Why Preventative Health Is Preferable to Medical Care
Modern medical care has come a long way and is part of the reason people are living longer than in the past, but it’s still overwhelmingly reactive rather than proactive. It’s not until we’re already sick that we go see a doctor. But oftentimes, illness is preventable.
With preventive healthcare, you are thinking ahead of time even in the absence of illness. It takes into consideration your future health, allowing you to plan accordingly. It’s a fairly simple idea that will pay off down the road even if it seems like a sacrifice at the time.
Look at preventive healthcare as an investment or personal insurance akin to a return on investment on your retirement nest egg. Poor health can lead to multiple trips to the doctor and expensive procedures, resulting in huge medical debt or even bankruptcy.
Maintaining a healthy body today will lead to a better quality of life down the road. We might as well make it an enjoyable (and healthy) ride. For total health and wellness good preventive health practices start here:
Avoiding Addictive Substances
If addictive behaviors are a problem in your life, it’s time to address them sooner rather than later. Not everyone uses tobacco products, but if you do, you’re fully aware of all the damage it’s causing. Statistics show that people who give up cigarettes before 40 have a 90 percent lower premature mortality risk. Beyond the obvious links to many types of cancers, tobacco use also directly causes other diseases and increases your risk of developing certain health conditions.
If you’re a heavy drinker, there are various liver panel tests that will determine if your liver is functioning properly. Typically the tests are administered after you are showing symptoms of a disease or other damage to your liver. Minimizing alcohol consumption could help you avoid these tests in the first place. However, certain medications also may affect your liver function.
Modern medicines can contribute to poor health and addiction. The overprescription of opioid painkillers has been blamed for heroin addiction and fatal overdoses. According to recent statistics, more than 115 people in the U.S. per day die after overdosing on opioids, including heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain relievers.
Reducing Sugar and Salt Intake
Speaking of addictions, you can become hooked on sugar and salt. “One 2011 study found that salt was not only addictive, but it also affected our brains in a similar way to being addicted to cigarettes or hard drugs. Other studies have also found the same effect for sugar,” according to a Huffington Post Canada article.
A high-fat, high-calorie, and low-nutrient diet from processed foods doesn’t allow the body to get the proper nutrition it needs, which can cause hormonal and blood sugar fluctuations. We feel deprived if we aren’t getting the sugar and salt we are used to craving. Junk food may make us feel good in the moment, but we aren’t nourishing our bodies with what it really needs.
You don’t have to go on an extreme diet to have a healthy body. Everyone needs a balance diet of super foods for super health, including protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Instead of processed foods, reach for whole foods that are as close to the way nature made them. Or as I like to refer to them as real foods for a total health and wellness lifestyle.
Getting Enough Exercise
Exercising at least three times a week is about the best thing you can do for your body. Exercise stimulates neurotransmitters in the brain, resulting in the production of endorphins that act as natural painkillers. Do activities that will put you in a better mood when you’re done. Not only will you be in a better mood after a good bout of cardio exercise, you’ll sweat out toxins such as salt, alcohol and cholesterol.
Many of us sit at a desk all day and don’t realize how important it is to not only get a workout in once a day but to move periodically throughout the entire day. The concept that “sitting is the new smoking” has been a hot topic for several years. The idea is that sitting for too long is just as harmful as smoking and can lead to type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease, even for people who do exercise every day.
Prolonged periods of sitting can negatively affect your vein health, which is something we aren’t prone to thinking about. Simple lifestyle changes contribute to better blood circulation.
If you subscribe to the “prevention is better than cure” philosophy, you believe wholeheartedly that taking care of your body is the key to good health throughout your entire lifetime. By avoiding addictive substances, eating a healthy diet and consistently exercising you are well on your way to longevity.
Do you practice preventative care and if so do have any useful tips?
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