7 Habits for a Healthier You
At CovenantCare, we believe in more than just treating your disease. Optimizing your health is our priority. Use the following list to see what health-promoting habits you can incorporate to help you look and feel better:
- Don't Smoke.
Cigarette smoking is the #1 preventable cause of death and a big contributor to premature aging. If you use tobacco, ask your doctor about options to help you quit.
- Adopt a Healthy Diet.
How we eat has a tremendous impact on our health status and risk for heart disease and certain cancers, as well as our overall sense of well-being. Emphasize whole grains, an abundance of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats such as omega 3s from fish or fish oil, and limit red meat intake to twice weekly. Cut out as much processed, fast food and trans and saturated fats as possible.
Work your way up to 30 minutes of exercise at least 3 days weekly. If you have no exercise routine currently, start with walking -- it's cheap, requires no special equipment, promotes heart health, and boosts resistance to cancer.
Find a stress-relieving exercise and practice it daily. Stress can worsen many conditions ranging from anxiety and insomnia to elevated blood pressure and blood sugar. Yoga, meditation, breathwork, even regular prayer practices help counterbalance the stress response with the relaxation response, a health-promoting physiologic state characterized by a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and increase in the natural vasodilator nitrous oxide. You can't eliminate stress from your daily life, but you can learn to manage it effectively.
Studies show that those who stay connected with their sources of joy and inspiration (family, community, spiritual group, nature, art) live longer and more happily. Ask yourself, ``what brings me joy?'' and find that connection.
Get Regular Health Screenings.
Stay up-to-date on your annual physicals. Get regular check-ups on your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, and appropriate screening tests (e.g., colonoscopy, pap smear, mammogram). Children should have well-child visits to ensure they are up-to-date on immunizations.
Use Medicine Wisely.
If your doctor prescribes a drug or procedure, ask about risks, benefits, and alternatives. Partner with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that includes lifestyle measures and natural, less invasive therapies that may work alongside conventional medications and procedures.