It may seem overwhelming when you consider all the things that you should be doing to stay healthy. While you may have to invest some time and effort, preserving your health allows you to live a longer and more satisfying life. If you have specific health concerns, such as heart disease, depression or obesity, talk with your doctor about the best way to get your health back on track. For the general population, certain practices should become part of your daily life.
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Eat Nutritious Foods
Eating a variety of foods from all the food groups ensures that you are meeting your recommended daily totals for nutrients that support good health. Fill your plate with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, such as beans, fish or chicken, low-fat dairy foods and whole grains. A healthy diet is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure and can control these conditions if you already have them, reports the Federal Citizen Information Center. Eating these kinds of foods increases your fiber, vitamins, calcium, iron and healthy fats, all of which help your body stay healthy and fight diseases.
Get Regular Exercise
The average person should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This helps control weight and prevents a variety of diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis and depression. Choose an activity you enjoy, working out with a partner or friend and using exercise equipment at home to increase your odds of sticking with it. Talk with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.
Smoking is the culprit behind a variety of health conditions that include, emphysema and lung disease. Talk with your doctor for a prescription to help you quit the cigarettes or use smoking cessation aids that are available over the counter at supermarkets and drugstores. According to the American Cancer Society, staying active distracts you from a craving. Try playing sports, gardening, engaging in a hobby or going somewhere outside your home that is smoke-free.
Schedule Regular Checkups
Visiting your doctor yearly to monitor for health problems or to manage those you already have is an important way to stay healthy. The tests you need each year depend on your age, family history, current health and gender. You can expect a cholesterol check and a physical exam, but women should also have a breast and pelvic exam and men should undergo a prostrate cancer exam. Women over 40 need a mammogram every one to two years, and middle-aged men should have a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. Visit your dentist regularly as well because he will watch for signs of gum disease and oral cancer as well as keeping your teeth clean and healthy.
Practice Good Hygiene
Keeping yourself clean reduces the chance of getting ill during seasonal outbreaks of the flu and common cold. It can also prevent the spread of pink eye, hand, foot and mouth disease and scabies. This means washing your hands often and keeping them away from your face. Disinfect your computer keyboard and phone regularly as well. Cover your mouth with your elbow or tissue if you need to cough or sneeze and after using the bathroom or blowing your nose.