People don’t value their good health until it’s gone. It is only after a life-threatening diagnosis or a close call that people tend to take better care of themselves.
The young are particularly guilty of this, but it can strike at any age. Enjoying good health as you age isn’t only a matter of genetics. It involves conscious maintenance as well as a proactive approach to preventative care. Because prevention is better than cure.
If you want to reduce the possibility of becoming seriously ill as you age, these are some things you can do to take care of your health.
This one cannot be emphasized enough. Stress affects all the systems in your body. The longer the stressor(s) are present, the greater the potential for damage.
Stress causes your respiratory and circulatory system to go into overdrive. Over time, this will give you heart disease. Stress will affect your appetite as well as your stomach flora. You may develop an overabundance of the bacteria that cause ulcers. The tensing of your muscles as a stress reaction can lead to chronic pain and disability.
Some people think saying they are “stressed out” is an accomplishment, something to be proud of. This attitude has to change. Find ways to manage your stress before it causes permanent health problems. You can:
- Talk to a trained professional about your stress
- Practice yoga
- Talk with your company about how you can reduce your stress if it is work-related.
- Sit with a trusted friend and analyze what you can realistically do about your stress, especially if it’s of a personal nature
You don’t have to deal with mounting stress alone.
Take preventative measures
Guard your health the way you would guard your money. You wouldn’t let anyone knowingly steal money from you. You’d protect your money.
There are many ways you can protect your health. For one thing, you can exercise. The health benefits of exercise have been extensively documented. To summarize:
- It strengthens your circulatory system
- It increases endurance
- It keeps your weight down, which solves a host of other problems.
- It improves mobility as you age
Beyond exercise, there are many ways you can augment your body’s protective ability. You can talk to medical professionals at Atlanta Men’s Clinic to find out what you can do to boost your body’s health and defenses if you’ve been feeling a little rundown.
Eating well and taking vitamin and mineral supplements is also important in preserving health as well. Cut down on tobacco and alcohol consumption. If you do drugs, consider what you can do to help you quit. Any habit that undermines your health may feel good now, but you’ll pay for it later.
Just as you want to keep your body active, you’ll want to keep your mind active as well. Activities that give the mind work to do reduce the risk of developing degenerative disease of the brain.
Therefore, you’ll want to read more. You’ll want to do crossword puzzles, maybe try your hand at Sudoku.
Reading is also a great mental exercise, but beyond that, you can learn of other ways to protect your health. Reading gives you new perspectives on the world and the ability to converse intelligently, which is a skill you’ll need for our next point.
Human beings are social animals. Yet every single facet of modern life is designed to keep them separated from friends, family, and other means of social support.
Making time for family and friends always not only gives you a mood boost but has also been shown to reduce our stress response. Social interaction has been proven to increase and strengthen neurotransmitters, which is instrumental in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
People who care about us also encourage us to take care of health, to eat better, and to exercise. These interactions have been shown to reduce Type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, studies of people who live to be over 100, have been shown that one consistent feature of their lives was their level of social activity. This was so, even if other factors like diet varied.
See your doctor even if you feel well
People who see their doctors for regularly scheduled checkups, even when they feel well have been noted to stay healthier and live longer.
This is likely because regular doctor’s visits catch illnesses while they are still relatively easy to treat.
Taking care of your health can’t be done in one shot. It requires constant attention and effort. It is also a journey. Get started with yours today.