If a doctor asked you where you’d rate your health on a scale of 1-10, what would you say? If you give an answer between 7 and 10, you probably think that everything’s on track, but how do you really know? Sometimes, it’s possible for us to think we’re healthier than we are. We assume that everything’s ticking over as it should be just because we don’t have any pain and we manage to get through the day unscathed. If it’s been a while since you saw your doctor here are some important questions to answer.
How much do you drink and do you smoke?
There is a whole host of illnesses that are linked to both drinking and smoking. Drinking in moderation won’t do you any harm, but if you drink more than the recommended weekly intake, you’ll put yourself at risk of liver disease, some forms of cancer and high blood pressure. If you smoke, this elevates the risk of heart disease, cancer, respiratory illnesses, and infertility. If you need advice about cutting down on drinking or giving up smoking, your doctor will be able to help.
What’s your BMI?
When was the last time you stepped on the scale? If it’s been a long time, you may have gained or lost weight without even realizing. You don’t need to weigh yourself every day, but it’s a useful to have an idea of your weight. Once you have a figure and you know your height, you can use an online tool to work out your BMI. A healthy BMI is classed as a reading between 19 and 24.5. If you’re trying to lose weight or become more active, interactive services like those from Babylon Health can help. Using an app, you can track your activity levels, count calories, and keep an eye on your weight. If you’re not taking enough steps or burning enough calories, make an effort to be more active. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, cycle to work or make time for a half-hour workout a few days a week.
When did you last have your blood pressure checked?
There are often no obvious signs of high blood pressure, so it’s beneficial to have your blood pressure checked periodically. High blood pressure can be a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. If your blood pressure is high, try and exercise more, avoid stressful situations and cut out fatty, processed foods from your diet. If you smoke, giving up will almost certainly bring your reading down.
How do you feel in yourself?
When you think of health, it’s easy to get carried away with healthy eating and exercise. We often overlook the importance of mental health, but this is an issue that should concern all of us. If you needed treatment for a broken arm or pain in your stomach, you probably wouldn’t hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor. If you’re feeling down, you’ve been having mood swings, or you’ve been out of sorts for a while, speak to your doctor.
Many of us presume that we’re pretty healthy. The reality is that sometimes, we make assumptions without having any evidence to back them up. Keep an eye on your health, see your doctor on a regular basis, and try and make positive choices whenever possible.