Along with your spring cleaning this year, how about taking some steps to improve your overall health! Here are a few things you can do right away to get started:
1. Don’t Smoke! And if you do, Quit!
80-90% of lung cancer diagnoses are attributable to smoking, and lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer. So think about that for a minute! This is a controllable way to improve your health right away, and with so many support mechanisms, both physical (like the patch or gum) and mental (support groups in person and online) you can do it! There is no doubt that nicotine is a drug and withdrawal from it may be difficult – but go for it! Once you quit, your body will start healing and you will feel better, last longer and even smell better to the ones you love.
2. Exercise – get that body moving!
Even a half hour walk each day will reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. And any kind of exercise will help your body shake the stresses of the day and will help your brain function and your state of mind. An easy way to avoid the “I don’t feel up to it today” syndrome would be to find a friend to join you – it will be fun, and you can support and motivate each other.
3. Keep your body trim – maintain a healthy weight!
Obesity is a prevalent problem in the United States, and nowhere in the U. S. has seen a decline in obesity in the past five years. We all know it is hard to lose weight, but even a few pounds will make you feel better and improve your health. And, if you watch what you eat and exercise, you will see more lasting results. Limit sugars and saturated fats, increase your intake of fruit, veggies and whole, rather than processed, grains and you will be on your way to a healthier body. And don’t forget to drink lots of water!
4. See your doctor regularly for preventative care and screenings!
There are a number of recommended screenings for each age group, including colonoscopy, mammography, prostate exams, pap smears, etc. So check with your doctor to see when you should start those. Also, discuss certain vaccinations with your doctor – most of us have taken care of vaccines for our children, but have neglected ourselves as we have aged. See if you should get a flu shot, a shingles vaccine or a tetanus booster. The U. S. Health and Human Services Task Force has recommendations listed on www.ahrq.gov for you to check as well.
5. Surround yourself with family and friends!
Keep joy in your life – studies have shown that happier people, and those with a strong social network, tend to have a lower chance of arterial calcification and heart disease. The idea that “laughter is the best medicine” may just be more than an old wives’ tale!
6. And, of course, maintain good oral health!
Brushing, flossing and using your TUNG Brush and Gel every day will help ward off the nasty bacteria that contribute to so many health problems – and your breath will love you too, so achieving #5 will be even easier!