Preventive Care Measures You Can Perform at Home

If you are interested in improving your overall health, reducing your risk factors for chronic illnesses and adding years to your life, it is important to engage in preventive care measures that can be performed at home.

Including getting a good night’s sleep, engaging in an exercise routine and monitoring your eating habits. By doing so, you can improve your overall mood, boost your energy and reduce your risk factors for chronic illnesses such as cancer, mood disorders, heart disease, diabetes, depression, obesity, high blood pressure and more. Therefore, it is important to understand how to much sleep and exercise that is recommended as well as learn about the types of exercise that you can engage in and how to get a more restful sleep. Additionally, it is important to be aware of your eating habits and how you may be able to improve them if you are lacking certain nutrients or if you are not an ideal weight. To learn more about the preventive care measures that you can perform at home, review the sections that have been provided below.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep each night helps both your body and mind remain healthy whereas a lack of sleep can increase your risk of certain health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, mood disorders, depression, diabetes and more. In addition to avoiding an increase in your risk for chronic medical conditions, getting enough sleep offers a variety of benefits such as:

  • The reduction of stress and improvement of overall mood
  • The ability to think more clearly, thus doing better at work and school
  • The ability to better get along with other people
  • The ability to make better decisions and avoid injuries
  • A better immune system, falling ill far less often
  • The ability to maintain a healthy weight

Therefore, it is important to understand how much sleep you should get on a regular basis as well as tips for falling asleep if you are having trouble. While most adults require seven to eight hours of well rested sleep each night, children generally require more sleep than adults do.

  • Teens generally need between eight and ten hours of sleep each night
  • School-aged children are recommended nine to 12 hours of sleep each night
  • Preschoolers need between ten and 13 hours of sleep each day (naps included)
  • Toddlers need between 11 and 14 hours of sleep each day (naps included)
  • Babies need to sleep between 12 and 16 hours each day (naps included)

If you are having trouble falling asleep, the culprit may not always be an obvious one. Stress and anxiety can make it harder for you to fall asleep and engage in restful sleep throughout the night. Additionally, certain health conditions such as asthma and heartburn can make it more difficult to stay asleep. Pain may be another culprit, especially if you have a chronic condition. Alcohol, drugs and caffeine can all affect your sleep as well as untreated sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea. If you work a night shift job or live in a state such as Alaska, you may also have trouble sleeping as your body has a “biological clock” that is set according to patterns of daylight.

If you are having trouble sleeping, you are not alone. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation found that 30 to 40 percent of adults claim to have occasional bouts of insomnia while between 10 percent and 15 percent of U.S. residents claim to have trouble sleeping at any given time. While there are sleep medications that your doctor may prescribe to you, some of these medications may include side effects, so you may want to look to more natural sleep aids before obtaining a subscription.

Melatonin is an over the counter supplement that you can purchase at most pharmacies. Melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally produces that helps you regulate your sleeping and waking cycles. It causes drowsiness as well as lowers body temperature. However, while melatonin does help the majority of individuals who take it, there is mixed research on whether or not melatonin will help an individual who has been diagnosed with insomnia. You can also try drinking a little warm milk before bed. Before scoffing at the idea, it is important to know that calcium helps your brain naturally product melatonin, which can help you to relax and prepare your body for sleep.

Magnesium is an important nutrient that, like melatonin, plays a key role in sleep. You get magnesium from certain foods such as leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds and almonds. However, there are a great number of people who lack magnesium and research shows that even a marginal lack of magnesium can impair your ability to sleep.

Lavender oil is calming, which can encourage some people to sleep, even those with insomnia. Try taking a hot bath with lavender oil before bed or relaxing near a lavender oiled candle.

You can also make lifestyle changes that can help you to combat any sleep problems that you may have. Keep your bedroom dark and free from distractions such as a TV or your phone. Keep your room at a temperature between 54 and 72 degrees, if possible. Invest in a good mattress and use pillows that will support your neck and head. Consider a white noise machine to filter out unwanted noise and try breathable linens for your sheets.

Engage in a Healthy Exercise Routine

Having a healthy exercise routine offers an abundance of benefits such as an overall better mood, a boost in energy and an improved sex life, but did you know that exercise can reduce your risk for a variety of chronic health conditions and even add years onto your life? Everyone benefits from exercise regardless of physical ability, age or gender.

Exercise, along with a healthy diet, can help you maintain a healthy weight as well as lose weight if you are currently overweight or obese. While you naturally burn calories throughout the day, you will burn far more when engaging in physical activity with the intensity of the activity affecting how many calories you burn. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can reduce your risk factors for cardiovascular disease, depression and cancer. It can also help you to prevent falls and injuries by improving strength and flexibility as well as maintain bone density so that you are less likely to be injured after a fall.

Even if you are already at a healthy weight, exercise also combats a variety of health conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and certain cancers. Physical activity boosts your overall mood too as it stimulates brain chemicals that can leave you feeling more relaxed, which can even help you to get a good night’s sleep! You get an increase in energy as exercise builds your endurance and deliveries oxygen and nutrients to tissue throughout your body and ensures that your cardiovascular system works more efficiently. This can, in turn, even improve your sex life as you will have more energy and men that engage in a regular exercise routine often experience erectile dysfunction less often than men who do not.

Now that you understand the benefits that a healthy exercise routine provides, it is important to know how much exercise that you should engage in each week. No matter your age, it is recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise. Moderate aerobic exercise includes:

  • Brisk walks
  • Swimming
  • Household chores, such as mowing the lawn

While vigorous exercises include activities such as:

  • Aerobic dancing
  • Running

In addition to aerobic exercise, it is important to engage in strength training as strength training can improve your overall strength, endurance, bone density, flexibility and balance. Even if you are not interested in building a great deal of muscle, it is important to engage in strength training for all major muscle groups at least twice a week. Strength training can be weight lifting, lifting your own body weight, resistance tubing, resistance paddling or physical activities such as rock climbing.

Monitor Your Eating Habits

It is important to monitor your eating habits in order to determine whether or not you are getting enough nutrition in your diet and whether or not you are at an ideal weight. By maintaining an ideal weight and ensuring that you are eating a healthy diet, you can reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The obesity epidemic in the United States can be heavily contributed to unhealthy eating habits. Today, about 33.8 percent of adults and 12.5 million children between the ages of 2 and 19 in the U.S. are obsess. Additionally, there are a growing number of people in the U.S. who are not obese, but have been diagnosed with an illness due to a poor diet.

There is a substantial amount of evidence that shows that a good nutrition and healthy weight can reduce your risk of chronic diseases and improve your overall health. Even a small change in your diet can go a long way in living a healthier life. Therefore, it is important to monitor your intake of sugar, calories, cholesterol, salt and protein. Staying hydrated can also help you to reduce your cravings and feel fuller. In fact, it is recommended that you drink a full glass of water before consuming a meal.

It is also important not to skip meals. Try to eat three meals each day around the same time each day, if possible, and ensure that you have at least four hours between your last meal and the time that you go to sleep each night. If you have trouble with cravings throughout the day, provide yourself with a healthier alternative in comparison to junk food. Drink less soda, or eliminate it from your diet all together.

Good eating choices, no matter how small, can improve your overall health. You may not be able to alter your diet entirely overnight, so set goals for yourself in order to make one change at a time. If you have a slip up, try not to beat yourself up about it as being hard on yourself may unravel the goals that you have for eating healthier.

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