story by Alan Barrett, PA-C
When it comes to men’s health, preventive maintenance varies little from car or home maintenance. We routinely change the oil, rotate and balance the tires, and perform other preventative services to keep our rides performing safely and at optimal performance. Our garages are full of tools and gadgets to address the smallest of needs around the home from changing a light bulb to installing a new picket fence.
When it comes to vehicle and home maintenance, we are forward thinkers. We want to get the most miles out of our purchase and feel comfortable in our surroundings. In contrast, our thinking tends to be more concrete when it comes to the care of our bodies and minds.
We have a mentality that what didn’t kill us today must be all right to do again tomorrow. Cigarettes, beer, soda, and fast food quickly become routines and habits. Too often, we consider the movement and energy expended during the workday to be sufficient exercise. We wake up tired after a few hours of sleep and proceed through our day with minimal water intake because “tap water tastes bad.”
In order to get the miles out of your body that you desire, you have to start treating it like your other prized possessions. The more work you put into maintenance, the less likely it is you will have to take your car to the dealer for extensive work or hire a contractor for your home to do expensive repairs. You should have this same mentality with your body and mind. You have to perform pre-habilitation in order to avoid rehabilitation.
So, how do you go about doing that? First, start small. What can you do today that will improve your health tomorrow?
• Can you stop eating fast foods and start eating clean? Make the focus fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
• Can you improve your sleep? Quality does not always equal quantity; but by simply increasing the number of hours that you are getting quality sleep (6-8 hours), you’re on your way to great pre-habilitation.
• Remember to hydrate. Water is not cost-prohibitive so feel free to splurge when drinking (64 -128 ounces daily).
• What about cigarettes and alcohol? Consider them the equivalent of putting water in your gas tank. Would you really do that?
Small changes made on a daily basis can add up to big pay-offs when you go to see your primary care provider. Individuals who take the best care of their bodies tend to have better examinations and lab work. They also have fewer complaints in their home and work life.
Good physical health promotes good mental health. Be proactive and promote prevention.
360 North Irby St. Florence | 843.667.9414 | hope-health.org