Building a healthy, happy future.
What do you think about when you picture the future? Do you imagine a successful career, a large family, or a peaceful retirement? There are plenty of ways you can work towards these goals, but one of the less talked about ingredients to success is taking care of your long-term health. After all, you need to be as healthy as you can be in order to accomplish your dreams and live a long, happy life that allows you plenty of time to enjoy the results! Although building healthy habits may sound difficult, it doesn’t always have to be complicated—and it can even be enjoyable! Here are 5 ways you can safeguard your long-term health.
1. Begin financial planning now
One of the foundations of taking care of your health is preparing your finances in advance by ensuring that you have health insurance. Health insurance fully or partially covers many different doctors visits and medical treatments, helping you afford regular checkups as well as routine and unexpected medical care. It’s also wise to start a health savings account. This is a savings account that allows you to set aside money from each paycheck before taxes are taken out. This money is used specifically for medical expenses, such as copayments, deductibles, medications, and more, so it can help you afford your treatment right when you need it.
Even putting a small amount of money into it from each paycheck can add up. Knowing that money is there when you need it can be a huge relief and it can make all the difference in your long-term health, reducing the likelihood that you’ll need to put off medical care because of a tight budget. If you’re still worried about affording your care, you can also familiarize yourself with the financing options that your doctors and dentist offer. One common option is CareCredit, which is a credit card designed to help you pay medical bills in small, fixed payments that fit your budget—often with little to no interest.
2. Commit to prevention.
When it comes to your health, an ounce of prevention goes a long way! Prevention takes many forms, but they all boil down to putting a little extra effort into building healthy habits. Do your best to exercise every day and make small changes to improve your diet. You don’t need to make time for long workouts, either—fitting in a handful of short, high-intensity workouts or scattering a few 10-minute walks throughout your day can do just as much good as going on a single 30-minute walk. Ideally, try to fit in 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week, or a mix of the two. This may sound like a lot, especially if you’re busy, but scattering shorter workouts throughout your day when your schedule is free for a small block of time can quickly add up.
You don’t need to remove all sweets or delicious snacks from your diet either, but you should do your best to balance your diet and limit unhealthy snacks. Eating healthier is better for your short- and long-term oral health. It helps you maintain lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels while boosting your immune system. Poor oral health can impact your overall health by increasing your chances of major health concerns like infections, heart disease, and stroke. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss and use mouthwash daily, and schedule a regular appointment with your Wasilla dentist every six months. Habits like these make a huge difference in both your short- and long-term health.
3. Get regular health screenings.
Sticking to a healthy lifestyle can go a long way towards keeping you healthy in the long term, but it’s also essential for you to get regular health screenings. These screenings help catch health concerns in the early stages when the issue is still minor enough that it can be reversed or controlled through treatments before it results in larger health concerns or even a health emergency. You should get regular health screenings for diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, osteoporosis, and many different types of cancer.
Many dentists screen for oral cancer once a year during one of your regularly scheduled appointments. Like other types of cancer, it’s best to detect oral cancer early. Your dentist is uniquely positioned to detect this type of cancer even before your primary care physician would be able to diagnose it.
4. Take care of your mental health.
Your mental health is just as essential for your long-term health as your physical health is, so do your best to take care of it. Try to reduce your stress levels through meditation or mindfulness techniques and prioritize the people and activities that are important to you. Work is important, but make time to spend with your loved ones and to participate in activities that relax you and bring you joy, like art, yoga, or reading. In fact, science says that activities like spending time with your loved ones and caring for your mental state release oxytocin, otherwise known as the happiness chemical, in your brain.
In contrast, activities like making a purchase, winning a competition, getting a raise, or crossing off an item from your to-do list can raise your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and while it’s not always bad—the listed activities are all positive experiences—it doesn’t relax you, so it’s important to make time for activities that will. Additionally, it’s okay to need help managing your mental health. If you’re struggling, counseling can help you to work through problems in your life, learn to manage negative experiences, and find happiness.
5. Receive dental treatments as soon as possible.
Receiving prescribed care saves money, time, and teeth. Having your natural teeth is always best for your long-term oral and overall health, so we’re here to help you keep your teeth for life by guiding your oral care and by stopping problems before they arise.
While it may take you some time to slowly implement healthier habits into your life, the payoff is well worth it. You’ll have the energy and health to reach your goals for the future and to enjoy the life you’re working so hard to build. You can get started by committing to your oral health and calling to schedule an appointment with our office today!