Healthy habits can prevent illness

By Greg Feulner  ·  May 19, 2023

Big problems start as little problems. The best way to avoid a bad situation is to head it off from the start.

Preventive health care is about mastering simple basics to build strong foundations. A strong foundation helps us to avoid preventable problems.

The great thing about developing healthy preventive care habits is that, even if you already have a health issue, such practices are good for any situation. And whether you’re looking to save money for services that are not shareable under the Guidelines or want to take better care of yourself, the method remains the same.

With social media and the internet at our fingertips, there are many opportunities to learn about health, manage it, and prevent illness. Even with so much information available, research has consistently shown that the foundational measures of a healthy lifestyle are healthy eating, exercise, stress management, and rest.

God designed our bodies to work optimally under certain conditions. Diligence is required to take care of our bodies the best we can to form a strong foundation in heading off health issues and complications. Lifestyle choices often predict illness, while other indicators, such as age or environment, are less in our control.

In addition to evaluating your lifestyle and making even the smallest of changes toward improvement, remember to communicate with your physician any time you have a chronic symptom of potential disease or injury. Symptoms are your body’s way of communicating that it is out of alignment. It could be temporary or a sign that needs to be investigated further.

Cars, homes, and computers all need maintenance to function correctly, and when they don’t receive it, they break down! In the same way, preventive health care and maintenance are critical to your well-being. Call on your medical provider to partner with you to establish a health baseline. Discuss with your provider how to improve your health based on your lifestyle and daily routines. They can walk you through what will be best for your needs.

If you are over 40, plan health screenings, as they can enormously impact your health. Women who received breast cancer screenings, for example, have a 93 percent or higher survival rate when detected in the first five years.

To prepare your health baseline, here are some steps to consider:

1. Know your family’s health history and take action.

Your family’s health history may reveal facts that better inform you on weighing risks and the value of different approaches for your health. If your father and grandfather both suffered heart attacks in their 60s, for instance, you know you might want to be proactive in getting screened for heart health long before you approach that age.

2. Talk to your family doctor.

Talk to a trusted medical professional about what tests you might need and when and where to get them. Ask your doctor what you should be doing to maintain good health, and do some research on your own with the information you gather.

3. Look for services.

Once you’ve determined what you need, shop around. Healthcare Bluebook™ is your best resource for finding routine care at a fair price in your area. You can find the Samaritan Ministries member link to Healthcare Bluebook on your Dashboard.

4. Keep asking questions.

After shopping for quality care at a fair price, ask your health care provider about best practices for preventing disease and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Remember, the goal of preventive care is just that: to prevent illness with awareness and action.

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. It is the opinion of the writer. The information is not meant to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health professional.

Greg Feulner is assistant editor of the Samaritan Ministries newsletter.