When it comes to a long and vital life, your actions are at least as important as your genes. Do you smoke? Eat healthfully? Stay active and maintain your recommended weight?
HEALS is an acronym for the following four major factors that influence our health and happiness:
Heredity: This represents the genetics our parents passed to us. While we can’t change our genes, we can affect the way they impact our lives.
Environment: Once we’re adults, we can make our own choices about our footprint on the earth. Will we allow cigarettes in our homes, regularly change our air filters, and eat, live and vote in ways that protect the planet?
Age: Many health factors change as we age, including the strength of our bones, the vitality of our organs, and the cumulative effects of choices we’ve made, like eating poorly and excessive drinking.
Lifestyle: Lifestyle choices— from the diets we choose to the homes we live in — affect all the other factors that determine our longevity, health and happiness.
Sex/Gender: Men and women face specific risks and benefits purely due to their gender, including childbirth and prostate disease.
Twelve tips for better health this year Now that you have an easy way to remember the factors influencing your health, make a New Year’s resolution to take steps to positively influence those factors, including:
1 Don’t smoke.
2 Build physical and mental activities into each day.
3 Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, avoid fat and sugar, control portions and drink water.
4 Take a daily multivitamin, including calcium and vitamin D.
5 Maintain a healthful weight and body shape.
6 Challenge your mind.
7 Build a strong social network.
8 Learn to manage stress.
9 Floss, brush and see your dentist regularly.
10 Know your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
11 Obtain recommended screenings, like mammograms and colonoscopies.
12 Consult a healthcare professional before combining vitamins and herbs with medications.
If you need help to implement healthful changes this year, please call the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Holistic Center at (859) 301-5959 for everything from acupuncture for smoking cessation to yoga and massage.
Written by: By Toni Schklar, St. Elizabeth Holistic Health Center Manager.
This is a special advertising supplement, paid for by St. Elizabeth Healthcare.