Everyone tries to follow their New Years’ resolutions as soon as January first rolls around. One of your should be to take better care of your health. If you really want to live to be a “ripe old age,” as the saying goes, then it’s time that you found ways properly care for yourself. While some of the things on this list may be easy to do, others require making some major changes. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to change everything overnight – instead, you can make them slowly. Wondering about what we mean? Read on!
1) Get a Physical
It’s a good idea to get a physical every year. You may have to schedule this in advance, especially if your doctor is very busy and needs to set aside a chunk of time in order to conduct a proper physical. Usually, these consist of checking your blood pressure and heart rate, as well as monitoring how much oxygen is reaching your lungs. You’ll probably have to have a blood test, plus some additional things to ensure that your skeletal system is in good shape. Your doctor might even ask you a bunch of questions as well, so if you’re having any medical problems, this is a good time to speak up. Don’t be afraid – your doctor is there to make your feel better or, at the very least, ensure you that you’re in perfect health.
2) Schedule Those Medical Tests
Did you know that there are a number of medical tests that you need to have done once you reach a certain age? For example, when women turn 40, it’s time to start scheduling those mammograms. When you turn 50, you’ll have to schedule a yearly (or at least every couple of years, depending on your medical history) colonoscopy. Again, you’ll have to check with your doctor to see exactly what these “milestones” are, although you can probably find them by Googling them. The point here is that in order to take control of your health, you have to have these preventative tests done. This way, if something is wrong, it will be caught right away. It’s even better when your health insurance covers them all entirely.
3) Have Your Pharmacist Check Your Medications
Your medications might be interacting with each other in a negative manner, and you may not even know it. This happens when you end up with prescriptions written by different doctors and fill them at different pharmacies. Plus, if you go to clinics in various medical groups, then you’re even more likely to end up with a potential problem, especially if you don’t go into a list of your current medications at the beginning of every appointment. (And this doesn’t mean that you’re “doctor shopping” – these things just tend to happen.) What you should do in order to take control of your health is to have one pharmacist look over all of your prescriptions. He or she will be able to tell you if there are any issues with them.
4) Have Your Medications Adjusted
While you’re seeing your doctor for your physical, it would be a good idea to see if any of your medications need to be adjusted. Over time, your body will become more acclimated to these medications, and they’ll begin to work a bit less. You may not even notice that they’re getting to be less effective. This is definitely something that your doctor will pick up on when you’re there. And if he or she doesn’t, then you need to ask about them.
5) Start Working Out Regularly
Another thing that you can do in order to take control of your health is to begin a regular workout regimen. If you’re really out of shape, then you’ll have to start out slowly. (And if your health is questionable, then you should see your doctor first.) However, getting into good shape is one of the best ways to take control of your health. All that you need to do is about 20 to 30 minutes of some sort of exercise a few days a week. You can work up to longer times and a better frequency of workouts from there.
6) Eat Better
Of course, eating better (as in – eating less junk food and cutting back on those salty snacks) is one pledge that most people make this time of year. This doesn’t mean that they actually follow up with it. You should though, if you really want to take control of your health and live a more healthy lifestyle. Eating right means that you make that effort to include things like fruits and vegetables into your diet, and cut back on the foods that are bad for you. This isn’t easy, and it may be something that you ease into, much like exercise.
This guest article is a work of John Ryder in support of Samitivej Hospital.