But when we’re healthy, we can often take it for granted. Today, and every day, it’s time to celebrate our health. Here are seven signs that you’re making your health a priority. If these ring true for you, “raise a glass” and give yourself credit for being a good health role model.
- You are your own advocate. You’re not afraid to speak up for the sake of your health. This could be asking questions at the doctor’s office, or seeking a second opinion. Or it could be knowing the signs and signals that your body gives off — when you’re sick, tired, stressed — and responding to it in a kind and compassionate way. It’s also putting your health first, because you know you can’t take care of anyone or anything else unless you’re taking care of yourself.
- You seek out new experiences and make it a habit to learn new things. Getting out of your comfort zone and challenging your brain is a way to keep your mind sharp and your mood upbeat. Taking a class, learning a skill, meeting new people, visiting new places — all of these things may add joy and dimension to a life, and that may be good for your overall health.
- You know your health baseline. You visit your doctor regularly, so you know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and body mass index). You’re also in tune with your body, so you know how you feel when you feel good, and you know when something feels off. Being aware of that baseline, you strive to keep your numbers in a healthy place and to do what you need to do to feel your best.
- Fitness is a priority in your life. You know that movement is what your body needs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends either two and a half hours of moderate activity per week; an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous intensity activity per week; or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity; plus strength training two or more days a week. You fit it in the best you can, in a way that’s enjoyable to you. Be sure to also consult with your doctor before making any major changes to your fitness routine.
- You have an outlet for stress. Maybe it’s yoga, meditation, or a hobby, like taking an improv class or gardening. Whatever it is, it’s an activity that soothes you and helps you manage your stressthroughout the week.
- You take the time to stock the house with healthy food. If you’re surrounded with fruits, vegetables, nuts and other healthy snacks, it’s much easier to make a nutritious choice in a moment of hunger. Plus, with a refrigerator full of fresh, colorful, vitamin-filled items, you have all kinds of choices for healthy meal preparationsthroughout the week. When you cook at home, you know exactly what’s going into your food, and that makes it easier to stay on track.
- You know that healthy habits take time. Creating a fitness routine, committing to cooking, scheduling stress-relieving activities — all of these things demand commitment and repetition before they become second nature. When you’re making your health a priority, you know that the revolution doesn’t happen overnight. But with dedication and time, all of the little things add up, and may make a big difference in your long-term health.