The last two years have been troubling when it comes to health concerns. Most people know atleast one person who was seriously impacted by the COVID-19 virus. We’ve all learned to protect ourselves through consistent hand washing and social distancing. Perhaps your cleaning and disinfecting standards are at an all-time high.
With COVID-19 concerns still making the news, we’re heading into a new year. While you can’t forget what you’ve learned over the past two years, you can set yourself up for a healthier 2022. Now is the time to take care of issues that have been pushed to the back of your mind due to fear or embarrassment. It’s time to take charge of your health in preparation for a better year to come.
How do you take charge of your health for the new year? We have some suggestions that will put you on the right track.
Take Care of Medical Testing and Diagnostics
Is there something health related that you have been worried about? Maybe you’ve put off seeing a doctor because you fear the worst. Perhaps you don’t have a doctor or aren’t covered by insurance, so you don’t know your options.
Either way, now is the time to run the blood work, order that at-home test, or head to urgent care. If you’re concerned about your sexual health, you can take advantage of at-home STI testing. That’s the most discreet way to determine if further medical treatment is needed. STIs are common today. The only shame is in not getting them treated promptly.
Schedule a Comprehensive Wellness Check
Wellness checks aren’t just for kids! Adults of all ages should have a doctor look over their health at least once a year. If it’s been far too long since you saw your doctor for general blood work and a thorough examination, schedule one before 2021 is over.
If you have symptoms that you need to diagnose, you can mention them during your checkup. That’s a great way to take care of your concerns while checking for signs of additional issues. Preventative medicine is always less painful and more affordable than treating a condition after it becomes a serious problem. Oh, and don’t forget your teeth, too! Dental health has a surprisingly large impact to our overall wellness. Find a dentist near me ballwin and schedule your appointment to get sound advice.
Find Simple Ways to Improve Your Diet
What you eat has a profound effect on your overall health and well-being. Your body needs the nutrients and minerals delivered through food to operate efficiently. A healthy diet is essential to controlling blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. It also helps prevent many life-threatening diseases as well as everyday colds and viruses.
Instead of trying to go cold turkey with your favorite foods, challenge yourself to small changes. When those little habits are repeated consistently, the impact on your health is powerful. Instead of giving up soda completely, commit to drinking a glass of water for every soda you enjoy. If you want to move toward a vegetarian diet, start by eliminating fatty red meats.
Don’t focus on how unhealthy your diet is today. Start by simply taking one small step in the right direction. You can build on that success.
Commit to a Dedicated Sleep Schedule
Did you know that chronic sleep deprivation is linked to heart disease and many other life-threatening diseases? It’s true! It’s also true that inconsistent or inadequate sleep patterns can make you drowsy and less alert in daily life. If you want to start the new year energetic and focused on exciting goals, now is the time to improve your sleep.
The easiest approach is to select a dedicated wake-up time. Set your alarm and get up without hitting snooze every day. If you stay up too late at first, you will quickly adjust as your body gets used to waking up at the same time every day. Consistency is key.
You may also want to remove all screens from your bedroom, including your smartphone. Create a comforting environment that you only use for sleep.
Find New Ways to Move More
The human body was made for movement. Many of the most common diseases are rooted at least partially in a sedentary lifestyle. You don’t have to start running marathons or dragging your entire family outdoors for walks to give your body the movement it needs. Take simple actions that you can comfortably repeat at least three times a week.
You can build from small changes to your diet, and the same goes for your daily activity level. If you can’t walk for 30 consecutive minutes, commit to walking 10 minutes three times each day. If you can’t afford a gym membership, use canned goods to lift weights at home. Push-ups, squats, and other bodyweight movements are excellent options as well.
Think of yourself as a mover. When you watch television, get up and move through the commercial breaks. Give up social media scrolling for house cleaning. Instead of watching your children play, get up and have fun with them.
Apply for Health Insurance
If you don’t have health insurance, correcting that problem is a big step in the right direction for a healthy 2022. If you can’t get coverage through an employer, check the federal marketplace to see if you qualify for a subsidy. The federal government may pay a portion of your monthly payments if you’re under the income threshold. December 15, 2021, is the deadline for coverage starting January 1, 2022.
You may also apply for health insurance directly through an insurance company. That’s a good option if you don’t qualify for a subsidy. Make sure the rates you’re quoted are lower than what you could get through the marketplace without a subsidy.
Health insurance will help you secure medical care in a timely manner if it’s needed in the upcoming year. If you implement some tips presented here, you’re more likely to enjoy a healthy year. It’s always best to have the coverage and not need it than to need it and not have it.
We’ve all had more than our fair share of health-related stress over the last two years. Cheers to ringing in a new year full of hope and healthy lifestyles.