With a lack of healthy food options available to them and the idleness that technology can encourage, people are becoming more unhealthy than ever before. Although there are a variety of reasons for the increase in chronic illness and mental health problems, some people simply aren’t giving their minds and bodies what they need to be healthy.
This is leading doctors to push patients toward lifestyle habits that can help prevent health issues, as well as integrated care, which can help address overall wellness. By eating right and exercising, some individuals can prevent or reduce heart disease and other issues. Integrated care addresses the health of the entire person, including physical, mental, and spiritual health, rather than simply one or the other. This comprehensive care can help medical professionals treat a patient’s health problems more effectively.
Our eating habits tend to change and we find ourselves developing particular patterns as we age. It’s easy to slip into diets that don’t consist of the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need. It’s important that as we get older, we continue to consume a large variety of healthy and whole foods that will keep our muscles, bones, blood, and overall bodies strong.
While eating out can be a fun treat that keeps you from having to cook and provides you with a little extra relaxation time, these are often fried and fatty foods that contain a lot of meat and salt. Consuming too much meat increases your chances of developing high cholesterol, while excessive salt can lead to high blood pressure. Knowing exactly what you put in your food can help you eat more balanced meals, which can help prevent these illnesses.
However, no matter how healthy you eat at home, it won’t make a huge difference if you constantly partake in unhealthy habits, such as drinking or smoking. Although drinking isn’t necessarily harmful when done sparingly and in moderation, excessive drinking can have long term effects on your liver. Cutting back on drinking and smoking can also help with symptoms of diet related illnesses.
According to a report released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80% of adults don’t get the amount of exercise that is recommended for them to stay healthy. There are significant benefits to exercising between 75 and 150 minutes each week, depending on how rigorous the exercise is. Getting enough exercise regularly lowers the risk of developing chronic illnesses and disabilities, which can help increase your lifespan significantly.
When you have good physical health, you’re stronger and less likely to be impacted by common colds or falls that can result in sprained joints or broken bones. Staying active can also help with various blood pressure related issues, such as the spider or varicose veins, which occur when you spend too much time sitting, standing, or not moving around throughout the day.
Regular exercise can not only improve your physical health, it can also create a strong foundation for positive mental health. According to a report in the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, “Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proven to reduce anxiety and depression.” Exercise does this by providing more blood to the brain, which improves cognitive function and helps areas of the brain produce more feel good chemicals.
Exercise can also improve your sleeping patterns, which are crucial to physical and mental health. Sleep gives the body and mind the time to rest and recover. Without enough sleep, your body will feel fatigued and your mind won’t function clearly. It’s important to prioritize sleep each day, as it contributes to overall wellness.
A New Normal
If we are to believe that we’re stuck living with the lingering effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, it’s important to utilize many of the advancements in healthcare and tech that were streamlined in that period.
Integrating regular doctor visits via telehealth appointments for different types of health screenings will ensure that you are keeping tabs on your overall health. Even with widespread vaccination there is still a risk of future surges from COVID variants. However, combining better preventative care with proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep can decrease the effects of such an infection especially if you’re faced with underlying conditions like obesity and diabetes.
The stress of day-to-day life often leads many individuals to ignore their physical and mental health in order to make time for more pressing issues in their lives. However, doing so is actually a disservice to overall wellness, as it can increase the likelihood of frequent illness and can make one less efficient throughout the day. Recognizing this, it’s important to lead a healthier lifestyle and take part in integrated care as it will keep your mind, body, and every other area of your life feeling good.