Because our health often feels out of our control, today’s medical system often treats medical conditions reactively, rather than preventatively. Of course, this is neither the way that doctors would want it nor is it the way that is best for you as a patient.
Just as it’s best to get regular teeth cleanings instead of waiting until you need a root canal to visit the dentist, taking frequent measures to keep illness and physical and mental imbalance at bay are critical to your longevity!
Instead, most of us treat our health reactively instead of preventatively. We often go to the doctor only when something is wrong—we treat the symptom rather than the root cause of the imbalance. But small changes in our daily routines can make a significant difference in how we look and feel, inside and out.
Here are five fast steps you can take to make preventative health a priority.
- Drink more water: If “Drink more water!” sounds like antiquated advice you’ve heard one two many times, think again: Water balances your bodily fluids, stimulates healthy digestion, flushes toxins out of the body, helps keep your skin clear, and aids your kidneys and liver. In other words, if you don’t have enough water, you’ll likely be blocked up in more ways than one!
- Eat foods that fuel you: Each person needs different levels of various nutrients to stay balanced and vibrant. Across the board, however, it’s healthier to eat whole and less processed foods versus refined flours and sugars. Spend a few days without processed foods, and you’ll find that your energy levels increase as your body taps into bioavailable nutritional fuel in the form of food.
- Go to sleep before 11 pm: Many of your body’s hormonal cycles regulate after 11 pm, and depend on your organs being at rest in order to do their job properly. This includes everything from your thyroid system to your sleep and waking cycles—so in order to feel truly rested, it’s sometimes important to be asleep earlier than to sleep longer. Ensure you check your ideal sleeping hours.
- Exercise right for your body: Every body needs a different kind of exercise to look and feel its best. People with stronger upper bodies may need to focus on weight-bearing exercises that emphasize this area, and the same goes for those with greater strength in other regions. Balancing strength is important, but it’s also important to recognize that not all bodies are built for all activities. Find out if you are best suited for strength, cardio, pilates or yoga. Your physical structure will be much happier doing what it’s designed for, rather than being forced into an unrealistic mold!
- Practice joy: The simple act of doing something that makes you happy can trigger the release of neurotransmitters and feel-good hormones like dopamine or serotonin. Taking the time to walk in nature, visit with a friend who uplifts you, spend a quiet moment with yourself, or learn a new skill can mean the difference between apathy and curiosity about life. Practice asking yourself what brings you joy on a daily basis.
Preventative care is not just about maintaining your health, it’s about acknowledging that you’re worth the time it takes to stay well. Just a few simple steps each day can make a huge difference in the long run!