you do need to commit to making a conscious effort every day.
Get a Physical Examination
You need to know your current state of health to determine what changes you need to make to stay healthy. During your physical, your doctor will check things like your cholesterol, weight, blood pressure and other factors that can lead to more serious issues if they are not within a healthy range. The average recommendation for a physical examination is once a year. Your doctor can give you guidance on how often you should have this performed to keep track of your overall health.
Make the Right Food Choices
A diet that contains majority plant-based foods is generally recommended for optimal health. It is also important that you monitor your portion sizes so that you are not consuming too many calories. When your diet is balanced properly, it is easier to maintain a healthy weight which is critical for optimal health.
As you work on crafting a healthy diet, there are four main factors to keep in mind:
- Strive to consume two cups of fruit and another two and a half cups of vegetables each day. These provide you with fiber and other essential nutrients.
- Make sure to eat a variety of nuts and fish to get adequate amounts of unsaturated fats. These foods are also filling so that you eat less while still getting satisfied.
- Ensure that you get enough whole grains each day. They contain complex carbohydrates which stabilize your blood sugar and prevent sudden drops and spikes. Whole grains are also excellent sources of fiber.
- Significantly limit how many trans fats you are consuming daily. These fats can contribute to a cholesterol imbalance where your bad cholesterol gets too high and your good cholesterol gets too low. This can increase the risk of variety of health issues, especially heart disease.
Part of a healthy diet includes keeping yourself hydrated. How much water you should drink depends on how much you weigh. However, if you have health issues or use medications, talk to your doctor to get a more accurate guideline specific to your health. On average, you should be drinking a half to one ounce of water per pound. Using this guideline, a healthy adult needs 75 to 150 ounces daily if they weigh 150 pounds.
Engage in Exercise Regularly
Every week, you should be getting a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic exercise that is moderate in intensity. This includes activities, such as jogging, swimming or cycling. You should also strength train a minimum of two days weekly to enhance your strength and the overall health of your muscles.
It is important to limit how much sitting you do. When you are relaxing, be sure to get up regularly to move around a little bit. If you have not exercised in a while, talk to your doctor about how to get started. They can aid you in developing a plan that will work for you. Over time, you can increase how long you are exercising and the overall intensity of your workouts.
Avoid Tobacco Products
Using tobacco products increases your risk of a variety of health issues, such as lung cancer and heart disease. There are smoking cessation programs offered at most hospitals and community health clinics that you can take advantage of. With these, you have access to methods and products that can aid you in reducing your tobacco usage over time until you have fully stopped the habit.
Be Smart About Sex
Both your physical and emotional health benefit from sex as long as you are safe about it. Limit your number of partners and make sure to use protection to reduce your risk of sexually transmitted diseases. If you have sex outside of a monogamous relationship, be sure to get tested for STDs, including HIV, as often as your doctor recommends it.
Protect Your Skin
Your skin is the primary barrier against the outside world. When your skin is healthy, you are less vulnerable to many environmental threats. Proper skin protection also reduces your risk of skin cancer, which is the most common cancer diagnosed among people in the US.
All year round you need to use sunscreen every day. The sunscreen that you choose should offer both UVB and UVA protection and the SPF level should be at least 15. Limit your overall time in the sun and make sure to not use tanning booths to further keep your skin protected.
Keep Your Injury Risk Low
Injuries are a common cause of long-term disability. There are several ways to reduce your risk of experiencing an injury that could impact your overall health over the long-term:
- Always wear your seatbelt when you are in a vehicle
- Ensure proper gun safety if you keep a gun in your home
- Make sure that your home is equipped with detectors for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
- When you are riding a bike always wear a helmet
Maintain Your Oral Health
Dental issues can affect your overall health when they are left untreated. For example, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease over time.
Periodontal disease can have negative effects on your heart health if it goes unchecked. To ensure proper dental health, keep the following in mind:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss every day
- See your dentist about twice a year to get an exam and cleaning
- Reduce your intake of acidic and sugary drinks and foods
- Get any dental issues addressed quickly so that they are not able to get worse
Before you make any major changes to your health, talk to your doctor. Not only can they give you information that pertains specifically to your body’s needs, but they can also give you some tips that can make it easier to live a healthy lifestyle.