Take responsibility for your own health — before it gets serious.
We hear about exciting new breakthroughs in medical science all the time. Under the right circumstances, we can treat strokes and heart attacks with seemingly miraculous clot-busting drugs, and many diabetic people believe they can eat anything they like because they can just take a little more insulin to compensate for it.
These medications can really benefit people. But what we hear less about is that preventing these potentially devastating diseases is far better than treating them once they rear their ugly heads in an emergency situation.
By taking steps to prevent these illnesses, you can improve your overall quality of life. You will have more energy and just feel better overall. Rather than wait until a major emergency, why not take control of your health now? It’s never too early to start taking care of you.
So, how do you do this?
1. Eat well. Avoid processed foods — be suspicious of anything that comes in a box or a can and has a list of multiple ingredients. Stick to one-ingredient foods. Eat the way your great-great grandparents would have eaten. And don’t forget about the beverages. They can be loaded with sugar — even unsweetened fruit juices are usually very high in natural sugars. It takes about four oranges to make one glass of juice. Think about that — would you ever eat four oranges at once?
2. Help your kids eat well. "Kid food" is usually not healthy. Just because kids want to eat snack crackers, wieners, and cookies, does not mean we should let them. There’s no reason they can’t eat the same healthy food the adults are eating.
3. An occasional treat is OK. You don’t want to start feeling deprived.
4. Stay active. Many of us sit for most of the day. Find ways to incorporate even small bits of activity into your day. You don’t need to become a marathoner to benefit from activity. Even things like going for a walk or doing some gardening can have great benefits.
5. Take control of your own wellness. Don’t wait for your doctor to make a recommendation. Start by getting informed. Read all you can about wellness. You will be amazed at what you can learn. Be aware of the influences affecting the literature you’re reading. Often it is nothing more than advertising disguised as information. Of course they will tell you their product is healthy!
Be aware that some documents may have been influenced by large agricultural, pharmaceutical and food manufacturing organizations, so there may be some bias in the recommendations.
To live the healthiest life possible, now and into the future — take control now. If you wait until an emergency situation, medical science may be able to save your life, but you will never be as healthy as you would have been if you had prevented the disease from advancing in the first place.
Camille Meub is a community correspondent for La Salle. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org