Many people may think they know what it means to take charge of their health. If they notice something is wrong, they may go to urgent care or an emergency room to get treatment. They may monitor themselves for big signs that their health is off, but what about the smaller signs? How can they take action and prevent small issues from becoming large ones?
Taking charge of your health means you take your health into your own hands and actively have a say in it. There’s a lot of positives to taking control of your health, and if you haven’t made it a priority before, you may want to now. Taking control now could help you a lot down the line. Here are some key ways you can take charge of your health care, and why it’s important for you to focus on it right now.
Pay Attention To The Signs
You can’t take charge of your health care if you don’t listen to your body. One of the most important things you can do to keep on top of your health is to pay attention to signs that something may be wrong. These signs can help you identify any health issues early on and help you get treatment faster.
It can be easy to shrug off signs that something is off with your health. For example, you may start to notice that your vision is starting to become blurry. You could think this is a temporary thing and shrug it off. However, over time your vision could deteriorate and before you know it, you’re at your local eye care center talking to an optometrist about getting contact lenses. If you had listened to your body earlier, you could have gotten help sooner.
Ignoring the signs that something is wrong can lead to long-term damage, especially if you have an undiagnosed disease like diabetes. Your body knows when something is wrong, so listen to the signs and trust yourself. If you think something is wrong, go get it checked out.
Get Your Annual Checkups
Speaking of going to the doctor’s, another great way to take charge of your health care is to go to your regularly scheduled checkup appointment. Checkups allow your doctor to continuously monitor your health and check for any anomalies. They also allow you to set aside time and talk to your doctor about anything you think is off with your health. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor could recommend running more tests to get a fuller picture or suggest a change in your routine that could help the problem go away on its own. You won’t know unless you go to your checkup, though.
Checkups are also where your doctor can check on how effective your current medications or health equipment is. They can check on wheelchairs, canes, hearing aids, or any other form of health equipment that helps you with daily life. Closely monitoring these things can help determine whether or not they’re helping you.
Don’t Skip The Dentist
If you truly want to take charge of your health care, you have to go to the dentist. Your dental care correlates with your overall health. If you have poor dental health, you could be at risk for developing gum disease, heart disease, or even diabetes. To prevent this from happening, stay on top of your oral health.
Generally, it’s recommended that you go in for a dental cleaning twice a year. However, it’s important to listen to your dentist while you’re getting your teeth cleaned. They will tell you if they see warning signs of poor dental health and what you can do to improve. They may also recommend you come in more than twice a year to seek treatment. You may think your dental health is in good shape, but something could be lurking underneath the surface. Do yourself a favor and don’t skip the dentist.
An underrated way to take charge of your health care is to wear sunscreen when you go outside. When the weather is nice, you may want to skip the sunscreen so you can get some color from the sun. However, getting a sunburn can cause more damage than you think.
Since the ozone layer is thinner now, more harmful UV rays can break through and cause serious damage to our skin. Too much UV exposure can lead to skin cancer. If skin cancer is detected early enough, there’s a good chance you can recover from it, but do you want to take that chance? Take preventative measures by wearing sunscreen that’s the right SPF for your skin. You can also consult a dermatologist and ask if there are any other products you can use to help keep your skin safe.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Constant hydration is a key thing to do in order to take charge of your health care effectively. It’s recommended that people drink at least eight glasses of water per day, but you could need more depending on your health circumstances.
There’s a number of reasons why you need to drink plenty of water each day. Drinking water helps improve brain function, helps deliver oxygen in the body, helps stabilize our body temperature, and can help keep your kidneys healthy. Drinking enough water can also help keep your skin in good shape.
In addition to drinking enough water, you should also reduce the number of sugary drinks you consume. If you drink one soda per day, try replacing it with an extra glass of water for two weeks and see how you feel. The more hydrated you are, the better your overall health will be.
Get Enough Sleep Each Night
Do you constantly find yourself not getting enough sleep? Do you wake up in the morning exhausted and rely on coffee to keep you awake and alert? If so, you need to take charge and start getting more sleep as soon as possible.
It’s recommended that people get eight hours of sleep per night, but they may need more depending on their situation. Many people may not think they need a full eight hours of sleep, but that assumption could be hurting their health. Getting enough sleep helps our minds stay alert, regulates our moods, helps our immune system, and can help us maintain a healthy weight. If you don’t get enough sleep, you could be at risk for conditions like insomnia, heart disease, and depression.
When people are crunched for time, sleep is usually one of the first things to go. This shouldn’t be the case, as sleep is crucial for the success of your overall health. Instead of sacrificing sleep, see what else you can cut back on in your life.
Eat A Well-Balanced Diet
Food is fuel for your body. If you want to really take charge of your health care, you have to pay attention to your diet. The foods you eat correlate to your health, so the better you eat, the better your overall health will be.
You should aim to eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, protein, and healthy fats. These will help fuel your body with important vitamins and minerals you need to function properly. You should also limit the amount of sugar and trans fats you consume, as these could contribute to diseases like diabetes. If you have questions about your diet and what you should and should not be eating, contact your doctor and set up an appointment to discuss it.
You may also be wondering how much food you should be eating in your diet. In the end, it depends on your body and health. Overeating and under-eating can have health repercussions, so make sure you consult your doctor if you have questions about how much you should be eating.
Stick To An Exercise Routine
Another key aspect you’ll need to take charge of your health care is to stick to an exercise routine. It’s recommended that adults exercise for 150 minutes per week.
There are a lot of ways you can exercise. You can do cardio by going for walks, running, or doing a Zumba class. You could lift weights, play a sport, or do customized workouts with a trainer. The kind of exercise you need depends on things like your age and health. For example, someone a little older may want to exercise to help them with arthritis treatment and to prevent bone loss. Your exercise routine should help you stay healthy. If you’re thinking of making a drastic change to your exercise routine, consult your doctor first. They’ll be able to help you plan out what your exercise routine should look like and tell you if there are any risks to changing it up.
Focus On Your Mental Health
A lot of people emphasize their physical health, but they may not realize that physical health is only one part of your overall health. One of the key things to do to take charge of your health care is to focus on your mental health too. If your mental health is suffering, your overall health could be suffering as well.
One way to evaluate your mental health is to reflect on how much stress you feel. Are you constantly feeling stressed out and overwhelmed? If so, you could be feeling anxious or even depressed. These feelings can cause your mental health to suffer, and also cause your physical health to decline. Stress has been linked to several health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and gastrointestinal issues. One-third of people visit a doctor because of stress or something stress-related. If you’re constantly feeling stressed, see what you can do about limiting that stress. It could benefit your mental and physical health.
If you aren’t sure how to improve your mental health, you can talk to a mental health professional. They can help you determine what the cause could be, and what steps you can take to improve it. Remember, you’re not alone when evaluating and treating your mental health. There are people in your corner who will help if you reach out.
Build Supportive Relationships
One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is building supportive relationships with those around you. Building strong relationships with family and friends can help you stay on track with your health goals and improve your mental health. If you have a strong support system, you can go to them with your wins and losses, and they can help you navigate them in a supportive way.
You can also have a supportive relationship with a pet. Research shows that there are health benefits of owning a pet, including lower blood pressure and decreased feelings of loneliness. If you want to get a pet, make sure you pick the right pet for you. If you’re an active person, you may want to get a more active pet, like a dog. If you work a lot, you may want to get a low-maintenance pet, like a fish or a turtle. Whatever pet you decide to get, be sure to look into proper pet health and know how you can keep your pets the healthiest they can be. This can include looking into animal dentistry to make sure their oral health is in good condition.
Having a support system in your life can help you successfully take charge of your health. Knowing that you have people in your life you can turn to can help motivate you to achieve your goals and inspire you to be healthier.
If you want to take charge of your health care, you have to dedicate yourself to making changes and staying on top of your plan. This includes monitoring your routines, making sure you take your proper medication, and making sure you have all the home care medical supplies you need. Having a plan is a great start, but it’ll take time and commitment to get the routine down and start to take charge. Once you do, though, you’ll be sure glad you did.