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Wellness Tips

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Additional Resources

Wellness Tips - Tuesday, April 18, 2006We all wish for a long and happy life, for ourselves, our family, and our friends. We also want our years to be of good quality, especially as we grow older. In short, we want a good quality and quantity of life. The cornerstone of good health is to eat right and be physically active, and this advice we hear again and again.

While an apple a day and a little exercise may keep the doctor away, it is important to see your doctor every year, even when you are feeling well. This is a health issue that is often overlooked. Many people feel that they only need to see a physician when they are sick, but one of the primary goals of your healthcare provider is to keep you healthy and doing well. Seeing your physician on an annual basis ensures that proper screening tests can be performed and allows for certain silent diseases to be detected before they produce symptoms. For example, regular visits help to monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol. Your physician may do laboratory tests to monitor the function of various organs, like the liver and thyroid gland. In women, mammography has proven itself to be advantageous in finding small cancerous lumps in the breasts before they can be felt. Mammography is a life-saving procedure. Also, there are other screening tests that your doctor may perform based upon your age, including tests designed to detect colon cancer and prostate cancer. An annual trip to the physician can be worth its weight in gold for discovering many conditions while they are still silent and potentially curable.

For more on mammography, see: For more about breast cancer, please see:

A second wellness tip that is often forgotten is to get a good night's sleep. Many busy Americans do not make sleep a priority. In an effort to get more and more accomplished during the day, people frequently sacrifice the time they devote to bedtime. The body requires sleep for repair and rejuvenation. While the full function of sleep is not fully understood, it is clear that chronic lack of slumber impairs functioning. It is estimated that sleep deprivation is responsible for a high number of motor vehicle accidents and highway fatalities. Lack of shut-eye can produce daytime sleepiness, headache, impaired ability to concentrate, poor memory recall, overeating, and other symptoms. While occasional sleep deprivation is not a threat to your long-term well-being, chronic lack of sleep will take a toll on your body. Try for 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep as an important step to maintain your health and feel your best. Let's face it: nothing compares to waking up refreshed after a good night's sleep.

For more on sleep, see:

A third wellness tip often overlooked is to stay mentally active. This is especially important as you age. Just the way physical activity is important to maintain muscle and bone health, challenging your brain is important to your mental health. Studies show that adults that continue to learn and challenge themselves intellectually stay sharper as they age. So, read a book, learn a language, play a musical instrument, take a class at your local college or online. It seems the maxim of "use it, or lose it" is just as applicable to your brain as to your muscles.

For more on this topic, see: Maintain your brain, visit this website:

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