This health item is some people’s least favorite, but it is absolutely essential. At some point in our lives, whether it is when we are young or when we are old, we will all have to rely on the healthcare system. This is an unavoidable fact. Yet some people spend their lives trying to avoid doctor’s visits out of fear of a unfavorable diagnosis. This logic is backwards. The more regularly someone sees their doctor and the more closely they follow their advice, the more likely it is they will not receive an unfavorable diagnosis.
It is very important to make regular doctor’s visits, even if they are only for the purpose of being preventative. General physical exams can detect a number of severe ailments before they develop. They can also gauge all of your general levels, as far as cholesterol, blood pressure and the like are concerned. Physicians recommend that everyone do a physical once a year to regularly monitor the condition of your physical health.
The other reason to go to the doctor is, of course, if you are experiencing unidentified symptoms. This could be pain, discomfort or just an irregularity anywhere in your body. Pain and discomfort are generally symptoms of something that requires medical treatment. If it is a familiar feeling and you already know that the diagnosis poses no immediate threat, there is no need to go to the doctor out of alarm. But if the feeling is unfamiliar and you are concerned, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss it. Even being aware of irregularities in your body, such as a new mole or a lump, can be reason to visit the doctor. Taking notice of such things has prevented cancer, infection and many other serious conditions.
Going to the doctor is vital, but brief. The real necessity of visiting the doctor is to learn what changes you need to make in your life, and then follow through on them. It is common for people to keep their routines and habits, despite what their doctor advised them to do, but one of the best things you can do for your personal health is to seek a trustworthy medical opinion and then follow it, whether it means diet, exercise, medication or any other practice.
The social healthcare of Canada is an incredible benefit to its residents, yet it can sometimes create an attitude within people that prompts them to lean heavily on medical care instead of taking responsibility for their own health. For example, someone with acne might go to the doctor for antibiotics but fail to control their drinking habit that is worsening their condition. Or, someone who never exercises or stretches may go to the doctor complaining of joint stiffness and ask for medication. This is not to make light of a substance abuse problem. Canadians who struggle with something like problem drinking need the services of an alcoholism rehab Pickering, Vancouver or Toronto. However, while social healthcare is a great privilege of being Canadian, it should not be used as a crutch. Contributing toward a communal healthcare budget is all the more reason to take the best care of one’s self possible and adhere to simple yet valuable health advice.
The best medical treatment a person can give themselves is a day-to-day healthy lifestyle. Everyone should make careful, well-informed decisions about their diet, for starters. No two people have the same body chemistry and an individual’s perfect diet is developed through critical thinking about food and trial and error. People with heart conditions require heart-friendly foods, people with a gluten intolerance require gluten free foods, and so on. There are basic diet choices that nearly everyone can follow for good health and weight management, such as limiting fats and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Getting enough exercise and doing stretches is also critical to a person’s health. Working out is how we build muscle, shed calories and increase circulation, and doing stretches is how we retain our flexibility. Building muscle mass is important to preserving strength for good joint health and protection of our bones. Burning the calories we eat is important to weight management and to a balanced metabolism. Good circulation is important to the renewal of all our organs and bodily systems, and flexibility keeps us agile as we age.
And lastly, getting enough regular sleep and managing stress is very important to good health. Our bodies use sleep to restore themselves to good health. Missing out on sleep results in diminished physical health and brain function. Having a stress release is also critical to good health as stress is physically debilitating and has been proven to cause physical symptoms.
Exercising regularly is very important to one’s personal health. It is a major commitment to follow through on exercising every day, but with perseverance, it can begin to feel perfectly natural. Exercise is important to our weight management, our bone and joint strength, our flexibility, our muscle mass, our bodily systems and functions, and generally speaking, our longevity. Yet so many choose to forego this basic life necessity, either because they do not have a taste for it or because they feel too busy for it. It is critical to every person’s health that they make some time for exercise, if not daily, then as often as possible.
The number one complaint about exercise is how difficult it is to keep with it day after day. Life happens, and all of our plans need to be adjusted. However, this is not a good enough reason for giving up on exercise. Those who are successful with maintaining a workout routine typically do it at the same time every day. It is highly recommended that you exercise when you first wake up, the reason being that your day has not started yet, so your plans to exercise should not be derailed by other life obligations. It is also advisable to work out with a friend, if it is an option. Being accountable to another person has a natural way of making us follow through with our commitments. And lastly, in order to stick with an exercise plan, it is good to develop a routine that does not push you beyond your means. If your exercise routine leaves you gasping for breath and feeling like you are going to vomit, you need to rethink it. You have all the time in the world to gradually work up to a challenging level exercise, but start where you are comfortable.
In order to develop a successful exercise plan, you need to have a basic knowledge of what kind of exercise the human body requires. The two primary types of exercise are cardio and toning. Cardio is exercise that is focused on strengthening the heart, lungs and circulation. This is also the type of exercise that burns calories and fat molecules. Examples of cardio are jogging, hiking, biking, jump-roping or doing aerobics. Toning has to do with training the muscles. Examples include weight lifting or doing a repetitive exercise that targets a specific body part. Toning is good for strength building and sculpting the body’s appearance. Many people also enjoy doing flexibility exercise such as yoga in order to keep the body limber.
A diet can be a trying thing to manage, particularly in an era of fast food, junk food and superstores. Everyday we are confronted with the choice to eat healthy or to eat unhealthy, and willpower can feel very thin at times. Eating healthy is a matter of personal psychology as much as it is following a calorie counting system. If we think of food like an escape, an indulgence, an addiction or a security blanket, chances are we will not be able to stick to a set nutrition plan. But if we think of food as a lifestyle choice, medicine, nourishment and detoxification, we can successfully manage a diet.
There are right and wrong ways to manage a diet. Lacking an education about what foods are healthy can destroy a diet, because you will not achieve your health goals. Similarly, if you do not grow to understand your personal relationship with particular food items, your diet may fail because you will be oblivious to your own food allergies and nutrient deficiencies and so on. If you eat spur of the moment, without any idea of what your body is genuinely craving or requiring, you will not have diet success because a proper diet requires forethought.
If you are serious about dieting, you must approach it as a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix. You need to take the time to educate yourself on nutritional eating and discover the vast range of health benefits to each type of natural food. You also need to learn what your relationship to particular foods are. For example, people with low thyroid problems are advised to eat seaweed because it is high in iodine, which the body cannot produce with low thyroid. Medical conditions often need to be discovered with the help of medical professionals, however, monitoring your own personal reactions to every variety of food is very important to your health. Make yourself a personal nutrition plan, even if it is just mental, and follow it carefully in order to balance your body’s chemistry and control the urge to binge eat.
Getting solid, regular sleep can be the difference between a happy, healthy life and a miserable, unhealthy life. Many people forego good sleep for one reason or another, but medical science warns of the dangers of this habit. The most recent studies on sleep indicate that foregoing sleep can have an Alzheimer’s-like affect on the brain. Getting any less than eight hours in a night can actually do permanent damage to the brain in the form of brain cells being killed off and being replaced by brain fog. The “eight hours of sleep” rule became a pop culture statement for a while, but with brain studies being released about how vital a long night’s sleep is, it is urgent that people start listening to medical advice and making time for proper sleep.
In order to get a full night’s sleep, there are a number of things to avoid doing. Many people think that certain alcohols or drugs make good sleep aids, but in reality, they have the opposite effect in the long run. Substance abuse creates tolerance and dependency, which drastically disrupt sleep schedules. It is strongly advised that you avoid things that make the brain alert before bed, such as working or exercising. Staring at the blue light of a screen or the bright light of bulbs and sunshine tell your brain to stay awake. Avoid eating large meals as your body’s digestion process can interfere with sleep. And lastly, do not fluctuate your sleep schedule to be at different times of the day or for different lengths as this will prevent your body and mind from falling into a sleep rhythm.
There are a number of things you should make sure to do in order to get a full night’s sleep. If your stomach feels too empty, a light, healthy snack and a natural sleep aid such as tea are the perfect bedtime snack. Sleeping in total darkness will signal brain that it is time to shut down, and will help with the length of sleep. Some people prefer to sleep with a white noise device, such as a fan. If you are restless and want to distract your mind, reading something of neutral content is useful. However, the best practice to get into is to train your brain to turn off when it is time to sleep, ending the rampant flow of thoughts. Take care to sleep at the same time every night for no less than eight hours.