Nobody knows your health better than you. In fact, you’ve been taking care (or not) of it all your life. It’s your responsibility to see to it that you stay away from bad habits, vices, and toxic environments that can adversely affect your health. Keep yourself in the loop and informed about what’s good for your health. You must be proactive. Here are five tips to help you become the IDEAL proactive patient:
How often should you visit your doctor if there’s nothing wrong with you? Most health authorities around the world recommend that you visit your primary healthcare provider annually. Others will recommend every 2 to 3 years. This is considering that there’s nothing wrong with you and you’re feeling fine. It’s a different story if you feel something odd or different from ordinary. Visit your doctor the first chance you get in this case. Your successive consultations will be designated by your doctor as he or she sees fit.
Eat healthy food at least 80% of the time. We know it’s hard to keep this up if you’re used to eating non-nutritious foods. Avoid eating processed products which are usually found at fast food restaurants. Preparing your own meals is done best with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, quality protein, and healthy fats. Hydrate yourself with lots of water and not with alcoholic beverages. Top these off with a well-rounded supplement plan composed of a comprehensive multivitamin and mineral complex, probiotics with prebiotics, and the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA.
Stop smoking. Really? You’re still smoking? Do you want to go through with all the harmful effects of smoking on your health? There are reasons we deliberately gave this tip its very own number because we can’t stress it enough, so please, stop smoking!
Incorporate a detox program into your routine. A detox program opens your elimination channels (liver, kidneys, skin, gastrointestinal tract) and makes them function more efficiently. They reduce the number of toxins that have accumulated in your body. Do a cleanse at least once a year to optimise your health and support these organs. Don’t expect adetox program to cure an existing illness, but rather aid in your road to recovery. They help to prevent health concerns from arising in the first place.
Exercise Regularly. Exercise daily, even if it’s just a walk around the block. Research has shown, time and time again, that exercise keeps us healthy and helps to prevent illness from occurring; whether physical or psychological. If you haven’t already, find a form of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. But don’t overdo it as exercising too much; either too often or too strenuously can put strain on your body and be counterproductive. Check out our article Ten Fun Types of Exercise.
If you have a particular illness or are suffering from a certain chronic condition, do your research. There’s an abundance of medical information available over the Internet. Google it. Though make sure you use reliable online resources. Find out what your treatment options are; both natural or alternative and conventional methods. But remember, Google is just a search engine, not a doctor, so don’t treat it like Doctor Google. There are also some things you can learn on your own like breast self-exam (for the ladies) and testicular self-exam (for the gentlemen).
If you do your homework right, you can come up with sensible questions during your check-up or consultation with your doctor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to get a second opinion on a diagnosis or before major surgery. You should understand your condition, the treatments available, and the side effects if there are any. Aside from your primary healthcare provider, other professionals may be able to help you with your health problem like acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, etc. Lastly, bring your old medical records with your especially if you’re consulting with a new doctor.
Remember, YOU are an essential part of your healthcare team. If you’re dealing with a particular illness, find a medical team that you trust and whom you can ask plenty of questions. Becoming the IDEAL proactive patient is easy, just follow these five tips and remember prevention is worth a pound of cure.