When you’re young and in good health, it’s so easy to see health problems as ‘something that happen to other people’. When you feel well it’s difficult to imagine things any other way, but unless you take care of your body, then it can quite easily become a possibility. Looking after yourself so you live well not just in the here and now but later in life too is so important. Why would you risk taking time off your life, precious years that can be spent with children, grandchildren and other family when you’re old? Here are some of the ways you can protect your health and set yourself up for a happy and healthy future.
Think About Your Bones
When we think about improving our health, our bones are something that can get overlooked. We think about losing weight, getting fitter, improving our cardiovascular endurance but our skeleton, our very frame can often get forgotten about. Strong, healthy bones will not only support you but later in life, bone density can begin to be lost more quickly than it’s replaced. This can lead to conditions like osteoporosis which is where bones become brittle and easy broken, elderly people can break bones severely after a simple fall. Many that fracture their hip go into hospital and are never discharged as it leads to their eventual death. Your best bet when it comes to bone health is to start young. You can start as young as childhood building strong and healthy bones for the future, so if you’re hoping to put your child on the best path, this is something to consider. But starting whenever you can is better than not at all you should be working to eat a healthy, balanced and varied diet which will ensure your body gets all of the vitamins and minerals it needs to thrive. One of the key vitamins to be getting for healthy bones is calcium, the obvious option here is dairy products, but it’s also found in vegetables, seafood, legumes and fortified foods. So even if you’re vegetarian, vegan or dairy free, it’s not difficult to get enough calcium in your diet. Building up strong supporting muscles and ligaments is another way to build up bone density, so exercise is another way to improve your skeleton. Alcohol, illicit drugs and cigarettes can also cause the loss of mineral density in bones, this is another reason to kick the habit. As if you needed another good reason when doing so will benefit just about every cell in your body!
Take Care of Your Ticker
Heart issues are increasingly common in third world countries, and it’s all to do with poor lifestyle choices. Too much saturated fat, not enough exercise, smoking, alcohol and everything else can all cause heart disease and heart attack. In fact, it’s one of the biggest causes of preventable illness and death. This alone should tell you how important it is to maintain good heart health. Not everyone needs a heart screening, but athletes, those with pre-existing heart conditions and close family members with heart problems should have tests to rule out any issues. The screening processes for heart issues include a range of tests, these include blood pressure, cholesterol and lipoprotein tests. You will also have your bodyweight taken, and some health and lifestyle questions asked. These include things like whether you smoke and about your diet and exercise habits. More specific tests will be carried out by a cardiologist or a higher health professional such as a nursing administrator. These will have studied for higher qualifications such as a Masters of science in nursing administration, and are registered nurses who have worked on expanding their career. As well as slashing your health risks, boosting your cardiovascular health also means you feel much fitter and more capable in your day-to-day life too. Do you feel exhausted doing your daily chores, get out of breath running for the bus and generally feel sluggish and lethargic? Increasing your fitness will allow your heart and lungs to work better. Even if you’re very unfit, you could start with walking, cycling or swimming and just go at your own pace. It won’t take long for your body to adapt, and in a matter of weeks, you’ll feel that you can do much more and go for longer. Once you’ve built this foundation of fitness, start upping your resistance. From there you can begin to push yourself, and you will really improve your fitness levels. As an added bonus to your heart, lungs and fitness levels, cardiovascular exercise has been shown to trigger the release of the brain’s ‘happy chemicals’ meaning benefits of improved mood and reduced anxiety.
Attend Your Screenings
The worrying thing about cancer is it can affect anyone at any time in their life. It doesn’t discriminate by race, religion or gender, and while many types are preventable with a healthy lifestyle, there are others which aren’t. Because people are now living for longer, it’s now shown that one in two people will develop it at some time in their lives. For this reason, it’s so important to attend all of the cancer screenings you’re invited to based your risks. Your risk factors are generally dependant on your age and gender, for example women will be asked to attend a cervical screening and breast screenings at different point in their lives, and for men later in life, it will be prostate and colorectal screenings. These aren’t tests for cancer, they’re simply looking for early changes in otherwise healthy people who could lead to cancer. Doing this saves many lives since any abnormalities are likely to be in the earliest stage before symptoms develop. This means they can be addressed and treated much more quickly and easily.
As well as taking care of your health, accidents are another thing to be wary of. Sometimes these things can be a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, others could be avoided with a little common sense. Road safety, for example, drive carefully and always wear a seatbelt. Be careful of hazards such as fires in kitchens or loose carpets on stairs being a tripping hazard. Don’t operate machinery if you’re taking certain medications and generally just be careful and look after yourself. Some incidents might be a few minor injuries and a case of damaged ego, but others could take your life. Always stay aware and alert when it comes to dangerous situations.