Prioritize Your Health

Tips to help achieve a healthier you

Walking for exercise can be fun and good for your health. (Photo by Mabel Amber, still incognito… from Pixabay)

Consider making your health a top priority. Relationships, finances, careers and health are all important aspects that impact our overall well-being.

According to the recent America’s Health Rankings annual report, the nation’s obesity rate continues to rise, with around one in three adults now considered obese. In New York, more than 27 percent of adults are obese. This alarming statistic may have serious health consequences, such as diabetes, which now impacts approximately 30 million adults and is the number one cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations and adult blindness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There are many factors that play a role in your health, but one that you can control is making a commitment to start living a healthier lifestyle. Sure, there will be some bumps during your well-being journey, but your goal can be achievable and you deserve to reap the benefits.

Consider these helpful tips for achieving a healthier you.

Stay active

Regular exercise may help you live longer and may reduce your risks for a host of diseases. Try to aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity a week. If that’s too challenging, start off with 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there. Every little bit counts. To be successful, your fitness program should become a part of your daily life.

Also, check with your health plan and employer to see if they offer wellness incentives. For example, UnitedHealthcare’s Gym Check-In Program enables participating employers to provide employees and their spouses the opportunity to each earn hundreds of dollars a year for visiting a fitness facility 12 days or more per month.

Reduce your stress

If you’re feeling stressed, it’s important to unwind and relax by doing something you enjoy. Maybe it’s watching a movie, reading a book or volunteering to give you time to recharge. Also, make time to connect with others. Maybe that’s friends, family, a faith group or a hobby club. It’s important that you don’t isolate yourself after a stressful event.

Remember, if you cannot get a handle on your stress, talk to your doctor. She or he may recommend a counselor who could help you find other ways to help reduce or manage the unhealthy stress in your life.

Team up with your doctor

Take time today to make an appointment with your doctor for your annual wellness visit and be sure to ask about preventive services such as health screenings and vaccines. Check with your health plan as many preventive services have no additional cost, as long they are delivered by care providers in your plan’s network. Your doctor will help you create a treatment plan to help manage any chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Ann Marie O’Brien is the National Director of Health Strategies for UnitedHealthcare.

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Anton Media Staff
In addition to its arts and entertainment publication Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group publishes 16 community newspapers, several magazines, specialty publications and websites. With brands dating back to 1877, Anton has a commitment to deliver trusted and relevant content to the communities it serves.

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