Health. Healthy Living. Research. Body.
Relationships work best when we respect one another, and respect is an action. Listening to your body when it says its needs something and giving it what it asks for – such as rest and relaxation when it’s tired, water when it’s thirsty, nutritious food when it’s hungry and pampering all the time – are behaviors that demonstrate respect. It’s not enough to say you love your body, and then abuse it. Forcing yourself to stay awake past your body’s bedtime is not a respectful act, particularly if it’s done on a regular basis. Stuff yourself with more food when your body says “I’ve had enough” is not a good thing either.
The relationship between you and your body will improve when you take responsibility for your actions. It’s easy to use your past or your environment or even your feelings as excuses for not taking care of yourself, but to have and maintain good health, you must take responsibility for what you have done and continue to do to your body. What excuses are you making? Who are you blaming for the condition your body is in? How can you start taking responsibility now?
Taking responsibility begins with gathering information. Read up on health matters in your favorite magazine. Most have a column or a regular department addressing health issues. Go to the library, look on the Internet, and ask questions of health care professionals. Gather information about your body. When was the last time you had a regular physical? Do you know what’s going on with your body? Are you confused about which medical exams/screenings you should have and when? While identifying which exams you need can be overwhelming and frightening, it’s worth the effort. Ask your doctor which tests are appropriate for someone of your gender, race, and age. There may even be specific tests given to people who live in certain geographical regions. Look into it.
Another step in the process of self-care is being proactive, that is, taking positive action before there is a problem. The opposite of proactive is reactive, when you wait until your body, in desperation, cries out for help. And sometimes you wait until great damage is already done.
Thus, the more you know, the more you can help yourself. The Internet is a wonderful resource. This is an important step in taking care of your health. Here is a short alphabetical list of screenings you might want to consider: AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, blood pressure, bone density, breast exam, cholesterol, fecal occult blood test, glucose, hearing, mammogram, PAP smear, problem-drinking assessment, prostate-specific antigen test, thyroid-stimulating hormone measurement, and vision. Find out which ones you need, and take them.
Don’t wait and see.
Find out now. If there is a problem that needs to be addressed, take care of it immediately. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
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