When was the last time you went to the doctor? and why did you go? How about the dentist or the last time that you did something for your health?. Before the pandemic, I didn’t do any of those things, and almost everybody that I know used to be like me. We usually look for help or take care of ourselves until we have a problem and it shouldn’t be like that, we must work on preventing rather than fixing it.
Currently, your health could make the difference in the case you get COVID19, so I guess that it’s a great moment to take some time to take a deep look at it.
Young but not invincible
As young people, we used to think that we would not get a disease. Although it’s right to say that there are fewer possibilities because worldwide not many young people suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, or other diseases, so why worry?
The World Health Organization has an answer very clearly for us. They report that “there is a global epidemic of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). And the four primary risk factors for these chronic diseases (tobacco, alcohol, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition) are typically initiated during adolescence or young adulthood, setting the stage for later diseases” (PRB, n.d.).
An excellent example of the fact that young doesn’t mean healthy by itself, in my case. At 25 years old I have a diagnosis of angina pectoris, and probably you are asking now, ‘what is it?’ Well, according to Heart.org, “Angina pectoris is the medical term for chest pain or discomfort due to coronary heart disease. It occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t get as much blood as it needs. It usually causes uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest. You may also feel discomfort in your neck, jaw, shoulder, back or arm” (America Heart Association, 2015).
This condition was something that came into my life without notice, at a moment when I had decided to take care of my body, health, and in general of my life. Anyway, being young is not a guarantee. So where I am, being part of that small statistic, with all that, do you still feel invincible?
Preventing before fixing: work for a better present and future
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This situation made me think about what I had done to have a good quality of life, and all the things that I have been changing in my life to achieve it, but at this point, a lot of those things were not optional for me, like quitting coffee and chocolate. I can tell you that it’s easier when you can choose which changes you’ll do than when you have to do them without options.
There are a lot of studies that demonstrate that many diseases can be prevented. In the same way that you take care of your computer, you protect it with an antivirus and have other kinds of precautions, health works in the same way, if you protect it, your body will not get sick.
If you still think that you should go to the doctor until you feel awful enough, we have a long way to walk. If you give your body the correct treatment, you will have more chances to have a good life and a better life quality in your old age. To summarize, we must take more seriously the recurring and repetitive tips of the Doctors for needing them less in our life.
Habits, you can get them without trying
Creating a prevention habit does not require you to leave all the things that you like or spend a lot of time on, you can start doing small changes that could make a big difference. Nowadays, for example, I’m trying to take advantage of the home office; in this situation, I started to use the extra time to start to work out a little bit and take care of my meals. You can take the time at home to cook and be more conscious about what you are eating.
As soon as I started to work on all these changes, I noticed that all the excuses about doing nothing for my health, that I used to have, disappeared. In addition, I was able to identify some improvements in both my body and my health. A great example of this is that I lost around 15 kg when I started to work on my habits.
Further, I think that the most important points in this way are that you’ll feel good about your body and health, and also that these practices will adapt to your days. I mean, if a workout or going to the gym is not your thing, you can go to walk or run, or simply dance at home, the important thing is being more active. On the other hand, if it’s difficult for you to eat less candy or things like that, there are many recipes on the internet that are healthier, and anyway, they are delicious. There will always be an option.
Do not force yourself to cut all at once, just set small goals. Work one by one on all the things that you want to achieve.
Next, I’ll share some tips for improving your prevention habits:
- Go to the doctor for a general checkup once a year
- Go to the dentist twice a year
- Try to drink more water
- Drink and eat less junk food, you can leave them for the weekends
- Try to be more active you can workout at home 3 times a week or go to walk 30 min every day
- Research and take care of hereditary diseases
- At any signal of alert on your body, don’t wait and go for professional help
Now I’m learning to live with my condition, I had a really hard process to learn to appreciate the importance of good health and take care of it. Sometimes the price to pay for not doing it on occasions is too high, so if you are not prepared to pay it, it’s better that you start to do something. There is no better moment than now to get ready and do it for yourself, for your future, and for the people around you. What do you think?
- America Heart Association. (2015, July 31). Angina Pectoris (Stable Angina). American Heart Association. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/angina-chest-pain/angina-pectoris-stable-angina
- PRB. (n.d.). Chronic Diseases Do Affect Youth | PRB. Population Reference Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from https://www.prb.org/resources/chronic-diseases-do-affect-youth/