Hello to all of you beautiful and amazing people! I’m here today with a post that is special to my heart – my first “overview” post on prevention. It sounds cheesy and you’ve probably heard it before, but American really has a “disease-care” system not a “healthcare” system. Too often we wait until something is wrong before we decide to do anything about it. After a recent family health emergency, I have decided that I am taking control of my health and my life NOW not later.
I did get some great news today that my already healthy lifestyle is paying off. My work had a health fair with free blood screenings and the results were just lovely.
- Total Cholesterol: 143 (less than 200 is “normal”)
- HDL Cholesterol: 46 (“normal”)
- LDL Cholesterol: 75 (less than 100 is “optimal”)
- Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio: 3.1 (less than 3.6 is “desirable”)
- Triglycerides: 109 (less than 150 is good, my body responds well to fat, apparently)
- Blood Pressure: 121/80 (normal, the diastolic could be a bit lower)
- Pulse: 71 (though my resting heart rate in the morning is around 54)
- Glucose: 88 (less than 100 is normal)
The guy giving me my results sad that my HDL could use to be a little higher, but considering the cholesterol/HDL ratio it was actually great. He said that exercise and foods like olive oil and healthy fats help to raise this – both things that I regularly partake in so I’m okay with this number. Ultimately he told me to just “keep doing whatever it is that you’re doing” which is fine by me!
Fortunately, I am already in a really great place in regards to my health. However, I know there is always a bit more I could do to proactively safeguard myself against disease. Nothing crazy or drastic, just small LIFESTYLE changes that will only help me to become healthier and more protected. I certainly don’t plan to micromanage my health to the point that I obsess about it and cannot enjoy myself, these are easy tips that will enhance my life, not detract from it. I encourage everyone to take their health into their own hands NOW…because you deserve a full and happy life.
Basic Changes You Can Make Today:
- Eat better – this is a complicated issue and can be different for every person. However, I would encourage everyone to eat more fresh veggies and greens…especially green smoothies! All of the information on healthy eating can certainly be overwhelming but no one has ever said fresh vegetables are bad for you.
- Stay hydrated – Water is our life force, we need it for every basic cellular function. Do yourself a favor and get enough H20 – I try to drink at least 80 ounces per day.
- Exercise – your body was designed to move, so do it! Walk, run, hike, skate, lift, flow, dance, whatever…just honor your body with daily movement.
- Sleep enough – yes, you may be able to survive on 5 hours of sleep per night, but that doesn’t mean you should. 8 seems to be the magic number (my personal magic number is 8.5…and sometimes 10!)
- Keep up on your health – be your own advocate. Get the screens and checks that you need to make sure everything is going well. Don’t wait if you think something is wrong. You know your body better than anyone else.
- Change your attitude – We are how we think…so think happy! A positive attitude and daily affirmations can increase your overall mindset and your self-love.
- Stay away from the things you know are bad – we can all agree that smoking, tanning, drinking too much, and eating too much sugar can be detrimental to your health.
- Protect yourself from the sun – As a sun worshipper this is hard for me, but I make sure to do the best I can. (Though it is important to get your vitamin D, sigh…more on this in the full length post).
- Manage your stress – Being chronically busy and stressed should not be a badge of honor. Stress leads to disease. At the same time find safe ways to manage all of your emotions.
- Nurture your relationships – love one another!
- Indulge in your passions – you deserve to do things that make you feel happy and creative.
- Work on your faith and/or spirituality – this can be different for everyone. Whatever path you take is sacred, don’t let anyone else convince you otherwise.
Over the foreseeable future (really I have no idea how long it will take) I plan to break down these changes into individual “Personal Prevention Plan” blog posts to show you how I am going to implement each one into my life NOW in order to protect my future. Remember, the way I do things won’t necessarily be right for everyone (our bodies and lives are all different) but it will show you small things you can add or subtract from your life that can help. And if nothing else, I hope you can find inspiration to make the changes that work for you.
Don’t wait until it is too late. You are never too young nor too old to start investing in your health, well-being, and future. You will not regret it. You are an important person, people love and need you, and you deserve to live your best life!!
PS – I was typing part of this post up at work when I overheard my coworkers talking about how pointless prevention is (small world!). They were specifically talking about the sun and how you don’t need to worry about it. As my mother-in-law has stage 4 melanoma you can bet your ass that I LOST it on them a bit and now I think they all might be scared of me?! Ignorance and apathy are equally deadly people. Be smart and take care of yourself.