Having a positive impact on your health requires taking responsibility for it. When dealing with a chronic health condition, the truth of that statement becomes even more apparent.
According to research published in Medical Care Research and Review, people who do that tend to have better health outcomes.
No matter what excuses you’ve used in the past, taking even a few baby steps toward improving your health today can still lead to significant improvements in the future. The following are five useful pieces of advice concerning your health that you can implement immediately.
1. Make Sure You Get Enough Rest
Getting enough rest should be your number one concern. The specific needs of an adult are between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. According to the National Institutes of Health findings, a lack of sleep can increase a person’s likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and depression. If you don’t get enough sleep, your efforts to take charge of your health will have less impact than they otherwise would. This is because sleep allows you to recover from exercise, think clearly, and manage stress more effectively. Because a tired body can overproduce insulin and ghrelin, not getting enough sleep can undo all the hard work you have put into your diet and workout routine (the “hunger” hormone). Therefore, make sure you give yourself enough time or work on relaxing to get a good night’s sleep every night.
2. Make an appointment for a physical exam
Examining one’s health consistently is critical for preventing disease and identifying potential issues early. Visiting them regularly is one of the most straightforward ways to maintain control of your health.
To get an overall picture of your health, your primary care provider (PCP) will look at your personal history as well as the history of your family, as well as check your vital signs and gather other information. In addition, they might order blood tests to determine how well your organs are working. Your primary care physician (PCP) may recommend additional screening tests based on your age, medical history, and family history.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the frequency with which you should go in for physical exams is influenced by several factors, including your age, state of health, the medical history of your family, and the choices you make regarding your lifestyle. Therefore, having a conversation with your primary care provider about each of these aspects is important.
3. Have an understanding of various health indicators
You can positively and proactively impact your health by learning about your vital signs, such as your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature, as well as what they mean for your overall health.
Bringing a list of questions to the doctor with you can help you get the most out of your appointments with them. Your doctor gathers a lot of information about your health, but there are times when you need to speak up. You must ask the questions you need to ask to understand what tests look for when results should be expected, and how to interpret your results. The complete blood count (CBC), the basic metabolic panel (BMP), and the lipid panel are examples of common blood tests. Your ability to ask more informed questions about your results will correlate directly to your comprehension of these tests and your familiarity with the normal ranges.
4. Always remember to keep accurate records.
Keeping your health record (PHR) in one location and ensuring that it is always up to date ensures that it is easily accessible for you to share with healthcare providers. In addition, it guarantees that you will always have the most recent information regarding your health, allowing you to make decisions based on accurate data.
Your health record (PHR) ought to contain information such as your:
- Conditions of the health and history of the medical treatment.
- Dates of checkups and the outcomes of any screening tests that were performed.
- Details of how to get in touch with your various healthcare providers.
- Contacts in case of an emergency
The website for Managing My Own Health has a blank form that can be downloaded and used to make your own. Your health record (PHR) should also include the medical history of your family members. Utilizing this tool for the family health history can assist you in keeping track of conditions that tend to run in the family.
5. Improve Your Lifestyle
Decide to live a healthy lifestyle and take charge of your health. Maintaining a healthy weight, blood sugar level, blood pressure, and cholesterol level can be accomplished by maintaining a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can help.
Having a conversation with your primary care physician regarding the type of diet and amount of physical activity optimal for you is essential. The following are two suggestions that will make these adjustments easier and more manageable:
Maintaining a healthy diet should center on consuming a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean or low-fat sources of protein while cutting back on added sugars, sodium, and trans fats.
The guidelines for physical activity recommended by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion are thirty minutes of moderate exercise five days per week and activities that strengthen muscles twice per week. You can spread the 30-minute period into several shorter chunks if you’d like; it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Integrating exercise into your routine will help you achieve success in all aspects of your life.