Loretto Hospital is committed to your health and wellness, and we want to be your resource for health information, education and screenings. We encourage our patients to be active participants in their personal health outcomes. In addition to routine visits to the doctor to remain up-to-date with your health screenings, here are a few things you can do at home to self-manage your health:
- Eat low fat and low-calorie meals: Stick to the basics. Eat 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, lean meats such as fish, chicken breasts and turkey, plenty of grains and drink plenty of water. Scientific studies have shown time and again that choosing healthy foods can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Healthy foods can also help you maintain a healthy weight. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, nearly 100 million Americans are overweight or obese due to improper eating habits. Being obese or overweight substantially increases your risk of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and several types of cancer.
- Get plenty of exercise: Get active! Exercising on a regular basis can help manage illness such as diabetes, high blood pressure and reduce stress. As a rule, you should get some sort of exercise every day. Daily exercise can include taking a brisk walk, using the stairs at work instead of the elevator, or joining a local gym or YMCA to workout with an instructor.
Manage your stress: Stress has been shown to be the culprit of many diseases, even cancer. If you are struggling with high stress levels, try taking a yoga class twice a week for 30 minutes each visit. Some people find relief from seeking professional counseling. Learning deep breathing exercises also help.
- Talk to your physician about your health: Routine doctor visits are an excellent way to stay on top of your health. Speak up and be honest. There’s an old saying “what you don’t know won’t hurt.” But in the case of your health, withholding vital information from your doctor could have unfavorable outcomes for you. Pay attention to your body and report any changes you have noticed to your doctor. Be sure to share your family history so that your doctor can better assess your health. If you are taking medications, always bring all medications to every visit to ensure that any new prescriptions do not conflict with your current prescriptions.
- Get plenty of rest: Lack of sleep (or sleep deprivation) can cause a host of health-related issues such as over exhaustion and increased stress levels. When you are asleep, that is the only time that your immune system can work to fight off the bacteria forming in your body.