Preventive Care 101
When it comes to your health, the best thing you can do is engage in long-term preventative care. Now, the term “preventative care” seems to have a lot of different meanings, which is why for our purposes we’re going to define it as taking measures that help you prevent sickness, rather than when you’re sick already. Fact is, preventative care may not help you wade off all diseases 100% of the time, but it will help you significantly improve the duration and quality of our lives.
Engaging in Preventative Care
Contrary to what some would have you believe, preventative care does not always mean spending a ton of money on medicines and treatments. Instead, you should think of it as a implementing a few minor lifestyle changes. Some of these include clean and seasonal eating, getting regular exercise, stress management, maintaining positive relationships, spending time outdoors and keeping cognitively sharp. As you can see, much of preventive care is directly tied to healthy living.
Implement Clean Eating
This is one of the easiest preventative care steps to incorporate into your life. According to Jocelyn Voo, writing for Fitness Magazine: “At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible.” Indeed, processing food takes away most of their nutritional value. Plus a handful of commonly used preservatives, like sodium nitrate, have been linked to cancer. Instead, stick to organic meats, dairy, and vegetables whenever possible.
Stick With Seasonal Foods
When you’re trying to eat clean, aim to buy food that is in season. For instance, October crops include sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apples, avocados, carrots, corn, dates, almonds and many others. Although you can usually find them in the supermarket all year round, these crops are actually very much tied to the fall. Getting them at other times of the year means they were probably imported and imported food is often treated with different chemicals to keep them from spoiling. Fresh food that is local and seasonal can be found at your local farmers market.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise is absolutely crucial for optimum mental, physical and emotional health. Regular movement does a whole lot more than keep you in excellent shape; it actually helps reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer, as well type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It also helps you look younger longer, improves your mood and cognitive health, lengthens your lifespan, and keeps you mobile well into your golden years. Start by incorporating 20 minutes of vigorous exercise at least 3 times a week.
Incorporate Stress Management
Because stress is the leading cause of most illnesses, we published a blog called, “How to Attain Peace Through Mindfulness and Meditation” a while back. Here is what it said:
“What most people don’t realize is that mindfulness is not a form of thinking, judging, or interpreting information. Instead, it’s a frame of mind that allows you to be conscious of your experience, without anticipating future events or reflecting on the past. That’s why it’s possible to practice mindfulness while driving, shopping, cleaning, working, or exercising.”
Maintain Positive Relationships
According to Harvard Women’s Health Watch: “The quality of our relationships matters. For example, one study found that midlife women who were in highly satisfying marriages and marital-type relationships had a lower risk for cardiovascular disease compared with those in less satisfying marriages. Other studies have linked disappointing or negative interactions with family and friends with poorer health. One intriguing line of research has found signs of reduced immunity in couples during especially hostile marital spats.” Need we say more?
We’re once again going to go into our archives for this one. In our post, “How Does Being in Nature Impact Your Life?” we go on to explain that: “Our daily lives are full of distractions, from car horns blasting outside our windows at 3 am to the constant ringing of our phones. We are always engaged in a struggle to keep our focus, prevent our tempers from rising, and making sure our stress doesn’t overpower us. This all takes a lot of cognitive effort, which leaves us feeling drained. Luckily, studies suggest that being in nature provides us with the opportunity to mentally unwind.”
Reading and Cognitive Challenges
One of the most important aspects of preventative care is keeping your mind sharp and active. And reading is key. According to The Reading Agency: “There is strong evidence that reading for pleasure can increase empathy, improve relationships with others, reduce the symptoms of depression and improve wellbeing throughout life… Among the benefits it finds are improved social capital for children, young people, and the general adult population; better parent-child communication and reduction of depression and dementia symptoms among adults”.
Step Up Your Self-Care Game
We recently wrote about the importance of self-love, and self-care is a huge component of it. Invest in a little “me” time to recharge your batteries, get back to neutral, and reevaluate your priorities. Whether you accomplish this by taking a Merkaela mineral bath or going for a nice and long massage, it’s absolutely essential for you to carve out the time to give yourself a bit of pampering. Trust us, when you are relaxed, happy and centered, you will be a lot more pleasant for everyone else to deal with too.
At Merkaela, we understand the importance of engaging in preventative care. We strive to keep you informed about the latest health, wellness and beauty news, so as to ensure you are getting the most accurate information. Because our business is centered on the importance of living a comprehensive lifestyle, we routinely seek out emerging research that is both timely and relevant to our readers. And so, preventative care has been a huge and buzz-worthy topic during the month of October, in part because of its association with cancer awareness.
We sincerely hope you implement these preventative care lifestyle changes into your lives.