Your health is one of your highest priorities. However, a busy lifestyle with many responsibilities can cause you to put self-care at the bottom of your to-do list. Losing control of your health can cause your quality of life to spiral downhill quickly. If you haven’t been taking care of yourself, there are simple things you can do to remedy the situation. Here are 13 things you can do to help take charge of your health care.
Find a Dentist You Trust
One of the best ways to take charge of your health care is to find a dentist you can trust. You can do this by asking family and friends or researching dentistry services online. Read online reviews and check sites such as the Better Business Bureau for complaints on dentists in your area. Schedule a consultation with two or three dentists to meet with them and ask questions. This can help you determine if you are comfortable with them.
Make sure to research their background and make sure their licenses and certifications are up to date. Ask about insurance plans they accept and what financing options may be available. If you don’t have dental insurance, there are free community programs available that can benefit you. Many providers offer sliding fee programs for low-income families. You can also find supplemental programs that can help pay for basic dental services.
Seek Modern Orthodontic Treatment
Another great way to take charge of your health care is to seek modern orthodontic treatment. If you have missing or damaged teeth, it can impact your overall health and make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. There are many treatment options available to correct misaligned teeth such as Invisalign that offer the benefits of braces without being highly noticeable to others. Each treatment option has its own advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to discuss with your doctor to evaluate which one is best for you.
Take care of your teeth at home by brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day. Change your toothbrush once every three months. Avoid eating sugary or acidic foods that can wear down enamel and damage teeth. Invest in the best dental products to take care of your teeth. Schedule a routine dental exam and cleaning twice a year to help maintain your pearly whites.
Know Your Medical History
Knowing your medical history is a critical aspect to consider when you want to take charge of your health care. Your medical history is important to help a doctor diagnose and prevent diseases that you may be at most risk for developing. If you know that bone issues are a problem in your family, your doctor can recommend the appropriate arthritis treatment.
Your medical history should include a list of the diseases that commonly occur in your family. There are online tools available that can help you gather this information. It should also include any previous health issues you have had as well as any current medications you are taking. You will also want to keep track of the dates and results for any checkups, screening tests, and surgeries. Make sure your emergency contact information is correct in your medical records.
Pay Attention to What You Consume
Another important way to take charge of your health care is to pay attention to what you put into your body. Your body needs the appropriate fuel to operate at optimal levels. Avoid processed and prepackaged foods and opt for lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. Instead of sugary caffeinated beverages, drink water instead. You may want to consider investing in reverse osmosis water filtration to get the healthiest drinking water from your tap.
Look for ways you can add healthier versions of your favorite foods. For example, you might want to research banana bread recipes made from healthier ingredients. Cut back on portions by using smaller plates. Make your meals at home instead of going out to eat. Plan ahead and prepare healthy meals and snacks that are ready to go when you are busy throughout the week.
Prioritize Skin Care
Another important aspect to focus on to take charge of your health care is to prioritize your skin care regimen. Sun damage can cause significant damage to your skin and increase your risk of cancer. Make sure to apply sunscreen every day and moisturize your skin to keep it from drying out in the winter. You may want to consider alternative options such as CBD infused skin care.
Minimize the number of skin care products you use. Too many products can cause clogged pores and irritate your skin. Keep your hands away from your face and drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated. Exfoliate your skin twice a week to rejuvenate your skin by removing dead skin cells. Clean your makeup brushes on a regular basis.
Be Prepared for Medical Emergencies
Being prepared for medical emergencies is important when you want to take charge of your health care. Make sure your first aid kit is stocked with waterproof bandages, antiseptic, thermometer, ice packs, and pain medication. Keep one kit at home and another in the trunk of your car. Create a list of emergency contacts and health providers on your phone as well as an easy to carry index card to have handy in case of emergency. Save the number for the Poison Control Center in your phone as well just in case.
You may want to consider taking a CPR or basic first aid class. Know where the closest hospitals are in your area. Make sure you have written advanced directives on file and an assigned person to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them for yourself. Make sure that your address numbers are clearly visible so emergency responders can find you. If you’re using medical equipment at home, create a back-up plan to keep these devices powered if the power goes out for an extended period of time.
Clear the Air
The air quality in your home can have a significant impact on your health. Contaminants floating through the air from your HVAC system can cause serious respiratory illnesses and other chronic conditions. Have your residential oval ducts inspected and cleaned by a licensed professional. Change your filters on a monthly basis. Clean the vents in your kitchen and bathroom.
Having your carpets and rugs professionally cleaned can help improve the air quality in your home by getting rid of trapped debris and allergens. Control the humidity levels in your home with a humidifier to prevent mold and mildew growth. Buy indoor plants to help pull contaminants out of the air. Clean bedding and drapes regularly to reduce trapped allergens. Open your windows often to circulate fresh air throughout your home.
Stay Up to Date on Vaccines
Approximately a third of all people who visit a doctor do so because of stress. Stress can weaken your immune system and make you susceptible to all kinds of diseases. You can take charge of your health care and protect yourself from stress related illness by staying up to date on vaccines. Make sure to get a flu shot every year and ask your doctor about any other vaccines you may need. You should get a tetanus shot once every 10 years.
Approximately one out of five adults are up to date on their vaccinations. With the recent pandemic, it’s important to protect yourself from diseases that can seriously compromise your immune system. Vaccines will help you not miss work or spread contagious diseases to others. If you plan to travel in the near future, schedule a doctor’s appointment to make sure you protect yourself.
Get Enough Rest
To take control of your health care, you need to get the right amount of sleep each night. Adults should get seven to eight hours of sleep to help your body perform at optimal levels. If you don’t get enough rest, you can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, depression, cancer, and obesity. Sleep deprivation can cause your body to overproduce hormones that can undo the effects of a healthy diet and exercise. It can affect your energy levels throughout the day and the quality of your work performance.
To get enough sleep each night, set aside an hour or two to participate in relaxing activities. Take a warm bath, meditate, or read a book. Turn off electronics and make sure your bedroom is completely darkened. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time each morning. If you have consistent trouble sleeping, you may want to speak to your doctor about medications that may help.
Schedule a Physical Exam
Regular physical exams are a great way to help you take charge of your health care. A physical exam is important to detect health problems before they become serious. During a physical exam, your doctor will review your medical history and check your vital signs. Blood tests may be ordered to determine the health of your organs. Ask your doctor how often you should schedule a physical exam to stay on top of your health.
Speak with your doctor about your health goals. Ask for recommendations on what you can do to improve your health. You can work with your doctor to make adjustments in order to reduce your symptoms or reliance on medications. Your doctor can advise you on other health services that can benefit you in achieving your goals. These health services can include a consultation with a nutritionist for healthier meal planning, physical therapy, and mental health services to help cope with stress.
Understand Health Indicators
To take charge of your health care, you should understand basic health indicators and how they impact your overall wellbeing. These health indicators include your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and respiration rate. Make the most of your doctor’s visit by asking questions about these health indicators. Understanding the normal ranges of common blood tests can help you make informed decisions about your health.
Do your own research on your symptoms and medical conditions. Stay up-to-date on the latest medical studies and get multiple opinions on any diagnosis. Ask for copies of any lab test results to keep track of your medical records. Make sure you understand the side effects of any medications you are taking. You may want to seek alternative health treatments to help you achieve your goals.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Exercise offers many physical and mental benefits to help you take charge of your health care. Incorporate physical activities into your daily routine. Find activities that you enjoy such as dancing, taking long walks, or playing sports. You can help motivate yourself to exercise by finding someone to work out with. Try to get at least 20 minutes of moderate physical activity at least three times per week.
See an Eye Doctor
Your vision is an important part of your plan to take control of your health care. You should have an eye exam annually. Eye exams not only detect vision issues but other health conditions as well. If you need glasses or contact lenses but aren’t wearing them, it can create headaches and other issues. An eye exam will make sure your prescription is up to date to help prevent problems from occurring.
There are things you can do on a daily basis to help protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses all year round outdoors to shield your eyes from damaging UV rays. Wear a hat with a wide brim to reduce glare from the sun. When doing hazardous work or playing sports, wear protective eye equipment. Reduce time spent staring at computer screens and other electronic devices.
With today’s busy lifestyles, it can be difficult to make your health a priority. Take control of your health care by following the above tips. Start small and gradually increase your efforts towards a healthier lifestyle over time. You can improve and enjoy a higher quality of life. Take action today and make your health your top priority.