Healthy Habits: Tips from Your Primary Care Physician for Maintaining Optimal Health
Taking action to improve your health does not have to be an overwhelming undertaking. In fact, subtle shifts in daily habits can make a huge difference in the health of your body. Although you may consider yourself healthy at the moment, this is never something that should be taken for granted. Making preventative action a part of your daily life is the best way to preserve your health for the future. Here are some simple things you can do to achieve optimal health.
Get Regular Checkups
Most physicians will tell you that it is far easier to prevent most forms of disease and chronic health issues than it is to treat the condition once you are already experiencing symptoms. One of the best things you can do is make annual well care visits a priority. In addition, get all recommended screenings done promptly as directed by your physician. Finally, take seriously any recommendations your doctor may have concerning nutrition, exercise, and other health related habits.
Optimize Your Diet
Studies have been confirming for years that greater longevity may be possible when you optimize your diet. In addition, a balanced diet helps boost the immune system and ward off disease. A healthy diet needs to be particularly rich in essential nutrients, which are substances that must be obtained because the body cannot make the nutrient in sufficient quantity to meet its needs. Known essential nutrients include essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Maintain the Best Body Weight for Your Height and Age
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight (as recommended by your doctor) is extremely important for overall health and can help to prevent a number of diseases and conditions. In fact, being overweight puts you at higher risk of developing serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, respiratory issues, and certain cancers.
Be Consistent with Exercise
In today’s modern society, we have become increasingly sedentary with much less natural movement in our lives. Thus, regular exercise has become more important than ever. Not only does exercise help you maintain your optimal body weight, but it also boosts the immune system and lowers your risk for a wide range of chronic diseases. While you should always speak to your physician regarding the most appropriate exercise plan for you, it’s generally recommended that you are active a minimum of 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
Reduce Stress and Get Enough Rest
While most people need between 7 and 9 of sleep per night to keep their body healthy, often busy lives prevent this from happening. Sleep is important and is considered vital for your body to heal and revitalize itself after the rigors of the day. Getting enough rest will also help you feel more balanced and keep your stress in check. This is critical since a stress filled life can significantly increase your risk of almost all diseases and health conditions.
If you notice any changes in your health, it’s recommended that you follow up with your primary care physician. Shifts in appetite, energy levels, and weight can sometimes indicate that there is something going on in the body that requires medical attention.