Did you know that in the United States, Americans use preventative health care services about half the recommended amount? Despite the benefits that preventative health care services provide, many of us choose to go without preventative care. Seven out of 10 deaths are attributed to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. These diseases are often preventable and can be found through regular screenings.
Learn what you can do to lead a healthier life by checking out these seven preventative health tips!
1. Eat Oatmeal To Lower Cholesterol
Oatmeal is a fantastic breakfast, but that’s not all! Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. To mix up your oatmeal routine, you can try steel-cut oatmeal or cold cereal made from oatmeal.
Take control of your cholesterol levels by regularly having blood screenings. A blood screening at UnityPoint Clinic can make sure that your triglycerides, HDL and LDL levels are in check and healthy.
2. Go For A Walk
Walking can be an easy way to step toward good health. In fact, walking briskly for 30 minutes a day can help lower a person’s risk of diabetes. Even if you have been living a sedentary lifestyle, you can walk toward a healthy living. Just begin walking and add a few more minutes to your walks each day.
Diabetes is a preventable condition that plagues many Americans. Your foot health may be an indicator of diabetes. If you believe that you are at risk for developing diabetes or diabetes-related conditions, regular screenings could stop diabetes before it even has the chance to begin.
3. Make Friends With Antioxidants
Do antioxidants live up to their health hype? Absolutely. Our bodies are constantly on the defense against free radicals that are the byproduct of food being turned into energy. Free radicals cause damage to cells and if damage occurs, cells can die. The antioxidants we get from eating nutritious foods can fight these free radicals. Eating an antioxidant-rich diet filled with fruits, vegetables and whole grains is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
It’s important to stay on top of your heart health. By getting regular heart screenings, you can make sure your heart is as happy as it should be.
4. Wash Your Hands
Hand washing doesn’t take up much of your time and requires little effort; why wouldn’t you do it?Washing your hands thoroughly is one simple way to make sure you stay healthy and avoid spreading germs to others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), washing your hands reduces the number of people who get diarrhea by 31 percent.
Washing your hands seems like a no-brainer, but many people don’t always do it. Hand washing plays a role in good hygiene, and poor hygiene can lead to many illnesses.
5. Slather on the Sunscreen
Many people want a golden tan, but skipping the sunscreen comes with many risks. Foregoing sunscreen can lead to sun damage on the skin like sunburn or worse: skin cancer. If you plan on spending time outdoors, you should always apply sunscreen of at least SPF 15. Remember: a “healthy tan” doesn’t exist!
When visiting your dermatologist, it’s important to have your moles or spots on your skin checked regularly. Skin cancers like melanoma are often curable if caught and treated early. However, if it’s not caught the cancer can spread to other parts of the body. The skilled dermatologists at UnityPoint Clinic can screen your moles and test them to make sure your skin is as healthy as it should be.
6. Don’t Forget Your Bones
You shouldn’t believe that osteoporosis is a normal part of aging. There are many steps you can take to protect your bones throughout your life, and you’re never too old to improve the health of your bones. Not only will eating healthy foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D improve your bone health, but it will increase your overall health. It’s a win-win!
It has been found that genetics can play a role in bone health. If osteoporosis is a condition that runs in your family, paying attention to your bone health is a must. Get regular bone density screenings at UnityPoint Clinic to make sure your bones are staying healthy.
7. Get Regular Screenings To Detect Cancers Without Warning Signs
Some cancers don’t begin to show symptoms until they become aggressive. Some examples are prostate, lung and colon cancers. The best way to stay on top of these cancers is to get regular screenings with your primary care provider, especially if these types of cancers run in your family.
UnityPoint Clinic ensures that adults, especially those 50-75 years of age have had appropriate screening for colorectal cancer (CRC), including fecal occult blood testing, colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy. During yearly physical exams, patients are screened for colon cancer risks and referred for testing based on those results.
Get the Care You Need at UnityPoint Clinic
Other helpful screenings provided by UnityPoint Clinic include:
- Breast cancer screenings. UnityPoint Clinic provides women mammograms at appropriate times throughout their lives. For women between the ages of 50-74,mammograms are recommended at least every two years.
- Lead screenings. Young children at UnityPoint Clinic are screened for lead before their second birthday.
- Autism screening. The M-Chat screening is a series of questions parents answer about their toddler’s development. This is done around age two, but follow-up or re-screening is available at any time if there are concerns.
UnityPoint Clinic Providers Care About Your Health
No matter if it’s going for a walk, eating oatmeal for breakfast or eating foods rich in vitamin D, taking preventative health care steps is important. Taking these steps and getting regular screenings can help you stay healthy and lead to an active and happy future. Contact your provider at UnityPoint Clinic today to make an appointment for the screenings you need. Do you need a doctor to perform your regular screenings? UnityPoint Clinic has providers across Iowa and Illinois who can help you. Find the right one for you and your family today!