Here it is! The last post explaining my personal Top 10 Health Tips. Numbers 1,2 and 3 can be found in this post, and numbers 4,5,and 6 are explained here. Last but not least, here are the four remaining healthful ideas:
7. Get regular checkups and perform self exams
Visiting the doctor’s office for a general check up and blood test can be beneficial for anyone, not just those with existing conditions. Getting your blood pressure checked, getting a vision test, and testing the blood for cholesterol, electrolytes, blood count, blood glucose level, and other important elements tells a person much about the state of their overall health. Besides going to the doctor once a year I perform self exams. I try to do a monthly breast exam and examine my skin moles. This helps me to monitor any changes that might occur and take appropriate action, if necessary.
This idea of performing check ups ad visiting the doctor for examination and testing is called preventative care, something that the Western world is becoming increasingly interested in. Prevention is an investment in your health. In the long run it saves us time, money, and suffering. Its goal is to prevent illnesses through a healthy lifestyle. We know that certain lifestyle choices can increase our chances of becoming ill or unwell, and through the methods of prevention we reduce or remove the risk of conditions, or are able to take action before it’s too late.
Fun fact: Blood makes up about 7-10 percent of your body weight. Divide your body weight by 12 to find out how much blood is in your system.
8. Floss and maintain healthy teeth
Maintaining good dental hygiene is very important to our overall health. Without proper hygiene, teeth and the mouth become a huge playground for bacteria and infections. As the plaque, tartar and even cavities build up, they will eventually end up in the blood stream. When this bacteria or infection enters the blood, they can have a detrimental affect on our bodies: the bacteria will attach the arteries and even the heart! People with poor dental hygiene are more likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes and heart disease as the infected blood travels throughout the entire body.
My dentist once told me if he had to chose between flossing and brushing, he would select flossing because it helps to removes more plaque and build up than brushing. Brushing is still important as it polishes the teeth and removes some of the surface stains and build up, but flossing removes particles of food and plaque from between the teeth that the brush cannot reach. Most gum diseases and cavities form between teeth where we can’t always see them. Flossing helps to reduce inflammation, and although not conclusive about the exact amount of time, research suggests that regular flossing can increase our life span between 1.5 to 6 years.
Fun Fact: It is best to floss before brushing to remove plaque and loosen debris from the tooth surface.
9. Take supplements if necessary
Vitamin D, B 12, probiotics, antioxidants…. those are some of the supplements that I personally take. “Why would you take supplements, if you have such good diet?”, I often hear. This issue is a bit confusing and maybe even controversial, but I will try to explain in a few sentences. As our world around us changes, our lifestyle is deviated from the original one or even the lifestyle we had as a society just a century ago, and our agricultural practices transform. The quality of our food is affected and therefore sometimes we have to adopt to those changes.
Ideally one would grow their own food, spend time outside, raise their own chickens and forage around the forest for a variety of foods. Well, that will not happen, at least not for all of us. This is how supplements fit into our lifestyle today. I don’t spend time outside due to the harmful UV rays, therefore I do not produce enough vitamin D, and I supplement it instead. I do not eat food straight from the ground, with particles of dirt stuck to my produce where vitamin B 12 hides (vitamin B 12 is a bacteria, this is how animals get their vitamin B 12 – they get it from the soil). I try to eat loads of fruits and vegetables, but because my antioxidant levels are only at a moderate level (not at the highest level where I’d like them to be) I supplement antioxidents as well.
Agricultural practices have changed, and produce available in stores is often grown with “help” from chemicals and pesticiedes to make them grow faster and produce more, and as a result the nutritional value and antioxident level of the food decreases (unless the food is grown organically). Those are just a few examples and reasons why I take supplements.
I would recommend visiting the doctor’s office to discuss what supplements, if any, you should introduce into your life.
Fun fact: The most abundant mineral in the human body is calcium.
10. Keep the mind active
Proper lifestyle, diet, and exercise can significantly improve our memory and out overall brain function, but did you know that exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body? Exercising the mind can keep us more alert, sharp and less forgetful in daily life and as we age. A few things that I try to do to challenge my mind are trying to remember verses or sentences that I like from a book, the Bible, poems, songs, or even learn a new word from a dictionary. I also solve some brain puzzles on a weekly basis. I also like to learn new things, such as crocheting, belly dance moves or playing pool. Even the simplest new activities will challenge the brain- even as simple as brushing teeth with the opposite hand. Exercising the brain helps to reduce the rate at which the cells in the brain are dying. The more you have of them the sharper you will remain as an elderly person! Also, staying active physically and mentally helps to protect us from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Fun Fact: There are about 100 billion neurons in the human brain, the same number of stars in our galaxy.
What are your top ways of staying healthy for life?
Health and blissfulness to you,