Every day can be a challenge when it comes to taking care of our health. From shuffling the kids to school, household chores, errands, work and everything else in between, we sometimes forget that our health should come first. Just by making some simple everyday changes and adopting new habits, a bit of “lifestyle medicine” can do your body good. Here are some tips that can help you create a total healthy lifestyle!
From cancer and heart disease to depression and anxiety, stress can take a toll on both your mental and physical health. Unmanaged stress, when out of control, can put your health at risk. Here are some ways to keep stress at bay:
- Practice mindfulness - Stay present and be aware of what you are doing at the moment. Thinking about all the things you have to accomplish in the days ahead can increase stress levels.
- Exercise - Exercising increases endorphins which triggers positive feelings also known as a “runners high.”
- Do activities that you love - If you’ve been neglecting your favorite hobby, there’s no better time than now to pick it up again!
- Get Social - Socializing with friends and participating in group activities like a pottery or painting class can be extremely relaxing.
How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Catching ZZZs may not come easy for some and sometimes it can be hard to wind down from a long day. Besides counting sheep, here are some tips to help you get a good quality snooze:
- Yoga, meditation and mindfulness - Not only do these good-for-you exercises reduce stress, but they can also help get you to sleep faster.
- Eat a bedtime snack - Chamomile tea and oatmeal have some calming qualities right before bedtime! Don’t choose anything heavy or processed.
- Keep your room as dark as possible - It’s best to keep your TV turned off while sleeping as well as your phone and other electronic devices.
- Journal before bed - Take some time to write down the day’s worries. Doing this can transfer anxious thoughts from your mind to paper, leaving you less worried about the day ahead.
Travel and Fitness
Traveling and vacations are meant to be indulgent. While it’s okay to partake in merriment and indulge in some decadent food, there are still things you can do tomaintain your health when traveling.
- Check the menu for healthy choices - When browsing the menu look for healthier options. Your resort or any place you dine will want to make their customers’ happy, so asking for changes to your dish will most likely be accommodated. For example, replace the buttery garlic mashed potatoes and gravy with a side of broccoli or cauliflower — it’s just as delicious and filling!
- Skip dessert - If dessert is hard to resist and you must have an after-dinner delight, choose something natural and fruity over the double chocolate lava cake. You’ll thank yourself later!
- Participate in physical activities - Most hotels and resorts have a fitness center that you can use and most provide them for free! Ask your hotel concierge about any amenities that they can provide to keep you active while on vacation.
- Tips for traveling snowbirds - If you are a Northerner that likes to head south for the winter, here are some quick tips to keep your healthy lifestyle on track:
- Choose a doctor you are comfortable with - Should an illness arise while you are away from home, it’s always a good idea to have a doctor to turn to that you know when you need help. Parrish Medical Center can provide complete care from managing heart disease to cancer care and more for all, any time of year.
- Keep good medical records - Your Florida doctor will need all your updated records. Having them all in one place and ready to go when it’s time to travel is important in maintaining proper health care and to avoid complications.
While there is no way to prevent cancer 100%, there are many things you can do to lower your risk. From regular cancer screenings to healthy diets, here’s what you can do:
- Physical activity - As a general rule, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
- Food Choices - Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.
- Minimize sugar intake - Since obesity is associated with cancer risk, limiting sugary foods and drinks is important in cancer prevention.
- Screenings - From mammograms to prostate cancer screenings, early detection saves lives.
- Vaccines - While there isn’t a vaccine that cures cancer, there are some that have been developed for prevention. Talk to your doctor if you are eligible for the following: HPV, Hepatitis B vaccine (to lower risk of liver cancer).
- Family History - Provide your doctor with as much detail of your family history as possible.
- Limit sun exposure - Wearing sunscreen, avoiding tanning beds, and covering up can help reduce the risk of skin cancer.
- Limit red meats - Beef, pork, and lamb should all be enjoyed in moderation. You should also avoid processed foods.
- Watch alcohol intake - Moderation is key. Excessive drinking can increase the risk of cancer.
- Stop smoking - Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Quitting today can decrease your risk.
Heart Disease Prevention
Your heart does more than just fall in love — it’s the center of your circulatory system and sends both oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. It also acts as a filtering system and rids your body of waste and carbon dioxide. Protect your ticker with these tips!
- Make good food choices - Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as fish high in omega-3s (salmon, tuna).
- Stay Active - Exercising, having an active social life, reading and taking up a hobby can all help reduce stress, which can lead to heart disease.
- Quit smoking - Did you know that when you quit smoking your body almost immediately starts to repair itself?
- Get regular checkups - Staying on course with regular checkups can help with early detection of heart disease. Communicate with your doctor on any changes or symptoms you may be experiencing.
Maintaining Healthy Muscles, Joints, and Bones
Having healthy muscles, joints and bones is essential to your every activity. While it’s a given that exercise, stretching and keeping a healthy weight are all good for healthy muscles, joints and bones, feeding them is another way to keep them viable. Here’s how to keep your musculoskeletal system into tip-top shape!
Eggs - Your body needs protein to form strong muscles as well as build collagen and elastin to keep tendons and ligaments viable.
Omega-3s - Foods high in omega-3 can help with a host of things associated with musculoskeletal health. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce joint pain. Some common sources of omega-3 can be found in the following:
- Fresh tuna
- Brussel sprouts
Calcium - Adding calcium-enriched foods to your diet is good for bone health. While dairy — milk, yogurt, and cheese — are all good sources of calcium, there are non-dairy alternatives, such as:
- Collard greens
- Sweet potatoes
- Beans and lentils
Incorporating healthy eating and exercise habits can reduce obesity, heart disease cancer, and other ailments. Making changes today can help keep you motivated in making healthier choices for a long and fit life. Parrish Medical Center | Parrish Healthcare offers an abundance of services to meet all your health and wellness needs. Contact us to learn more today!