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Showing Your Body Some Gratitude This Thanksgiving

Showing Your Body Some Gratitude This Thanksgiving

Show Your Health Some Gratitude from Head to Toe

We depend on all of the different parts of our bodies every day to live our lives the way we want. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, what better time than now to show your health some extra love and care?

General Health & Wellness Tips

Get Enough Sleep

Many of us are familiar with the refreshing feeling of waking up after a good night’s rest, but did you know that getting good quality sleep also can help to support various areas of your health? Consistently getting the recommended seven to nine hours of rest each night can provide the following health benefits as it helps to:

  • Improve immune function
  • Strengthen adaptive immunity
  • Support healthy cognitive brain function
  • Improve critical thinking skills and reasoning
  • Improve the ability to recall information
  • Regulate mood
  • Prevent degenerative conditions like dementia
  • Reduce heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Stabilize breathing
  • Reduce risk for heart disease

Practice Good Hand Hygiene

When it comes to protecting yourself and others from the spread of harmful germs and bacteria, washing your hands is your first line of defense. By washing your hands and using alcohol-based sanitizers, you’re effectively preventing germs from spreading to common surfaces where they can infect you and other people.

However, washing your hands is only effective when done properly. When washing your hands, be sure to follow these steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean, warm water
  • Lather your hands with antibacterial soap
  • Scrub your hands for 20 seconds or more
  • Rinse your hands with clean, warm water
  • Dry your hands with a disposable hand towel or air dry them

Additional tips to help prevent the spread of illness-causing germs include:

  • Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
  • Stay home when you feel sick

Have Regular Wellness Exams

While looking after your body at home with healthy lifestyle choices is important, so is having routine check ups! Your primary care physician can not only help you to feel better when you’re sick but also can offer the following benefits through an annual visit:

  • Strengthen your doctor-patient relationship
  • Prevent and detect illnesses early on, when they are most treatable
  • Alert your health care team that you need specialty care
Men’s Health Screenings

During an annual physical, men can expect the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Measurement of blood pressure, heart rate and all other vital signs taken
  • Preventative vaccinations
  • A mental health assessment
  • Screenings for colorectal, lung and prostate cancer
  • Heart disease screening
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Discussions and counseling
  • Encouragement of informed health decisions
Well-Woman Visits

For women, annual well-woman visits with a primary care physician or gynecologist are essential for staying on top of your reproductive health and wellness. Typically these visits include:

  • Physical exam
  • Pelvic exam (depending on age)
  • Pap test (depending on age)
  • Clinical breast exam (depending on age)
  • Discussions and counseling
  • Encouragement of informed health decisions

Supporting Healthy Lungs

Quit Smoking and Avoid Secondhand Smoke

One of the easiest ways to promote healthier lungs is to quit smoking. If you are a nonsmoker, it also is advised that you avoid secondhand smoke as this can have adverse health effects as well.

Some key respiratory health benefits impacted by quitting smoking and avoiding smoke include:

  • Improved lung capacity
  • Increased lung efficiency
  • Reduced asthma symptoms
  • Lower carbon dioxide levels in your blood
  • Reduced risk of throat and lung cancer

Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

As the cooler months creep in and we spend more time indoors, it’s important to do what you can to improve your indoor air quality. For those with environmental allergies, the following tips can help you to breathe easier when spending time at home:

  • Vacuum, sweep and dust weekly
  • Wash your bedding weekly or biweekly
  • Keep pets off of your bed and other furniture
  • Change your air filters
  • Air out your restroom after showers to prevent mold
  • Use cleaners free of harsh chemicals

Heart-Healthy Habits

With heart disease being the leading cause of death for American adults, it is important to make the proper healthy lifestyle changes to help minimize your risk of developing heart disease.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Like most areas of your health, your diet plays an integral role in supporting and maintaining healthy heart function. By eating a nutrient-dense diet, you can effectively reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Try adding the following foods to your diet to support your heart health:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Oily fish
  • Whole grains
  • Garlic
  • Berries

You can further reduce your risk of heart disease by cutting back on the following foods containing:

  • Trans fats
  • Saturated fats
  • Sodium
  • Added sugars

Cut Back on Alcohol Consumption

It also is important to cut back on your alcohol consumption to support your heart health. Too much alcohol raises your cholesterol levels, ultimately leaving you at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Limit your alcohol consumption to no more than two alcoholic beverages each day.

Bolster Your Bladder Health

When it comes to supporting health and wellness, we rarely think about looking after bladder and urinary health. One of the most common urinary health issues is urinary tract infections (UTI). This common infection happens when bacteria find their way into the urethra, then up further into the urinary tract. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prevent this from happening:

  • Try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day
  • Avoid holding your urine for too long
  • For women, wipe from front to back
  • Wear breathable underwear
  • Do pelvic floor exercises

Supporting Your Mental Health & Wellness

While it is essential to make healthy choices to look after your physical health, your mental and emotional wellness are just as important. When your mental health is suffering, it also can negatively impact your physical health.

Some examples of healthy ways to cope with stress and other distressing emotions include:

  • Go for a walk
  • Try jogging or running
  • Take a warm bath or shower
  • Write in a journal
  • Vent to someone you trust
  • Try progressive muscle relaxation
  • Spend time with loved ones
  • Try yoga and meditation
  • Say or write positive affirmations
  • Try deep breathing exercises

If you have additional questions about how you can support your health and wellness, reach out to your primary care doctor to discuss your unique needs.

Primary and Specialty Care in Ohio

Southwest General Medical Group, Inc. includes both primary care and specialty care physicians who are committed to providing patients with high-quality medical care. Our team of board-certified specialists and skilled physicians work to raise the bar for excellence in health care service for our community. To learn more about our primary and specialty care services or to schedule an appointment, visit our website.