Everyone knows about the importance of taking care of your health. But for most people, caring for their health is more of an ideal to aspire to — not something to actually practice. If you asked a random person on the street how important their health is to them, chances are they’d reply that their health is very important. Yet too many Americans live with unhealthy lifestyles, failing to recognize the importance of taking care of your health.
Perhaps part of the problem is that the importance of taking care of your health seems like a complicated subject. After all, staying healthy isn’t as simple as just visiting the doctor every year. Everything, from your diet to your lifestyle, even to how you maintain your house, plays a role in your overall health. As a result, the importance of taking care of your health can seem too overwhelming to deal with effectively.
If that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss some practical ways your lifestyle impacts your health. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll not only understand the importance of taking care of your health, but how to begin doing it.
It may sound like a cheesy cliche, but good health starts at home. And it’s not just about what you eat or how you start your day, but also the state your home is in. Part of keeping yourself and your family healthy means keeping your house in good condition. That might mean cleaning your home appliances, getting the necessary maintenance, and nipping problems in the bud before they get out of hand.
Keep Your House Clean for Good Health
When you think about the importance of taking care of your health, what comes to mind is probably diet and exercise, not cleaning the house. But putting off cleaning can result in things like dust, mold and mildew building up in your home, which can make living there uncomfortable.
Regular cleaning is the most reliable way to prevent dust and irritating allergens from accumulating in your home. Whether you’re sweeping, dusting, or vacuuming, you’ll be ridding your house of things lie dust mites, pet dander, and dozens of other irritants. If you think dust and dirt aren’t a big deal, think again: certain allergens can cause cold and flu-like symptoms in some people, and they aren’t good for you period.
Cleaning is also important to help with sanitation. Whenever you use disinfectants to clean, you’re getting rid of nasty bacteria, harmful viruses, and other microorganisms that could make you sick. While harsh chemicals aren’t good for you either, as long as you favor more safe, eco-friendly cleaning products, you can preserve your family’s health just by cleansing the surfaces of your home.
Home Maintenance for Your Health
It makes sense that sweeping up allergens and killing bacteria would make your home healthier, but how do things like AC repairs and other maintenance tasks involve your health?
Having working central air units is important to keeping a comfortably safe environment for your family. While humans can tolerate some extreme temperatures, “roughing it” in the heat or cold isn’t necessarily good for you. And if your HVAC system is working, but needs maintenance that you’ve been putting off, watch out — it could break down at any time, resulting in an even bigger expense later.
A good heating and cooling system is also helpful for ventilation, which helps prevent mold and mildew from forming. Keeping your home dry is very important for your health, as mold poisoning is a very real thing. Unfortunately, when mold develops, it’s usually under the surface, in attics, basements, and behind walls. It’s important to keep an eye out for leaks, and pay for water damage cleanup when mold or water damage is discovered.
Pest prevention measures are also important to prevent structural damage in your home, from things like termites. While pest control services can eradicate most pest colonies in your house and yard, you should also prioritize healthy home maintenance beforehand so as to prevent infestations before they start.
Having a clean, well-maintained home doesn’t just have practical benefits for your health and comfort. It also makes you feel better psychologically, causing you to feel happier in your home, and making it easier to de-stress after a long day at work.
The importance of taking care of your health can’t be overstated, but it’s often simpler than people think. While everyone knows a good diet and moderate exercise are important, it’s easy to overlook less common, but just as necessary, practices for good health. We’ll take a look at a few of those now.
Practice Good Self-Care
We just discussed how important it is to maintain your house, not just as a responsible homeowner, but for your own health and wellbeing. But what you may not have considered is that, in a way, you’re a “homeowner” living in the structure that is your physical body. Just like you can’t ignore your house for years without it breaking down, so you yourself require some love and attention to stay in “good repair.”
Most people only practice self-care when they get sick, and even then they do it reluctantly. You can help avoid sickness altogether, and enjoy life more, but caring for yourself while you’re still healthy. Besides having a decent diet and doing occasional exercise, self-care is mostly about doing things that you enjoy to de-stress. You probably don’t realize how much stress you put your mind and body through every day, whether you work full-time or you’re a homemaker. Going to a medical spa, having a movie night, and especially spending time in nature can greatly improve your quality of life when practiced regularly.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
The importance of taking care of your health doesn’t end with caring for your physical body. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. In fact, considering the impact stress and anxiety can have on your entire body, it might even be more important.
Caring for your mental health basically means making sure you feel good about yourself and your life. Such a definition may seem simplistic, but that’s essentially what it boils down to, whether you’re doing calming activities or seeking counseling. Some ways you can care for your mental health include getting a full, restful night’s sleep; enjoying comedy movies or routines specifically to make yourself laugh; journaling about your emotions, thoughts, little accomplishments, and things you’re grateful for; and going on nature walks. If this sounds like self-care, that’s because it’s essentially what it is, but all of these activities are specifically recognized for their impact on psychological health.
Caring for your mental health is all about tending to the “inner world” of your mind, but that world is closely tied to the people in your life. One of the best ways to improve the way you feel is to develop and maintain healthy relationships. If you’ve been ignoring the people in your life lately, one of the best things you could do is take time to reconnect with them.
Finally, if you often feel depressed, experience significant anxiety, or ever have suicidal thoughts of impulses, don’t hesitate to seek help from a qualified counselor or therapist. We go to doctors for our physical health all the time, and it’s critical to show the same level of concern for your mental health.
Avoid Unhealthy and Unsafe Habits
Perhaps the biggest danger to your health and safety isn’t in your home or even your diet, but in the daily activities and habits you’ve picked up. Every two minutes, an American is injured in a drunk driving accident — a stark reminder of just how many people consume alcohol irresponsibly on a regular basis.
Most people who drink and drive probably don’t feel like they’re putting anyone in danger. Even if they’ve had one too many drinks, they probably feel confident in their ability to drive safely in that moment, and besides, there’s always have a bail bond agency to fall back on if they get caught. But while institutions like bond agencies are incredibly beneficial, if you drink and drive, you’re only tempting fate. Not only are you putting yourself in danger and quite possibly suffering from alcohol addiction, but you’re putting others directly in harm’s way as well.
Of course, drinking isn’t the only activity that can become an unhealthy habit. Smoking, drug abuse, and even overeating can all take a serious tole on your health. While these things might be pleasurable in the moment, they’re really diminishing your quality of life, and they could leave you with a chronic health condition or worse.
If you regularly indulge in activities like these, to the point that they’ve become habits for you, you’re not alone. Smoking, over-drinking, and even drug addiction are all more common than you might think, and there are lots of ideas and people out there that can help you overcome your bad habit. If you have a compulsive habit that you’re ashamed of, which isn’t unusual, it can be tempting to try and go it alone. While some habits can be broken through sheer force of will, more often than not you’ll need a system involving other people to finally be victorious. If this is the case for you, don’t be ashamed of it. Wanting help and wanting to do better are things to take pride in, not things to feel ashamed of. Whether you seek the help of a friend to be your accountability partner or go all out with DUI counseling, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The importance of taking care of your health can’t be left completely to your doctor, but regular healthcare is still important. In addition to taking care of yourself through the ways we’ve just mentioned, it’s important to remember your annual checkup, and to visit a doctor or urgent care when you notice a problem in your health.
Keep Up with Checkups
From your family doctor’s office to your local general dentistry practice, it’s important to get regular checkups to maintain your health. Getting exams and tests done periodically allows you and your doctors to find problems before they begin. When you start to develop the signs of an oncoming illness, your best chance for making a full, rapid recovery as at the very start. If you wait so long that symptoms become noticeable, it can be more difficult (and expensive) to get the treatment you need to return to full health.
Not only are checkups necessary for detecting onsetting health issues early, but they’re also helpful for motivating you to make healthy choices. Doctors are very good at driving home the importance of taking care of your health. If healthy habits don’t exactly come naturally to you or you have the tendency to downplay their importance, visiting your doctor regularly can help keep you vigilant about staying healthy.
Know When to Get Care
Sometimes you just need to visit a doctor or urgent care center, even if you’ve been getting regular checkups. The important thing is to know when.
Have you noticed your vision getting blurry lately? It might be time to visit the optometric center to have your eyesight checked or your prescription eyewear updated. Is there a nagging pain in one of your teeth that erupts whenever you try to eat? You should probably set an appointment with your dentist.
Other times you may experience symptoms that are more severe. If you develop a high fever (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit) or one that lasts more than three days, it could be a sign of a bad infection, and you should call your doctor. You should also reach out to them if you experience unusually severe cold symptoms, such as a bad cough, especially if they last longer than two weeks.
Other signs that you should talk to a physician about include a significant and unexpected drop in bodyweight; prolonged shortness of breath; significant chest, abdominal, or pelvic pain; or unexpected symptoms following a change in medication.
In general, if you notice something that seems off or concerns you, it’s probably a good call to talk to a trusted healthcare practitioner.
By now the importance of taking care of your health should be clear to you. From now on, remember that you’re important and worth caring for, and always make sure you have the health you need to live life to the fullest.