There are several very simple health care questions to ask everyone who wants to live a healthy and lively life. If a friend asked you right now whether or not you were healthy and fit, you might – unless you were a health fanatic, chronic hypochondriac or knew yourself to be genuinely unwell – find the question difficult to answer. Being fit is something most of us take for granted. If we weren’t, we argue, how could we cope with the business of living – getting up in the morning, putting in a hard day’s work for ourselves or our employers, or coping with the demanding task of bringing up a young family? In as much as we are able to perform the numerous and often onerous tasks demanded of us during the course of each day, we are by definition if not fit, then functioning. The two are not synonymous. The fact that our bodies manage to get us through the business of the day does not mean that they are strong and healthy, as fatigue, backache and indigestion bear witness.
Our bodies are like machines, and as such need to be kept in good running order if they are to function at maximum efficiency. Like cars, they need sound parts and through servicing. They also need the right kind of fuel and regular runs at the speed for which they were designed. Ideally the bodywork should be in gleaming order, but the engine that it houses needs most attention. So, in considering whether we are fit or not, we must ask ourselves whether we are fuelling and exercising our body machine correctly. If we are, not only will it function better but we will also feel better and, very important to most human being, living a lively life. No amount of careful dressing or make-up can disguise a body that is slack or skin that has become tired and dingy.
Perhaps at this point we should give ourselves a thorough check over to see what sort of shape we are in and then we can set about the job of getting back to the health and vitality we took for granted in our teens. And in order to find it our here are some simple health care questions to ask yourself.
Simple Health Care Questions to Ask: How does your body look?
Take a good look at yourself in daylight, without clothes, in a full-length mirror. How does your body look, honestly? If you do not look as good as you think you could, and then now is the time to take action.
Simple Health Care Questions to Ask: What is your body weight?
Do you weight yourself? – is perhaps the most important among the health care questions to ask. Do you weight considerably more than you did when you were twenty, or when you remember being able to take a more or less constant weight for granted? Compare your weight with the chart below. Is your weight within the ‘accepted’ nor? What weight would you like to be?
Are you significantly over or under-weight? To be over-weight is far more common. If you weigh more than 7 lb. (3.2 kg) over the average for your height and age or more than the weight at which you were most comfortable, you should think about dieting. It is a fact that women and men who are over-weight are more prone to a variety of illnesses than people who are not. You may be able to work out quite simply the cause of your excess weight (you know you eat too much, have a sweet tooth which you indulge, eat when you are fed up or unhappy, finish off the children’s left-overs). You become over-weight when you consume more calories than you need, though hormonal imbalance may sometimes be responsible. One warning note, however. Being slim as opposed to fat is healthy. But being, or trying to be, leaner than you were meant to be can be as dangerous as over-eating.
Simple Health Care Questions to Ask: How supple you are?
Can you bend down and touch your toes keeping your knees straight? Sitting down with legs straight out in front, feet together, can you touch your toes and put your head down on your knees? Do you get breathless? Can you walk up a steep hill or sprint for a bus without panting? Can you hop on one leg, skip with a rope for more than a minute, or dance to pop records without flagging?
If you cannot do any one of the various ‘test’ activities with ease, then you are not as fit as you should be. Getting fit when you are out of condition requires effort and will-power. It has been proved that ten-minutes brisk walking or jogging daily, or a regular exercise routine, is far more beneficial than an occasional burst of physical activity. You will also find that the more consistently you exercise the more you will be able to undertake. It is partly a matter of habit and partly that the fitter you get the fitter you can become. But don’t rush it. Start to exercise now, even if you can only manage ten minutes a day. Keep it up and you will be amazed at your increased suppleness and stamina a month from now.
You may also like reading: Before You Start an Exercise Program
If you smoke, even moderately, physical exertion will prove more difficult for you. And if you are both over-weight and a smoker your ability to perform what should be fairly easy tasks, such as climbing stairs, will be even more impaired.
Simple Health Care Questions to Ask: Do you feel tired?
The next important question of the list of health care questions to ask is – do you feel tired or worn out nearly always, often, and occasionally? At what time of the day do you tend to feel most fatigued?
We all feel tired sometimes for no apparent reason, or because we have quite literally over-exerted ourselves. A healthy person however, who eats sensibly, takes a reasonable amount of exercise and sleeps soundly, should not suffer from regular tiredness. Unless you can immediately pinpoint the cause of persistent fatigue (a young baby who needs night-time feeds, cramming for an exam, looking after a sick and demanding relative), you should visit your doctor to see if there is any medical or psychological reason for your tiredness. Boredom and a lack of stimulation can often be the cause. People get tired when the sugar level in their bloodstream drops. This is to some extent a normal occurrence, as for example, when you have gone too long without anything to eat or drink. A deficiency of iron or vitamins, perhaps due to a poor or unbalanced diet, can also be responsible for lassitude.
However, it is also a fact that different people function better at different times of the day. The owls come alive late in the evening and are able to work happily whilst their fellows are snoring soundly. The larks can wake at dawn and get half a day’s work done before most people have finished their breakfast. Habit and the demand of certain occupations (night nurses and milkmen, for example) may have a lot to do with the hours when we function best, but we should also be aware of our natural rhythm and try to work with it and not against it.
In many women tiredness and fatigue are related to their menstrual cycles. Whatever the cause, if tiredness is a permanent companion, you must seek medical advice. There may be a simple answer – or it may be more complicated. It is a fact, for instance, that people suffering from depression, particularly if it is undiagnosed, complain of being permanently tired.
Simple Health Care Questions to Ask: Do you sleep well?
Do you find it easy to go to sleep naturally, without the aid of pills or some form of night-cap? Do you wake easily and refreshed, or are you still tired?
If you find it hard to sleep it could be that you are not taking enough exercise or are eating too late. Our sleeping hours are crucial for our bodies and brains to rest and recharge. Our dreams are vital, too, in ways that have still not been definitely analyzed, but we know that deprived of our dreams for any length of time we can become mentally ill. If you feel tired when you wake after a reasonable number of hours asleep, which will vary from person to person, then again you must trace the root cause.
Simple Health Care Questions to Ask: Do you take Pill?
This question on the list of health care questions to ask is for women – do you take the Pill as a form of contraceptive? Much research has been done into the effects of the contraceptive pill. For the majority of women who use it the Pill represents a safe, trouble-free form of contraception. But some women are unsuited to it. If you have been taking the Pill for more than five years, if you smoke heavily, or if you have any history of heart disease or thrombosis, then you should immediately visit your doctor or gynecologist and discuss whether you should use some other contraceptive. There is also evidence suggesting that some forms of contraceptive pill can cause depression and even suppress sexual drive. Whether the reason, if you are at all worried and think the Pill may be affecting your health, visit your doctor.
Simple Health Care Questions to Ask: Are you getting ill frequently?
How often have you been ill this year with flu, colds or a general feeling of being ‘run down’? If you have had only the odd cold, or fallen victim to a flu epidemic, then you are probably typical of millions. If, on the other hand, you have been constantly under the weather, it could be that you are not looking after your body properly. Insufficient or unsuitable food providing less than the necessary amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, combined with lack of exercise, can cause your body machine to become run down and prone to infection.
Simple Health Care Questions to Ask: Do you take stimulants?
Do you take stimulants or tranquillizers regularly or occasionally or for emergencies? Many people are prescribed stimulants or tranquillizers at some time during their lives. Many feel that they are handed out too freely. If, however, the doctor does prescribe them and you find you are becoming dependent on the drug, either to calm or to stimulate you, you should go back to your doctor immediately. Some drugs are habit forming and, like any substance which alters the body’s natural functioning, they should be treated with respect and taken with care.
Simple Health Care Questions to Ask: Do you take alcohol?
Of the all health care questions to ask this is widely discussed worldwide – how much alcohol do you consume each day? Are there regular times when you feel you like, want or need a drink? Or does this depend on social circumstances?
Some of the healthiest, people in the world never drink alcohol. Others, equally healthy and beautiful, do. A few, but unfortunately a growing number, drink far too healthy. Alcohol, contrary to popular belief, is a depressant and, whilst a few drinks may induce a sense of well-being or elation, taken in excess alcohol depresses. It can also damage not only your looks but your body and brain as well. Kidneys, liver and heart are vital organs which alcohol can attack and damage, sometimes irreversibly. Alcohol also destroys much of the nutritional value of the food you eat and if you drink daily you may well need supplements of Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C. Drink by all means in moderation, which of course does not produce the odd party or celebration (when you may take too much), but if you find that alcohol is damaging your looks and life then take heed and cut down. If you find your cannot cut down seek help.
Simple Health Care Questions to Ask: Do you smoke?
Do you smoke? If so, how many cigarettes a day? Are you a habitual smoker or do you smoke only certain occasions? There is absolutely no doubt that smoking is harmful to your health. The odd cigarette will probably not harm you but regular heavy smoking, which can mean anything over ten cigarettes a day, is harmful. If you smoke heavily, try to cut down, or better still stop altogether. Heavy smoking is an addiction and as such is hard to break. But nothing could be valuable than your life.
So, above are the health care questions to ask everybody if he or she wants to live a lively life. If you have been completely honest in your stocktaking and have found yourself wanting, then you should by now have some clues as to how you can improve the situation. Work on it. There is all the difference in the world between living in a healthy body and one which running even slightly below par.