Every day, major headlines cite the deadly or debilitating statistics associated with chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and arthritis. But there’s one thing that sometimes gets overlooked: the fact that many of these chronic illnesses can be prevented or managed with simple, intentional daily choices.
Many health care providers and industry leaders talk about preventative health care, but what does preventative health actually look like? That’s just what we’ll explore in today’s blog post.
What Is Preventative Health Care?
Preventative care is the process of taking ongoing steps to either avoid health issues and chronic illness or manage symptoms in an effective and low-intervention way.
Preventative health care can constitute anything from self-care all the way to acting specifically on identified risk factors. No matter the level of detail, preventative care starts with identifying health issues you’re at risk of developing and working with your physician to develop a health care plan tailored to your unique health profile. This could involve making lifestyle changes to minimize your chances of developing health issues, or if an issue is already present, taking steps toward better day-to-day symptom management so you can live better, longer and more comfortably.
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- Watch: How You Can Live a Healthier Life [Video]
Which Illnesses Can Be Prevented?
While it’s impossible to correlate the impact that healthy lifestyle choices have on every illness that exists, there are four common chronic illnesses that are known to be influenced by preventative health care: diabetes, heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Prevention efforts are usually focused around factors like diet, exercise, sleep and stress management.
The more often you make healthy choices and improve your overall health, the more likely you are to avoid these four common diseases or manage your symptoms of these diseases to live the healthiest life possible.
How Can I Incorporate Preventative Health Care In My Life?
Eating a healthy diet is a powerful but simple way to protect your body from disease. While individual dietary needs vary, there is a strong consensus in the nutritional health community that a diet built upon whole fruits and vegetables with informed meat, natural fat, carbohydrate and sugar choices is a healthy one. Taking a healthier approach to grocery shopping and making better diet choices can make a real impact on your life.
Exercise is another important way to potentially prevent disease. Even small amounts of daily activity increases blood flow and improves your chances of retaining a full range of movement throughout your lifetime. Recent studies show that exercise can cut the risk of 13 different types of cancer and reduce overall risk by 10 to 42 percent. Exercise also plays a powerful role in managing hormones, inflammation, and insulin which are tied to certain forms of cancer.
Finally, finding healthy ways to manage your stress can have a significant impact on your health. Studies show that when you are happy, you are 39 percent more likely to reach the age of 94 and are 10 times more engaged. Managing stress is easier said than done, which is why it’s important to have a health advocate who can help guide you in the right direction.
Moving Forward With Preventative Health Care
There’s no way to guarantee that you won’t get a chronic illness. Disease is a result of many different variables including lifestyle, genes, environment, diet and stress. But you can make diet exercise, and lifestyle management choices to reduce your chances of developing these illnesses.
Contact PartnerMD today so that we can help you change the way you live and achieve your best health.