No matter what happens with healthcare legislation, one thing you can be sure of is that your health is still largely in your own hands. Rather than just reacting to illness when it strikes you can be proactive in perpetuating wellness with the choices you make on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.
While your ancestors had to work hard each day to fill their bellies, you likely have the opposite problem—it’s hard to resist over-filling your belly. But studies show that maintaining a nutritious diet is essential to good overall health. For optimum results, add daily physical activity. Just 30 minutes of moderate exertion is all it takes to keep your heart in top shape, your immune system strong, and your metabolism functioning at optimal levels. Meaningful downtime such as meditation can help with stress management, cognitive performance and pain relief.
You would never think of checking in with your primary physician weekly, but some health care professionals will allow you to do just that. You will experience maximum benefits of chiropractic care, counseling and massage therapy with weekly or biweekly appointments. Additionally, take care of your health by meeting up with friends frequently. Meaningful social connections contribute to your mental and physical health; that Friday post-work get together may help you live longer.
Annual physical exams are important, as they prompt you to actively focus on your health. Regular check-ups, screenings and tests allow your doctor to monitor vital systems and alert you early if something is going wrong. Past certain ages, women need mammograms and men should have prostate exams. On a much more pleasant note, yearly holidays are also essential to well-being. Studies have shown that those who neglect to take time off may increase their risk of heart attack by 30-50%—but taking vacations results in less illness, reduced incidence of depression, better mood and enhanced cognitive function.