It seems that there are more ways to look after yourself now more than ever before. With different uses of technology, continuously developing knowledge of health-related information and a great understanding of what different bodies require, it can be difficult where to start. So with that in mind, we are going to take a look at some of the ways you can engage with your health from what do when you are unwell to preventing ill health altogether.
The first place to start is with the traditional method of seeking medical attention and that is with an appointment with your GP. It shouldn’t a surprise that this suggestion comes up first, but what might be a shock is the recommendation to go and get yourself a physical check-up – even if you don’t have something immediately wrong. Quite often we all tend to wait until there is a significant reason to attend our local doctor’s surgery and that doesn’t really make sense when you think about all the other things we do in life for our health.
In our general lives, we are becoming more and more aware of the need to cut out certain things, ensure that we meet the basic six nutritional food groups and maintain an active lifestyle. While all of these things can be easier said than done, there is a least an acknowledgment that we should be doing them. However, when it comes to the GP you will still feel the ripple through society that we really shouldn’t bother the doctor too much. The problem is, if you leave it until you have an emergency then you’re going to end up need a lot more attention and quickly.
According to the NHS, we should all be invited to a health check at our local GP surgery every five years between 40 and 74. However, one of the things that you should bear in mind is that you can also request a general health check with your GP. This is usually recommended for every three years and should be considered like an MOT. Just because you aren’t someone who gets sick regularly, that doesn’t mean your body isn’t in need of a once over by a medical professional.
Photo by geralt from Pixabay
One of the great things about living in the age that we do is that you can now explore all sorts of information online, and health is no different. Now, before we start to look at the benefits of seeking help online we are going to add a caveat; if you are not a qualified medical practitioner, do not self-diagnose. If you have a concern based on your symptoms and what you have read then please bear in mind the advice from above and seek help from someone who is qualified to do so.
Caveat in place, we should all welcome the increase in information that the internet has brought to our lives, but there is so much more. Some of the more innovative tech heads out there have been able to develop apps and websites that assist us with some of the more menial or sensitive medical tasks such as picking up prescriptions or health issues. You can get yourself chlamydia treatment online as well as getting other tests for STDs, and while you should still follow the advice of seeking help from a physical doctor these tests are going to someone who is medically trained and therefore able to guide you appropriately.
It isn’t just sensitive medical prescriptions that you can pick up online, there are now ways to engage with your local pharmacy and GP surgery without leaving your home. You can book appointments with your doctor’s surgery using applications like Evergreen, which also gives you access to your medical records that in the past were incredibly hard to obtain.
The previous two sections have discussed health in more general terms, and in part that is because at the end of the day if you have a physical illness you are likely to seek help for it in some capacity. Mental health, however, can be reacted to in a very different way and therefore deserves its own section.
The important thing to keep in mind when reading about mental health is that you should not take it lightly just because it is seemingly invisible or doesn’t present symptoms that other people recognise. As with the general health advice, you should seek help if you are struggling with your mental health whether that is talking to someone close to you or a trained professional. Where there was once a stigma attached to therapies, we are fortunate to live in a time where that has been lifted somewhat following fantastic work and campaigns by the NHS and charities like Mind. However, there is still some way to go and you might struggle with the concept of therapy; it is okay to find talking difficult but getting your problems heard by someone who knows the mind inside out is the best thing to do.
While talking therapies are recommended by every medical body when it comes to nurturing your mental health, there are also other suggestions that you mind want to consider. One of those is introducing exercise to your daily routine. It might seem like a simple fix but the science backs up the suggestion that an active lifestyle benefits people who struggle with symptoms of depression and anxiety. In part that is because of the chemicals that exercise releases into the body. These are known as endorphins and serotonin and both play different but vital roles to your body’s operation. Endorphins interact with your brain to reduce your perception of pain and it also behaves in a way similar to morphine to trigger a positive feeling. Serotonin assists your brain in relaying messages and is considered to affect brains cells that affect things like mood, sleep and some social behaviour.
Hopefully, this brief look at the modern world and our health has helped you find a way to keep yourself in better shape and feeling better about your fitness.
*this is a collaborative post