Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Prevention: The Key To Health

Another year has come and gone and many people will have a New Year’s resolution. (Maybe to lose weight, to eat healthier, to exercise more or to quick smoking) Resolutions are great but prevention is the key to being healthy. We need to focus on preventing diseases and other health problems instead of trying to correct them once something happens. 

Most people have no problem taking their cars in for service in order to prevent mechanical problems. Try to think of your body and overall health in the same way. Proper checkups, eating healthy and regular exercise are some things we can do to help prevent our bodies from “breaking down”.

Be physically active each day - Eat a nutritious diet - Get Preventive Screenings—Avoid risky behaviors

Preventive health care is so important! About half of all deaths from heart disease are sudden and unexpected, so there's little opportunity for treatment. Prevention is the key. Thousands of coronary artery bypass procedures are performed every year. Surgery is not the cure for all heart attack-prone people. Treatments for heart disease aren't cures either. 

Procedures can't slow the buildup of fatty deposits in arteries which causes most heart disease. The buildup of fatty deposits in arteries often begins in childhood, but it may be decades before clinical disease shows up. That's why more effort must be focused on prevention. Risk factors that we can change, treat or control include: tobacco use, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, lack of physical activity, being obese or overweight, and diabetes. By focusing on prevention, we can have a major impact on our health.

Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and well-being. Include activities that you enjoy and can easily fit into your daily routine—such as walking your dog, working in your garden, or riding your bike. Being active for 30-60 minutes on most days can help you build strength and fitness, relax and reduce stress, gain more energy, and improve your sleep. These benefits all add up to decreasing your risk of heart disease and other conditions, such as colon cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.

It’s important to follow the basics: eat a healthy diet by choosing a variety of fruits and vegetables. Avoid fats, added sugars, and salt. Eat in moderation. Eating right makes you feel good, and it can reduce your risk for diseases like heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, stroke, and osteoporosis

Do you know your cholesterol numbers or what your blood pressure is? Do certain diseases and conditions run in your family? When faced with choices that may impact your health and the lives of those you love, it’s important to remember that there are options and resources to help you make healthy decisions.

-Pat Dobbins, Hendry-Glades Health Department

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