Ten Tips for a Healthier Life
Health has as much to do with preventing illness as it does treating illness. Care providers at the UW Neighborhood Clinics are dedicated to helping patients achieve and maintain their best health. They offer 10 tips toward that goal.
- Play a little! (Or a lot.) With busy work schedules, it can be hard to find time for physical activity. Work with your provider to identify motion-based activities that you enjoy and that can fit into your schedule.
- Develop a relationship with your primary care provider. Check providers’ online bios and select one whose patient-care philosophy meshes with your priorities. Schedule routine checkups based on guidelines for your age and risk factors. A doctor who treats you regularly over time is better able to guide your care to prevent and manage illness and disease.
- Practice good nutrition. Information about what foods are healthy can seem like a moving target. But make no mistake: Good choices will make your body feel better and respond better to illness. Ask your provider or a registered dietician for advice about nutritional options for you and your family.
- Be screened. Age-appropriate screenings for conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma, bone loss and common cancers give you the best chance of discovering subtle signs that merit further medical attention. Knowledge is power.
- Be consistent. Regular visits with your healthcare provider are essential if you are affected by a chronic condition. Don’t limit your visits to prescription renewals. Illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma and arthritis need to be monitored so you receive the best possible care and experience fewer complications.
- Know your numbers. Your provider uses several measures to assess your health – including cholesterol, blood pressure, resting heart rate, and blood sugar. Knowing your numbers can help you and your doctor identify risks and mark your progress toward health goals.
- Know your medications. Keep a current list of all medications and dosages. Bring this list to your clinic visits and review it with your provider.
- Know your history. Knowing details of your past illnesses and treatments allows you to organize your healthcare and ensure the information in your record is accurate. The UW Neighborhood Clinics make this easy for our patients by offering secure, online access to health records with eCare.
- Coordinate your medical care. While you should always pick the best care for you and your family, patients usually benefit from continuity of care within one system, in which providers can readily communicate with one another. If you use multiple systems, make sure your providers are aware of each other and of the care each is providing to you.
- Get some rest! Sleep helps you learn and maintain weight, improves mood and reduces risk of disease. We recommend getting seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Visit your provider if sleeping is fitful.
For more healthy tips, visit the For Patients and Familes Health Tips page.