Most of us don’t eagerly look forward to preventive screenings, whether it’s a prostate check, Pap smear or colon exam. Routine screening is usually painless, but often inconvenient. Dealing with health care issues is easier when you choose the right primary care provider, one you can talk openly and work closely with. Take part in every decision affecting your health, including tests, medications and lifestyle options. Stay involved by asking questions until the answers make sense to you.
- In addition, review your health care plan to ensure you have coverage for the services you’re about to use. If they’re not covered, find out in advance your out-of-pocket costs. Take advantage of your plan’s online health management services, if available.
You may be juggling a busy schedule, but don’t leave your health priorities behind. Summer is an ideal time to renew and commit to new habits for better health. For starters, here are several important health and fitness indicators and some primary ways to strengthen them.
|Physical Fitness||cardio and muscle workouts; weight control; no smoking|
|Muscle Mass||strength-training exercises 2 to 3 times a week|
|Bone Mass||strength-training; adequate dietary calcium; no smoking|
|Mobility & Agility||daily stretching exercises, especially for back, hips and shoulders; core strengthening|
|Memory & Thinking||daily mental challenges (reading, writing, puzzles, word games, conversation); cardio exercise|
|Sleep||routine bedtime; avoid excess caffeine; regular exercise; stress control|
|Immunity||minimum 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily; diet high in fruits and vegetables; moderate exercise|
|Arthritis||weight control; moderate exercise, tai chi or daily stretching|
|Respiratory||avoid common allergens; prevent colds and flu; cardio exercise|
|Cholesterol Control||weight control; no smoking; exercise; monitor levels|
|Type 2 Diabetes Control||weight control; exercise; monitor blood pressure and glucose|
|Stress Control||meditation; regular relaxation and exercise|