When it comes to living a healthier life and diminishing the risk that chronic health conditions and serious illnesses bring with them, proactivity is essential. Yet, many of us don’t keep the proactive habits that can help us not only live a healthier life but to catch diagnoses earlier and manage any conditions we do develop better. Here are four steps to a more proactive approach to your health.
The big checks
For some people, laziness is a big factor, while others have real anxiety about seeing the doctors because they are concerned about what they might find out. However, your annual physical and major health checks are essential for catching some of the most potentially dangerous conditions early, whether it’s regular screenings for cancer or tests to catch chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Even if you feel fine, many of these tests can catch the warning signs of developing conditions so you have more time to manage and prevent them.
Building a good relationship with your doctor
Managing a faster response and a more nuanced treatment of any injuries, illnesses, or conditions that do develop is made easier when you have a doctor that knows you. If you don’t already have a primary care doctor that’s familiar with your medical history, that you know you can turn to easily if any issues develop, it’s time to find one. Otherwise, it can be harder to find both the urgent and ongoing care that you might not need right now but will certainly need in the long-term.
Tracking your habits
When you do find and visit your chosen primary care doctor, the words “exercise” and “diet” will play into almost every diagnosis and how you manage your symptoms and improve your recovery. There is no getting away from how our habits affect our health, so taking responsibility is essential. Tracking those habits with the help of fitness apps it easier than ever, so you can at least know how well (or not) you’re treating your body and what you can do to improve things if and when you need to. We should all be making an effort to improve our health habits now, as the most common chronic conditions are all preventable.
Do your research
This doesn’t mean that you should Google your symptoms. While there are plenty of great health databases like WebMD that comprehensively list symptoms, they can mislead you into thinking there is something seriously wrong with you when you have a cold. Rather, when you’re diagnosed with a condition or prescribed a new medication, the internet can help you ensure that you have a comprehensive idea of what the condition is, what you can expect from it, and how to better manage your own care at home. It also helps to be more informed when you’re talking to your doctor.
From finding potentially life-threatening illnesses earlier to getting better results from your care, being proactive can make your health journey much better than it might be otherwise. It’s time to stop ignoring your health and take a good, hard look at it instead.