Knowledge about health is the key to preventing a lifetime of misery. “What ifs” and “if onlys” are applicable only in matters of love and relationships, but should be avoided at all cost when it comes to health. Be proactive in seeking for information of how to stay healthy. This makes for informed choices when it comes to fitness. |
The following are must-know information you need to maximize measures on how to stay healthy:
1) Know your family health history. There are two major types of risk factors to health: heredity and environment. Diseases usually manifest themselves when your genes are “activated” by environmental factors. For instance, if you have a family history of lung cancer, but you do not smoke or you stay away from air pollutants, then the chances of your cancer gene being actuated is slim to none.
Among the information you need to gather include the following: a) family member who have died and are currently afflicted with heart diseases (heart attack), stroke (brain attack), diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, cancer; b) allergies; c) surgical operations undertaken by family members both dead and living; and d) causes of accidents and injuries. Make a checklist for ease of data gathering when you interview your family members.
2) Know your baseline vital signs. These include heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), respiratory rate (RR), and temperature. You can visit your local clinic and request for these to be taken, or you can learn to take them yourself. Although the latter would allow you to take your vital signs on demand, it takes practice and you have to purchase your own equipment such as sphygmomanometer (BP reading device), stethoscope (for HR), and a thermometer (for your temperature taking).
Information on your normal vital signs will help medical professionals distinguish what is abnormal for you in cases when you do get sick. For instance, a BP reading of 90 over 60 can be considered hypotensive (low BP) when based on the standard reading. However, if it has been your BP ever since, then it might not be abnormal for you. Conversely, if you have a BP of 120 over 90, this could already be a case of high blood pressure despite falling within the standard value.
3) Have routine diagnostic and laboratory exams. Similar to your vital signs, these information will be useful in distinguishing deviations to your health. Having knowledge about these data will also help you apply steps of how to stay healthy, depending on your values.
Submit for a routine blood chemistry to determine your normal number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and hemoglobin, which are important indicators of how healthy your heart is. You also need to know your glomerular filtration rate through submission of your urine sample. This will tell you how efficient your kidneys are in eliminating waste products of metabolism. Your blood sugar level will express if you are at risk of diabetes mellitus. Lastly, a stool exam will determine any abnormalities in your digestive system.
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