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10 Steps to Better Health This Year

Posted by David Cheatham, January 1, 2017

A new year has begun, and many of us are busily working on our resolutions. But as you get your finances in order or work toward kicking bad habits, don’t forget to stay maintain good habits for your health. Include these steps to better health in your schedule, and pencil them into your calendar when necessary.

Get a physical. Even if you’re feeling perfectly healthy, a routine checkup can uncover potential risks that might cause problems later. Schedule a checkup soon. Most insurance plans, including Medicare, will cover 100 percent of an annual wellness visit.

Obtain preventive care. Ask your physician about preventive care screenings for conditions like heart problems, colon and breast cancer, and high cholesterol.

Organize your prescriptions. Create a handy list of your prescription medications, that can be quickly referenced by a caregiver or loved one in the event that you get sick or have an accident. Make a note of any possible side effects, too.

Take care of your mental health. If you’ve been feeling anxious, moody, or depressed, ask your primary care physician for a referral to a mental health specialist. And even if you feel terrific, keep challenging your brain with crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or other hobbies that stimulate your mind.

Schedule an appointment with your dentist. It’s important to receive a cleaning and preventive dental care every six months.

Check in with your eye care professional. Schedule an appointment to have your eyes checked for vision changes or signs of developing problems.

Remember to exercise. Check with your physician about which types of exercise are safe for you. Even a short walk each day can do wonders for your physical and mental health.

Get out and socialize. Laughter, friendship, and time with family can actually boost your mental health. In turn, those with lower levels of loneliness or anxiety often experience improved physical health.

Watch your diet. As we age, our digestive systems tend to slow down. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other high-fiber foods, and make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Sleep well. Even if you’re retired, you still need adequate sleep each night! Take the necessary steps to ensure you get that crucial eight hours each night, such as purchasing room darkening shades, a white noise machine, and a quality mattress and pillow. Avoid caffeine late in the day, and avoid watching TV or using the computer for an hour or so before bedtime.

Remember the old adage: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! By taking these steps toward better health, you can keep both your body and mind healthier. Plus, you’ll notice a difference in your out-of-pocket healthcare costs, too.

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