Let’s face it, women are busy. The last thing we need is a plethora of new things to do, watch, eat, listen to, read, and worry about for our health. Though the following tips are not instant in the sense that you still have to take some form of action; they are instant in the fact that they do not require a lot of thought or effort – making all 10 great opportunities to be healthier.
1. Wear Shoes
When I was a kid, you couldn’t get a pair of shoes on my feet. I’ve since learned that going barefoot, for a child or an adult, isn’t such a good idea. There are viruses out there that can enter your body through your feet. One of my daughters suffered a terrible case of warts that needed surgery to correct. Athlete’s foot is another invader that lingers in locker rooms, around pools, and in any moist areas like showers and tubs.
2. Learn Your Health Risk Factors
Most people don’t know what their personal health risks are. There are many factors that go into calculating how likely you are to developing a particular disease like cancer. Websites, such as, the http://understandingrisk.cancer.gov/ can give you a feel for what risk factors you have for Breast Cancer, Melanoma, and Colo-rectal Cancer. This site also has some specific assessment tools for men. It’s easy to find out, but keep in mind, you may need to make some serious changes in lifestyle to lower your overall risks.
3. Schedule Screenings
Number 2 leads us right to number 3. Don’t get so busy as not to schedule your annual health screenings. That mammogram, pap smear, and bone density test are no big deal. You are doing yourself a great disservice if you fail to get them done regularly. You health care provider will let you know which tests are appropriate for your age and how often you need them.
4. Strategic Exercise
Arrange your office so you have to get up frequently. The extra mobility will increase your heart rate, lower your chance for blood clots, and give you a mental boost from changing your view. This is an easy one girls! Also, see the article http://www.womenslifelink.com/office-health-risks/ for more details on this topic.
5. Eat Less
Okay, this is one that might be a little harder for some of you. We are creatures of habit, after all. Try putting half the amount of food on your plate for one week and see how you feel. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a weight loss trick, but if you happen to shed a couple of unwanted pounds, that’s great! More importantly, we need to be in control of our eating instead of letting it control us. By being conscious of what we put in our mouths, we can get back the reins. Just try it! Let me know how you do.
6. Wipe Away Germs
Until recently, I never thought about what horrible germs might be lurking on commonly touched surfaces like shopping carts, check out counters, and benches at the mall. I’m not one to be germophobic, so I guess it didn’t occur to me that those germs could possible be pathogenic (harmful). Some groceries and malls are now equipping customers with antibacterial wipes upon entering their stores. This is convenient but may not protect you completely. Still wash your hands frequently and carry your own version of the wipes wherever you go.
7. Warm Up
As women, we love to be involved in lots of activities, especially those that keep us active. However, keep in mind while exercising, playing a sport, or simply walking around the block, we can be at risk for falls and sprains. “According to the latest AHRQ data, sprains and strains were the most common reasons people visited emergency departments. These injuries accounted for about 2.4 million visits in 2005.” That’s a lot of people out there getting hurt. Taking simple precautions like stretching, warming up, and being aware of your limitations can definitely reduce your risk for spontaneous injury.
8. One Choice
This is simply the easiest thing you can do to boost your health. When you go out to eat, make one better food choice. In other words, if you normally get the fries with your burger, choose to order the baked potato instead. Making one better choice consistently can lead to overall better health through eating less fat, sugar, and overall calories. Again, this practice will put you in charge. Don’t let french fries be your boss!
9. Keep Records
If you are frequently suffering from headaches, stomach trouble, general muscle aches, or any other persistent condition, record the dates, times, actions, medicines you take, and any other details. Your data will help you and your doctor figure out what the culprits might be. You will also be able to see your improvements over a period of time.
10. Clean Air
Some homeowners may not understand the importance of getting their air ducts cleaned regularly. Just as germs and pollutants can remain on surfaces, they can also hide in your heating and cooling systems. Dust, bacteria, molds, and allergens are known causes of respiratory ailments and frequent acute conditions like colds, flus, and allergy attacks. Unfortunately, this is a health booster that will cost you some green. The average price to have your system cleaned is $450-$1,000 according to the NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Assn.). Be well, everyone.
Statistic Resources: http://healthcare411.ahrq.gov/featureaudio.aspx?id=759