How to Take Control of Your Health

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Talk with your doctor about health maintenance.,
Work with your doctor to create a plan.,
Get routine checkups to stay abreast of health issues.,
Cut out the negative influences.,
Drink enough water and liquids.,
Get enough sleep.,
Exercise on a regular basis.,
Savor your food.,
See an eye doctor annually.,
Go to the dentist annually.,
Stop smoking.

General health maintenance and an emphasis on wellness will help you take control of your health.Tell your doctor that you would like to schedule a health maintenance examination in order to assess your risks for certain disease. This is especially important for people of older age, gay men and women, pregnant women, people with cancer, and those that have diabetes. In advance of your appointment, consider preparing by doing the following:

Write down your reasons for wanting to create a health maintenance plan. This way you’ll have a starting point for your conversation with your doctor.
Write down a list of health goals. For example, you may want to lower your blood pressure, lose a certain amount of weight, or manage your diabetes.;
, Having a plan you can follow will be extremely helpful and will create short-term objectives you can work towards to stay motivated. Ask your doctor to help you break down each goal into manageable steps you can start practicing right away.

Depending on your starting point, taking control of your health could be a one to five year endeavor. Your plan should include specific goals you want to achieve over those one to five years, and it should be broken down into smaller, more manageable goals to achieve on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Your plan is a starting point and doesn’t have to be written in stone. If something happens or if your life changes, update your plan accordingly.
Use your journal to keep track of your short and long term goals, and whether you’ve been able to achieve them. If you weren’t able to achieve them, understand the reasons and add new goals in their place.

, Your health plan should include regularly scheduled checkups and screenings for cardiovascular disease, hypertension and cancer. Talk with your doctor about which screenings you should be getting and how often you need to get them.Cardiovascular disease should be assessed when you are twenty and then every ten years afterwards. A great risk stratification tool is the Framingham risk score. Major risk factors for heart disease include diet, smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, physical activity, and diabetes mellitus.
Hypertension screening is recommended for adults great than 18 years old.
Diabetes screening is usually suggested for those with dyslipidemia and hypertension.
Your doctor may recommend screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, and other types of cancer depending on your risk factors. Cancer prevention includes avoidance of tobacco, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, eating fruits and vegetables, limiting alcohol consumption, protecting against sexually transmitted disease, and avoiding sun exposure.
Additionally, make sure your immunizations are up to date and discuss your particular needs with you doctor.
Maintenance of psychosocial health is important; talk to your doctor about screening for such conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Finally, health issues to consider include osteoporosis and vascular disease.

, We often have such good intentions to become healthier, but then those intentions get off-track by negative influences in our lives. Those negative influences hold us back from achieving our ultimate goals. If you want your plan to work, you need to slowly get rid of those negative influences.Make a list of all the things in your life that you consider to be negative influences. Specifically think of influences that affect your health.
Go through your list and prioritize the items from easiest to hardest to eliminated.
Then slowly work your way through the list and get rid of those negative influences from your life.
You don’t have to stop these influences all at once. Slowly work your way up to cutting as many of them out of your life as possible.
Examples of negative influences you may want to include on your list are: having junk food in the house, regularly passing by a convenient store where you buy a chocolate bar, driving by a fast food drive thru, staying up too late, being disorganized, someone who brings donuts to work, a friend who doesn’t respect your goals, etc.

, Human bodies are made up of 60% water. Because of this, water is a vital ingredient to a healthy body. Water removes toxins from our organs and carriers important nutrients to our cells. Not enough water can lead to dehydration which can make you tired and negatively impact your vital systems. Men need about 13 cups (3 litres) of beverages a day and women need 9 cups (2.2 litres) of beverages a day.These amounts are for all beverages you consume throughout the day, not just water. All liquids replenish your system in some way, but some beverages (like water) do a better, and faster, job.
You do not need to physically measure your liquid intake every day, instead, just make sure if you’re thirsty that you drink enough liquid so as to no longer be thirsty.
Remember that water is lost when your breathe, sweat, and when you go to the bathroom. If you do any of these things more often, or for a longer period of time, (e.g. if you’re sick or exercising) you need to consume more liquids to make up for the additional water you’re losing.

, Adults between the ages of 18 and 64 need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Adults over the age of 65 need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night. The amount of sleep you get impacts your mood, energy and long-term health. In addition to getting enough sleep, there are some basic sleep ‘rules’ that can be followed:Follow a sleep schedule that stays the same every day, including the weekends.
Create a bedtime routine that you follow every night, without exception.
Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and cool.
If your sleep isn’t restful, consider getting a new mattress or pillows.
Avoid drinking anything caffeinated several hours before bedtime.
Use your bed only for sleeping (and sex).

, To experience substantial health benefits, adults should exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) per week, or at a vigorous intensity for at least 75 minutes (1 ¼ hours) per week. Of course, a combination of both moderate and vigorous activities every week is also great.Activity should be performed in periods of at least 10 minutes, and should be spread out over the whole week.
To obtain even better benefits from physical activity, increase your moderate activity to 300 minutes (5 hours) per week, or your vigorous activity to 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) per week.
In addition to this aerobic activity, adults should also perform muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week.

, Sometimes we consume too much food simply because we aren’t paying attention. Usually it’s because we’re eating while doing something else, like working or watching TV. Instead of eating while distracted, dedicate your meal times only to meals. Sit yourself away from distractions and enjoy your food. Eat slowly.When you’re able to eat slower, you’ll be able to ‘read’ your body’s messages better. When your body tells you it’s full, stop eating.
Over time you should be able to tell how much you can eat at one meal, and you’ll only put that amount on your plate. Until then, save the leftovers for another meal or for someone else.

, Eye exams can actually detect more than just vision problems, they can detect symptoms of diabetes, hypertension and rheumatoid arthritis. Getting your eyes checked on an annual basis will help ensure you have the right aids (i.e. glasses, contact lenses) with the right prescriptions to help you see your best.Not wearing glasses when you should, or having the wrong prescription lenses, can cause other health problems like headaches. Making sure your prescription is up-to-date can help prevent many of these problems from occurring.
In addition to getting your eyes checked on a regular basis, protect your eyes every day by doing the following:Wear sunglasses when outdoors, all year round. And wear a hat with a brim across your forehead to help with glare.
Always wear eye protection when doing hazardous work.
Wear protective equipment for your eyes when playing sports.

, Being healthy also means having a healthy mouth — with healthy teeth and gums. Seeing your dentist at least once a year will help make sure your teeth and gums are at their best. And it can help identify medical problems at the early stages. As with vision, many diseases can actually be detected from a dental exam before other symptoms appear.Good dental health also means brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis.
Ideally you should brush your teeth after each meal, but at the very least brush your teeth once a day, right before bed.You should floss at least once a day, possibly after you’ve brushed your teeth and right before bed.

, If you’re a smoker, one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is to quit. It is never too late to quit. Quitting smoking will give you immediately and at any age.Quitting smoking can immediately have positive effects on your health like reducing your risk of heart disease, cancer and breathing problems.
Depending on how much you smoked, you can save a significant amount of money that can be put to better use elsewhere.
Most states and provinces have free programs available to help you quit smoking, so you do not have to go it alone.

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