9 Ways to Stay Healthy in a Bad Economy
Health is for Life
Follow simple techniques to keep health in your body, happiness in your heart, and the doctor out of your pocket.
Take Control of Your Health
Taking your health into your own hands doesn't mean you have to perform your own surgery. The concept of wellness is focused on prevention of disease, injuries, and progressive conditions that are avoidable through awareness and the power of knowledge. In an age where over 55 million have no health insurance, and many with substandard insurance, it may be a good idea for you to educate yourself and practice safe living.
1. Find the Right Health Care Provider
You may be young and healthy, or consider yourself a tough person that never gets ill. The truth is, even healthy people experiences illness at one time or another. So be prepared and find a provider ahead of time.
If you have health insurance, make sure you know which hospital or clinic accepts your policy. If you don't have insurance, find a free or sliding scale health care provider. If you go to the emergency room of a hospital that won’t meet your financial needs, you can end up with a $650-1500 bill that you can’t afford. Not only will your credit be dinged, but you may be reluctant to return for the follow-up care or the prescriptions you may need. If you don’t continue your care, it can seriously impact your health with complications and further hospitalization.
2. Easy on the Alcohol
It seems every day there is a new study that suggests alcohol is good or bad. If you read through the studies, there seems to be contradictions with an "it depends" clause. Women prone to breast cancer should not drink at all, while men or women with a family history of heart disease may receive benefits from alcohol. The consensus of scientists seems to agree on a glass of dark red wine a few days a week as beneficial for some. Again, this is a debate that you must research and decide for yourself. One thing is crystal clear, over use of alcohol can damage your liver, pancreas, stomach, and your brain.
A new trend with health care insurance providers is not covering costs for alcohol related injuries in the emergency room or clinic. Alcohol is considered an avoidable risk and does not justify an injury when a patient is under the influence of alcohol.
3. Junk Food alternatives
We all know how fast food is much cheaper than nutritional food, and it tastes pretty good. At first the low cost food seems like a good idea on a budget. You don't feel the bad effects of sugar, fat encrusted hamburgers, and greasy fries for years to come. Over time it may cause clogged arteries and heart disease, fat layers appear on your body, and diabetes may develop from the over processed white flour. The high cost and time needed to manage an illness is not worth the low cost or the convenience of fast food.
Commit to a healthy food choice at least 80% of the time. If cooking or time is a problem, buy a ready-made roasted chicken and toss a salad. Buy an apple or orange on a daily basis with a bottle of ice cold water. Take small steps that eventually change your way of eating. Be aware of what kind of food you are fueling your body with, and take note how much better you feel as an incentive to continue.
4. Fix Your Tooth For Less Than $3.00
Your tooth filling comes out or a piece breaks off during a meal. The pain is unbearable and you find yourself looking for your dentist in the middle of a Sunday evening. If you can find one available, it's going to be very expensive. A trip to the emergency room will cost even more, and you may sit in the waiting room for a very long time.
You can fill the broken or cracked tooth with temporary dental cement. This is not a permanent fix by any means, but it will stop the pain and allow you time to get to a dentist. Your appointment will be much less at an affordable dentist than an emergency visit or a trip to the emergency room.
5. Get a Flu Vaccine
You cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine. The injection is made up of the dead virus and cannot infect you with the flu. You may have mild symptoms due to your immune system preparing antibodies against the live virus. Don't plan a flu shot around an important meeting or activity. Don't take a flu shot if you've had a reaction in the past or are allergic to eggs.
If you forgo the vaccine and do contract the flu, you may lose work time, have costly complications requiring medical treatment, and possibly lose your job. It is imperative to find a low cost or free flu shot in your community before the flu season begins.
6. Practice Fire Drills with Your Kids
If you have children in your home, it is extremely important to rehearse a fire escape plan on a regular basis. During a home fire, children panic, hide, and may not respond to your commands. A simple red towel or pillow case thrown in different areas can simulate a fire, and you can explain to your children what escape route is best. The fire drill game can be fun for your kids, and chances are high they will remember your words and it will save their lives.
7. Reversible Diseases and Conditions with Diet
You can reverse Diabetes with diet, weight loss, and exercise. If you've been told you are a borderline diabetic, take this warning seriously. Lose weight and avoid over processed foods, sugar, and white flour. These foods raise your blood sugar and the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to balance disperse it to the cells. Complications of Diabetes are devastating, and can include blindness, extremity pain, and loss of brain function.
High blood pressure is also influenced by diet and exercise. Any extra weight on the body will strain the heart and cause a rise in body pressure. Medication costs are life long, and you are at a high risk for stroke and heart disease.
8. Walk Off Your Depression and Boost Your Mood
If exercise sounds like a bad word to you, just take a walk 3-7 times a week for 30 minutes. Start slow and build up until you can walk at a brisk pace. Walking helps make good chemicals in your brain and lowers anxiety and stress. It improves depression and gives you some time with your thoughts. You will drop weight and look as good as you feel.
9. Helping Others Will Boost Your Self-Esteem
People who give to others are happier than those who do not, and it gives them a sense of self-worth. Not everyone has time to volunteer, or money to give to charity, but that doesn't mean you can't help a friend, take your kid to the park, or tell someone in your life how much they mean to you. Value your relationships; find little ways to make a difference in your community.
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