A few ideas for better health management

At the end of March, I mentioned five items that people can more routinely do that would promote their wellness and possibly prevent health problems down the road.. A link to “Prevention and Wellness, we are train wrecks waiting to happen” can be found at the end of this post. * I stopped at five, as I felt these things could make a difference, but I will highlight a couple of more items after I summarize the five.

– Men and women should get a colorectal exam every five years beginning at age 50. This is the best prevention and immediate remedial action test around.

– Women should get a recurring mammogram around age 40, although protocols continue to change and some say start later. If you have a family history or feel something via a digital exam, do it sooner. Please be aware that reading a mammogram is art and science with false readings, so get a second opinion.

– Walk more. After dinner, to run errands, to exercise during lunch, etc. Even a little bit helps and you need not have a pedometer to impact your health favorably.

– Eat smaller portions. This is the best diet plan around and is sustainable. Plus, do not eat so fast, as your mouth can get ahead of your brain on this. Also, when you snack, don’t take the bag to the couch. Fill a small bowl of nuts, fruit, chips and you will be less inclined to overeat.

– Get a routine preventive health exam from your doctor. This is the best benefit under the Affordable Care Act, as preventive visits are sans deductible and more folks will have a doctor.

I left the first post with these five items. We are an obese country and, if we do not check this, future problems will occur. It is  not just heart health, if you are heavier, you are destined to musculoskeletal issues and risk of diabetes.

A few more items to consider might include:

– Take your medicines. Not following this simple protocol is not uncommon. This is especially true if you are taking maintenance medicine for cholesterol, hypertension, depression or some other psychic disorder, so take your medications.

Don’t smoke cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes. They are horrible for health and you do not look as cool as you think you do when you smoke. Plus, your significant other will need to smoke as it is like kissing an ashtray for them, if they do not.

Drink more moderately. I am an alcoholic who has been drink free for seven years. I want to drink every day, but don’t. Please know, when you tell your doctor how much you drink per week, he or she does not believe you. Start with telling the truth. This is one “golf game you don’t want to cheat at.” If you do decide to stop, please check out the second link below to a post I wrote on my sixth anniversary of being drink free. **

Don’t drink and drive and certainly don’t text and drive, which is actually worse. Please know that a car going 60 miles per hour will travel 88 feet in one second. If 45 mph, that is 66 feet per second. If you get distracted for one second, that can make all the difference.

Stretch more or take up Pilates, Yoga, etc. Back in the 1970’s, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, one of basketball’s legends who played until he was 40, used to stretch at half court before every ball game. He was the only player doing this. Seeing how long he played, now almost every player does this. All three of these exercises are easy and can be maintained, but check with your doctor, first.

– Look for de-stressors to alleviate the stress. Some of the above ideas are good for de-stressing. At work, every ninety minutes take some form of break. The body cannot sit that long and needs to be energized. Also, try to make all meetings no longer than ninety minutes. Most meetings break down when that long, so make them focused.

With the exception of smoking and drinking curtailment, none of these ideas is overly difficult and can be maintained. Sustainability is the key. Also, they are not too onerous, so if you fall of the wagon, you won’t fall as far and can get back on it. As you read this, please note I am not a medical professional. I have been a benefits professional, benefits manager and consultant for over 33 years. I would encourage you with any major change to chat with your doctor.

* https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/prevention-and-wellness-we-are-train-wrecks-waiting-to-happen/

** https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/six-years-alcohol-free-but-still-want-to-drink/

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11 thoughts on “A few ideas for better health management

  1. For me, if I could find the secret to “de-stressing” I’d be very pleased. Thats my one significant weakness, and I tend to carry it far longer than I should.

    Great advice

    • Barney, I have a struggle with stress and have swung the pendulum back since I retired. I am on blood pressure medicine, but try not to sweat small things and not be in such a rush. I bet your carving board hobby/ business is de-stressing. I imagine you playing your favorite background music while you design, cut, assemble and polish. Thanks, BTG

  2. Note to Readers: I started to add this to the initial post, but will add it here as a postscript. If you or someone you know is more than overweight, see your doctor. A behavioral psychologist I used to work with that would set up employer sponsored obesity programs always paired them with depression management programs. She noted that people who are obese have a higher propensity toward depression and the bad eating habits could be a manifestation of depression. She is the one that cites two statistics. If you pick up any employer’s health claim report, 10% of the prescription drugs are for depression. She also notes that 1 in 5 people will experience some degree of depression in their lifetime, ranging from mild to more severe. Our society is much better now about teaching people to live with their mental illnesses and challenges, but including therapy sessions along with the medications is good path forward.

    • Good list. Short and sweet. I was watching a doctor who studied data for the elderly and she noted when the person could no longer ambulate, their health started to decline. Thanks for your comments.

    • I hear you, but one of the challenges many alcoholics have us they do not think they have a problem and say they only drink a few glasses a night. They lie to themselves first and then to their doctor.

    • Debra, you are so kind to do so. I am very flattered and appreciate your support, reading and comments. I have tended to not do the awards stuff, though, but please do not interpret that as not appreciating your recommendation. Thanks, BTG

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