Live Better: How to Better Care for Your Health
These days, we all want to be healthier. We all want to sleep better, eat better, live better, feel better. If you’ve been wanting to get on that train, there’s never been a better time to focus on caring for your health.
Caring for your health comes in many forms and ultimately comes down to what feels most comfortable for you. Maybe you’re looking to get a more restful sleep at night. Maybe you’re looking to drop a few pounds. Maybe you’re just looking to get more active. But getting health also means taking care of your body with dentist visits, doctor visits, and staying safe at home.
If you’re looking to get healthier, here’s how you can easily make it happen:
Take Care of Your Teeth
Caring for your health means visiting your dentist on a regular basis. In fact, it’s recommended that you go in for teeth cleanings at least twice a year.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, make an appointment right away. Even if you regularly brush and floss, there are things that your local family dentistry office can do to make your teeth clean and healthy that you can’t do at home.
Failing to take care of your teeth can potentially lead to lower life expectancy and heart disease. As if that wasn’t enough, making an appointment with the dentist can help restore your self-confidence. Studies have shown that a great number of Americans are unhappy with their smiles for one reason for another and restorative dentistry can help you if you have broken teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth, or crooked teeth. If you’re in need of braces to straighten your teeth, a dentist can recommend aids like Invisalign aligners, which are less than invasive than traditional braces.
Keep Your House Clean
Caring for your health also involves keeping a clean home. Whether you live in an apartment or you’re a homeowner, there’s a lot to be said for having a clean living space, even if cleaning it can sometimes be a pain.
What does a clean house do for your health? For starters, it helps ward off a variety of pests. Bugs and other pests love to hide out in damp or dusty areas and regularly cleaning helps get rid of them. Simple chores like taking the trash out, vacuuming or sweeping can also keep bugs and pests from hanging out where you don’t want them.
If you happen to notice a bug or pest control problem, take action right away. If you have a bed bug problem, call an exterminator who is experienced in bed bug control. It’s not something you want to drag your feet with and the sooner it’s taken care of, the sooner you have a clean living space again.
Clean Your Pool
If you’re a regular swimmer, then you undoubtedly know there are plenty of health benefits to swimming. It helps build muscle strength and endurance, it keeps your heart healthy, and it can help you relieve stress.
But caring for your health if you’re a swimmer means also doing regular pool cleaning if you have a backyard pool. Doing pool cleaning helps improve the longevity of your pool and helps you and your family enjoy it more, but it also means you’re swimming in clean, sanitary water and won’t risk getting infected.
Try to Eat Better
Obviously one of the biggest steps you can take in caring for your health is eating better. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. After all, there’s a good chance that some of your favorite foods and snacks might be unhealthy or you’re just constantly on the go and don’t always have time to eat healthy.
Be that as it may, proper nutrition is important. Everyone’s body chemistry is different, but there are a few tried-and-true steps you can take: cut down on sugar, load up on fruits and vegetables, practice portion control and try to eat a variety of good foods.
Eating habits don’t change overnight and if you’re unsure of how to start, talk with a nutritionist so you can do some meal planning. Even small changes can make a big impact over time. If you love junk food, for example, cutting back on candy bars and sugary drinks can help you cut down on dentist trips.
Get Good Insurance
An underrated, but still an important part of caring for your health is making sure you’ve got good insurance. That means have good car insurance and good medical insurance.
It’s important to have good car insurance because it covers things like vehicle damage or injuries if you should get into a car accident. The good news is that there are a variety of ways to buy insurance. You can visit a local agent or you can buy it online. Before you buy a policy, do some price shopping, look for discounts and make sure that you have a policy with a premium that you can afford.
Make no mistake, you absolutely need to have health insurance. In the last decade, it’s estimated that about 16% of Americans, or 38 million people, don’t have health insurance. Even if you’re the healthiest person you know and you hardly ever get sick, you don’t want to take any chances. Ending up in the hospital without health insurance can result in some hefty medical bills.
If you’re looking to get health insurance, you can see if your place of employment offers different plans or you can reach out to health insurance companies to find a policy that offers the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
Get Better Sleep
There’s nothing that can be more debilitating on your body than not getting enough sleep. It can affect your memory, your concentration, your judgment (especially if you’re driving), and your body’s ability to fight off infection. As if that weren’t enough, it can lead to weight gain, depression, and potentially missing time at work.
So what can you do? Make efforts to get better sleep. It’s recommended the average adult get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. If you’re only getting three to five hours a night, you need to make efforts to change that. Try moving your bedtime up by half an hour and extend it as needed. On that note, try to set a bedtime every night. If you try and wing it, you’re going to find yourself staying up, doing unimportant things, and paying for it when you wake up in the morning.
Focus on Your Mental Health
These days, caring your health means taking time to take care of your mental health. Believe it or not, your mental health is equally as important as your physical health. If you’re on the go and feeling like you’re in a state of constant stress, it’s time to focus on getting yourself right mentally.
Taking care of your mental health is a different process for every person and if you’ve heard about the importance of self-care, it’s important to practice some for yourself. That may include having a long phone conversation with a friend; that may include getting outside and going for a nature walk; that may include cracking open a book you’ve been wanting to read; maybe part of that plan includes some time spent watching TV or playing video games. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s fulfilling and is a source of comfort and stress relief.
You may think to yourself, “I’m too busy for self-care. I’ve got too much to deal with.” Even if you’re busy, you need to make sure you take a little time for yourself. Even if it’s for an hour every day, that time you take to practice self-care can help you more than you know. It can also give you something to look forward to every day.
Learn Some Basic First Aid
In a literal sort of way, caring for your health means knowing how to take care of immediate needs like times when you get injured. If you incur a serious injury, get to a doctor or the emergency room right away. But for basic things like cuts, scratches, and scrapes, it’s a good idea to learn some basic first aid.
- Think about the three Ps: prevent further injury, promote recovery and preserve life.
- Learn how to treat an infected scrape by cleaning a wound, applying an antibiotic and then bandaging it up.
- Treat sprains by keeping an injured limb elevated, applying ice to the area (not directly) and keeping the area compressed.
- Treat heat exhaustion by keeping a person out of the path of the sun, keeping them hydrated and applying cool cloths to their body to cool them down.
- Treat basic burns with cool water, aloe vera and pain relievers.
- Keep an EpiPen handy to help folks with allergic reactions.
- Take a CPR class and learn the proper technique for performing it.
Get to Exercising
Caring for your health also means trying to exercise regularly. Getting into a regular exercise routine can greatly benefit your body in many ways. When it comes to exercise, the sky is the limit. You can take walks around your neighborhood or go for runs in the park. If you love to ride your bicycle, go for a ride around town and take in the sites.
Getting into a regular exercise routine can impact your life in numerous positive ways. It can help you sleep better, it can improve your mood, it can improve your sex life, and it can help you feel more energized. The good thing about exercise is you can do what works best for you. If that means joining a local gym, so be it. If it means buying a piece of exercise equipment to work out at home, that works too. These days, you can find workouts for just about anything on YouTube, so you can work out in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
Don’t Forget Wellness Appointments
As you get older, going to wellness appointments needs to become an important part of your routine in caring for your health.
That might involve visiting dentists to care for dentistry care or it might involve seeing other specialists to deal with other health issues. Say for example that dealing with chronic pain is part of your everyday life. By making an appointment with a specialist, you can get treatment that can help you manage your pain at the very least.
With so many specialists available, you can see doctors and specialists to deal with just about anything. You can visit chiropractors if you’re having back pain or spinal issues. You can see a dermatologist for skincare issues. If you use a prosthesis to walk, you can visit a specialist who knows about lower extremity prosthetics and can teach you how to use it and how to maintain it.
If you’re older, many of health issues you have or medications you need may be covered in some part by your Medicaid benefits, so don’t hesitate to look into that if you need to make an appointment with a specialist.
Establish a Routine
The best way to go about caring for your health is to establish a routine. You’re not going to have drastic changes overnight, but small changes over time can add up to a tremendous impact. Making good choices and having a routine will help you in your quest to get healthier and will make you feel better along the way.
So try going to bed a little earlier. Try putting down coffee and sugary drinks and have a few more glasses of water every day. Try to find time to exercise during the week; it’s recommended that adults do at least a half-hour of exercise a few times each week. Practice good dental habits and back those up with good eating habits.
If you can establish and stick a routine, you may just surprise yourself with how much happier and healthier you become. Once you’ve established a workable routine, you can expand those good habits into other areas of life and live an even healthier lifestyle.