Six easy ways to take better care of your health

Take a step back at the beginning of this new year and see what changes can be made to you health. It could be as simple as adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

A new year is an excellent opportunity to assess your health and resolve to make positive lifestyle changes.

To help people prioritize and maintain their health in 2017, here are tips offered by pharmacists that are practical and affordable.

• Secure regular screenings: It is important to get regular health screenings to keep track of the state of your health. Routine tests are often the first to get postponed when people get busy, but they are crucial for ensuring any potential medical issues are identified and addressed as early as possible.

Resist the urge to let cost or time constraints prevent you from getting regular check-ups. Don’t forget regular vision and hearing tests, as well.

• Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek out advice for improving your health. One easily accessible professional resource that is often overlooked is your local pharmacist. Before visiting the pharmacy, consider whether you have any health questions and jot them down. Pharmacists are eager to help people understand their medications and health, and you don’t need to go through the hassle of making an appointment.

• Focus on fresh foods: Incorporating fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and legumes into your meals can help you maintain a healthy weight, while also building your immunity and muscles. Smoothies, leafy green salads, vegetable stews and grilled fish are all great choices. You can also boost flavor with low-calorie ingredients that offer nutritional benefits, such as garlic, onion, spices and herbs.

Some retailers today make it easy for shoppers to identify nutritious items. 

• Select supplements: Even the best diet can fall short of nutritional guidelines. Consider consulting with your healthcare professional about boosting your diet with a daily multivitamin or supplement tailored to your individual health needs.

• Verify your vaccinations: Immunizations can help prevent illness and save lives. Make sure you are current on all necessary vaccinations. Talk to your pharmacist about what vaccines you might need, which varies by age.

• Enjoy winter workouts: You don’t have to become a world class body builder or competitive triathlete to reap the health benefits of exercise. Exercise can help everyone boost immunity, improve cardiovascular fitness and speed up metabolism.

Even just committing to a midday walk or opting to take the stairs can make a big difference.

Some people find they are more likely to stick to a workout plan if they enlist friends or coworkers to join them. Many people also find it helpful to track their fitness goals and progress using wearable technology and smart scales, which can provide information on everything from your heart rate to your body mass index.

Start 2017 off right by committing to better health. (StatePoint)


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