There is a television commercial that is using the tag line: “It’s Your Health” to promote a product with claims to improve well being. There are plenty of accurate sources of information to get healthy and to stay healthy; but in the end, it is each individual’s choice. Covid 19 has been a reminder that if we are healthy, we are less susceptible to colds, flu, and viruses. So, have you been using the available information to improve your health?
Most individuals have more knowledge related to their health concerns than they are actually putting into practice. Are there changes you already know that you should make? Food and nutrition are an important part of achieving and maintaining health, with a number of diseases directly related to diet. Actions you may know you should take include eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Perhaps you feel that you could increase the whole grains in your diet replacing more processed items. Maybe the foods you are eating are fine you just know that you are eating too large of portions and need to eat less. Or, is it chips, cookies, sodas, and other high sugar items that you need to cut back?
Are there other items you have considered? Maybe you are aware that you are eating at irregular times or eating all the time and need to plan a more regular schedule. Or, are you eating too much right before going to bed and that is contributing to problems with acid reflux or heart burn and interfering with your rest and sleep?
Do you plan for the seven to eight hours of sleep per night that are recommended by the US Dept. of Health & Human Services? Are you drinking an adequate amount of water each day to help keep your body hydrated and your digestive system working properly? Have you starting an exercise program to help you in achieving health and an appropriate weight, but not been consistent?
Your physician may have given you some advice on foods to avoid to help reduce your high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. You may have been provided a plan to help control your blood sugar levels to avoid progression to type 2 diabetes. Have you met with a registered dietitian nutritionist and been given a plan for weight loss? Now is the perfect time to put the information you have into practice.
Each person’s situation is unique and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to achieving and maintaining health. Take the time to schedule an appointment with your physician to update your plan to improve your health and resolve to follow it. Talk with your spouse and your family to decide what actions you can agree to put into practice. As you make changes, focus on the positive outcomes and not just things you have to avoid. Actions you take will have a positive impact on your quality of life now; and help to assure that you are in the best of health ten years from now.
It is your health, what can you do to make it better?