Wellness and Preventive Care
Author: Jami Feltner, MD
Wellness is defined as achieving your optimal state of health. It is a process of understanding your current state of health and making lasting changes towards achieving a healthy life. Wellness requires a balance between the physical, emotional, occupational, mental, environmental, social, and spiritual aspect of your life.
Here are some important steps you can take towards better health:
1) Don’t smoke cigarettes (or use other tobacco products). Cigarette smoking increases your risk of lung cancer and is the leading cause of heart disease.
2) Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. More than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men, increases your risk of liver disease, heart failure and some cancers. Never drive when you’ve been drinking.
3) Eat a low-fat, well-balanced diet. Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables and fiber. A healthy diet can protect you from cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
4) Exercise regularly. Physical activity can control weight, stress, and reduce your risk of heart attack, diabetes, stroke and some cancers.
5) Use sunscreen when outdoors. Exposure to sunlight causes nearly all cases of skin cancer. To protect yourself, wear protective clothing, use a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15 and protects against both A and B wavelengths (UVA and UVB) year-round.
6) Wear your seat belt whenever you’re in a car. People who wear their seat belts can reduce their risk of death in automobile accidents.
7) Manage stress and tension. Excessive stress impairs your immune system and contributes to heart disease and other health problems.
8) Discover what spirituality means to you and practice it.
9) Think positive. Have a grateful attitude. A positive attitude can boost your immune system and your overall health.
10) Get preventive care. Preventive care includes vaccines, immunizations, annual wellness exams, recommended cancer screenings, blood work, and controlling risk factors such as blood pressure, obesity, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Preventive services help prevent and detect diseases in their earlier more treatable stages. Schedule a preventive exam with your primary care physician.
Through simple changes and adopting healthier habits, you can enhance your well-being, improve your quality of life, and prevent the onset of disease. Focusing on preventing disease and illness before it happens can create a healthier community and allow people to live longer happier lives.
For more information, please contact Dr. Jami Feltner, Board Certified – Internal Medicine at the Medical Associates of Hilton Head, located at 8 Hospital Center Blvd., Suite 110 Hilton Head, SC 29926. P: (843) 686-2450 | F: (843) 681-8262, www.MedicalAssociatesofHH.com.