What are the building blocks of your health?
When it comes to your heath, your regular habits can make a difference. Over time, the choices that you make yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily can add up and significantly improve your overall health.
So, what are some of the building blocks for good health?
For some habits, once a year is all you need for them to make an impact on your health.
- Biometric screening – A biometric screening shows a snapshot of your health: what you’re doing well, where you could improve, and where you may have potential health risks. If done yearly, health screenings can help you make improvements and treat potential issues before they escalate.
- Physical exam – A yearly physical is an important preventive care habit, and when combined with your screening, it helps you take charge of your health. Talk to your doctor about your screening results and other health concerns, they can give you any needed treatment and guidance on how to improve your health.
- Colorectal cancer screening – For adults ages 45 and older at average risk for colorectal cancer, it is important to have regular colorectal cancer screenings. The most well-known colorectal cancer screening is the colonoscopy, but you do have other options. There is a less-invasive option called a fecal immunochemical test (FIT), such as InSure® ONETM. The American Cancer Society recommends that adults in this age range complete a FIT yearly.
- Other yearly screenings as recommended by your physician.
Setting aside time to think about your health every month can help you follow through with any recommendations from your doctor or health goals you’ve established. Block some time on your calendar once a month to check in on your health.
- Consider your eating, sleeping, and exercise habits, and think about what is currently working for you and what is not.
- Take stock of your mental health and if you have any concerns you need to discuss with a doctor or therapist.
- Choose one or two areas where you’d like to make changes and create a plan for how you will adjust your habits to make improvements.
Establishing weekly health habits can help you make real progress toward the health goals you may have set for the month.
- Schedule time each week for physical activity and mental health breaks, as needed. Putting it on your schedule will help you stay accountable and on-track.
- If you can, plan healthy meals in advance each week. Choosing and shopping for nutritious meals ahead of time will help with dinner decision fatigue as well as reduce the temptation to choose something quick but unhealthy, such as fast food.
- Document health issues that come up. If you notice any changes to the way you feel, such as new or increased pain or discomfort, make a note so that you can talk to your doctor if the changes persist.
The habits you do every day are likely what make the biggest difference in your health.
- Move your body. It is recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, 5 days a week. If it works better for your schedule, that could mean taking 2 15-minute walks; it doesn’t have to be all at once.
- Eat nutritious foods. It is important to get a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein in your diet daily. For details on how much of each food you should eat every day, check out these guidelines from the American Heart Association.
- Get enough sleep. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night, and consistently not getting enough sleep can have negative consequences for your health.
- Drink plenty of water. How much you need depends on many things, such as how much exercise you get and the climate where you live. However, aiming to drink 8 glasses per day is a reasonable goal.
Over time the good health habits that you practice daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly can add up to make a significant impact on your health. Think about these habits and consider adding some of these to your routine.