Management of Your Personal Health

What do I need to do to manage my personal health?

See your healthcare provider regularly. Routine checkups can find health problems early and help prevent more serious problems. Get regular screening tests, according to your healthcare provider’s recommendations, such as:

  • Weight and blood pressure measurements
  • Blood sugar and cholesterol tests
  • Colon and rectal cancer screening
  • Mammograms, pelvic exams, and Pap tests (if you are a woman)
  • Prostate cancer screening (if you are a man)

How can I take care of my physical health?

  • Follow a healthy lifestyle.
    • Eat a healthy diet. Stay away from foods high in trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Limit carbohydrates (sugar, white rice, white potatoes, pasta and baked goods made with white flour), Eat more fruits and vegetables. Choose lean cuts of meat and more fish. Drink plenty of water unless your healthcare provider has advised you to limit how much water you drink.
    • Try to keep a healthy weight. If you are overweight, lose weight.
    • Stay fit with the right kind of exercise for you as recommended by your healthcare provider.
    • Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
    • Learn to manage stress. Find ways to unwind: take up a hobby, listen to music, watch movies, or take walks. Try deep breathing exercises when you feel stressed.
    • If you are feeling depressed or anxious, talk with your healthcare provider or a counselor or therapist. Physical health and emotional well-being are tied together.
    • If you smoke, try to quit. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to quit smoking.
    • If you want to drink alcohol, ask your healthcare provider how much is safe for you to drink.
  • Prevent injury.
    • Use lap and shoulder belts when you drive. Use a helmet when you ride a motorcycle or bicycle.
    • If you are around guns or other firearms, practice safe handling. Make sure to keep all firearms unloaded and in locked cabinets when they are not in use.
    • Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Replace the batteries as often as recommended by the manufacturer.
    • Set your hot water heater to less than 120°F (49°C) to prevent burns.
    • Prevent falls by removing throw rugs and keeping stairs and handrails in good repair. Cover slippery surfaces, such as outside steps, with nonskid surfaces.
  • Practice safe sex.
    • Use latex or polyurethane condoms during foreplay and every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
    • Have just 1 sexual partner who is not having sex with anyone else.
  • Keep your own health records.
    • Record and track your progress toward your health goals, such as steps you take to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, daily exercise, and changes you make in your diet.
    • Make a list of any medicines or supplements that you take, any allergies you have, and any symptoms that concern you.
    • If you have questions or concerns about how you are doing, review your goals with your healthcare provider.

How can I improve my social life in a healthy way?

  • Get support from family and friends. When you feel accepted and encouraged by others, you feel better about yourself.
  • Volunteer or find other ways to stay involved with other people.
  • Stay involved with people face-to-face through taking classes, going to a recreation center, or attending a place of worship. Limit the amount of time you spend on social media, watching TV, or working on the computer. Avoid bars and nightclubs as places to meet new friends.

What if I have questions about my health?

The best place to start is with your healthcare provider. You can also seek other good, reliable health resources. Don’t believe everything you see or hear. Not every diet book has healthy advice. Not all online resources are accurate and up to date. Look for information from hospitals, government agencies, or national health organizations, for example:

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-05-01
Last reviewed: 2014-04-29
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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