Some Healthy Tips to Take to Heart
Some Healthy Tips to Take to Heart
Many people fall into the habit of taking care of others’ health and wellness needs before they take care of their own. But the fact is that you’re actually in a better position to provide care for the people most important to you when you make your own healthcare a top priority.
No matter what your age or overall health status is, these 6 health tips can help you increase your chances of better health throughout your life:
- Stop smoking. Doing so will greatly reduce your chances of developing lung and heart disease.
- Make physical activity* and important part of your life. Even if you only have time for 20 minutes of exercise a day, a lifelong habit of regular activity benefits your healthy heart and helps you stay on top of your weight and your stress levels.
- Make good nutrition* a priority. Avoid crash diets or overindulgence in favor of a realistic diet that features plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce your stress. Studies link high stress with changes in the way your blood clots and with increased levels of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol – all which can increase the risk of heart disease.
- See your doctor* every year. Even if you’re feeling fine, regular wellness checks and health screenings can increase your chances of early detection of problems.
- Don’t skimp on sleep. Besides fighting the signs of aging, regular sleep promotes mental alertness and helps keep your stress levels in check.
MORE ABOUT NUTRITION:
Regardless of your age, nutrition experts generally recommend a diet that’s focuses on fruits, vegetables, fiber and protein. Your physician can direct you to appropriate resources – such as choosemyplate.gov – to help you tailor a diet that best supports lifelong health.
MORE ABOUT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:
Throughout your life, a physical active regimen that includes 20-30 minutes of daily cardiac activity (such as walking, running, swimming, hiking, or biking) is recommended for heart health, weight management, and stress reduction. Particularly as you get older, it may be beneficial to supplement your exercise routing with weight lifting or other strength training activities to help prevent loss of bone density and muscle mass.
The good news about exercise is that it’s never too late to start. Even if you’re past 50 and don’t have much of a history of physical fitness, you can still “start small” and work your way into a regular routine of exercise that helps you improve your overall health.
MORE ABOUT SEEING YOUR DOCTOR
Cholesterol and Blood Pressure: People ages 20 and up should consider annual cholesterol tests and blood pressure tests as part of their regular health care routine. Your physician may recommend a more frequent schedule if you have a family history of problems in these areas or other risk factors.
Colorectal Screenings: Once you turn 50, ask your physician about recommended screenings (such as colonoscopies) for colorectal cancers and other potential problems.
Skin Cancer: People of all ages should develop the habit of paying attention to changes in the skin or changes in moles and birthmarks. Be sure and report anything that seems different when you have annual wellness checks. If you have risk factors for skin cancer, such as a family history, fair skin, or a history of childhood sunburns, you should ask your physician if he or she recommends regular screenings.
Diabetes: Besides knowing the signs and symptoms of diabetes and managing your risk factors, you may need regular screenings from age 40 onward, depending on your family history and risk factors. Ask your physician for advice.
*Talk to your physician about recommended health screenings. Guidelines for health screenings vary and your physician may recommend a schedule that differs from the guidelines based on your medical or family history. Also, be sure to consult your physician before beginning any exercise routine.