Many Americans do not take care of their health. Over 36.5 percent of the population is classified as obese, leading to health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. It is even more important today to take care of your health and optimize how you care for your body.
Anosh Ahmed, an aspiring physician from Chicago, Illinois, shares the best ways to take care of your body and the many resources of which you can take advantage to prioritize your health.
Control Your Body Weight
Anosh Ahmed believes that the most important method to help you achieve optimal health is by controlling your body weight. Many people find it difficult to lose weight, but it breaks down to simply taking in less than you burn in the form of calories for most people.
While losing weight is important for many people facing obesity, it should always be done cautiously. A weight loss of no more than 2 pounds per week is considered safe and sustainable for most people. This could break down to restricting 500 to 1,000 calories from your daily diet while increasing exercise.
Losing weight can lead to many excellent benefits for your health. The risk of diabetes and high blood pressure goes down significantly, meaning less stress on your kidneys, heart, and liver.
Lower body weight also puts less stress on your joints, leading to easier movement and less discomfort. Being more comfortable in your body can lead to better exercise outcomes.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet remains one of the best ways to stay in good health. Your diet should mainly comprise whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, with refined sugars and fats a smaller part of your caloric intake. Work on balancing your meals each day, and try not to overindulge in added sugars. Added sugars can lead to diabetes. Avoiding sugary sodas, coffee drinks, and energy drinks can help you to cut down on calories.
When it comes to caffeine consumption, less is more. High caffeine intakes result in poor sleep and can raise blood pressure and heart rate.
Exercise is secondary to calorie restriction when it comes to losing weight, but everyone must reach optimal cardiac health to prevent future heart attacks and strokes. One of the best ways to start an exercise regimen that works is to walk 15 minutes a day. Gradually increase this until you are walking 10,000 steps per day or the equivalent of 5 miles. You can get these steps in as part of your daily routine or commit to going on walks. If you do not regularly get outside, treadmills are sufficient, along with gym exercise.
Yoga and Pilates can make your body more limber and strong. These forms of exercise are great for people whose joints and muscles feel stiff. They concentrate on improving the body’s range of flexibility and improving body strength.
If you do not enjoy gym exercises or walking, you can play team or individual sports. Having people to exercise with has been shown to increase the duration of exercise and overall bodily health in the form of a lower heart rate.
Engage in Preventive Health Care
Seeing your doctor regularly is just as important as diet and exercise. Your doctor can screen you for common health problems and spot those which may be unexpected. Regular checkups and cancer screenings can help people live longer and promote overall health.
Whenever you have a gut feeling that something is wrong with your body, you should always speak with your primary care physician. Your doctor will do any necessary tests and set your mind at ease or put you into treatment for a real issue.
Avoid Risky Behaviors
To promote overall health, it is important to stay away from risky behaviors. These include alcohol and drug use. Alcohol use should be restricted to two drinks per day for men and one for women, with a total of seven drinks per week. Any more than this, and you could be setting yourself up for heart problems, liver problems, kidney problems, and more.
It is also paramount that you quit smoking. Smoking leads to lung problems like COPD as well as lung cancer. If you want to quit smoking, talk to your doctor as they may recommend a class, medication, or self-help scheme for you.
See Your Doctor With Any Questions
As always, be sure to ask your doctor if you have any questions about your overall health. Taking care of your health is the most important thing you can do as you grow older, and it can help you prevent painful and dangerous health conditions and improve your quality of life.
Anosh Ahmed believes that you should invest in yourself by taking part in preventative medical appointments and screenings. You should also talk to your doctor whenever you have a question or concern about your health. Too many people see their doctors but do not bring up ongoing health issues that they may be experiencing, meaning that their doctors cannot help them.