One of my favourite sayings is: “Health is your greatest wealth.”
It’s a powerful and simple reminder to look after my mental and physical health before it’s too late.
Maintaining optimal health with preventative healthcare is one of the pillars of holistic health and wellness.
What is preventative healthcare?
Preventative healthcare is a proactive approach to healthcare. It’s what you do to stay healthy and (hopefully) prevent, stop, or slow the development of chronic and acute diseases.
While genetics play a role in certain health conditions, it’s not the whole picture. Most people neglect their health – and many actively put their health at risk. They only take notice when something goes wrong.
Regular wellness checks, eating well, exercising regularly, investing in self-care, and learning to reduce stress are crucial aspects of preventive medicine.
Is it preventive or preventative care?
Preventive healthcare and preventative healthcare are interchangeable.
Both these terms refer to a healthcare approach that reduces your risk of illness and saves you money in the long run.
What is the goal of preventative care?
The goal of preventative healthcare is to give you agency over your health. It gives you tools to support your body and keep your mental and physical health in tip-top shape. Simply put, it helps you live a longer, more vital life.
Nowadays, life is fast-paced and stressful. You encounter more toxins (from pollution, food, alcohol, cigarettes, and body care products) than ever before. These factors take a heavy toll on your mental and physical health.
If risk factors for disease get identified early, you have a better chance of treating it and getting back to functioning at full capacity. Even better if you can avoid ill health altogether.
Another goal is to save you (and the healthcare system) money by avoiding the mounting costs of illness. After all, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
What are some examples of preventative care?
Prevention in healthcare encompasses many different modalities and practices, but it usually falls into a few categories.
Regular check-ups: Going to the doctor for an annual check-up is an effective way to look after your health and identify risk factors before problems arise.
Diet: Eating a minimally processed diet rich in whole foods ensures you consume the essential micronutrients and antioxidants to nourish your cells.
Exercise: Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise over a week (that’s 30 minutes 5 days per week). It can transform your mental and physical health. Plus, exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of chronic illness.
Stress Management: There is no easy way to say this: stress is a killer. Stress management techniques like breathwork, mindfulness, exercise, and journaling prevent stress from ruining your mental and physical health.
Complementary therapies: Complementary, holistic therapies like chiropractic care, osteopathy, naturopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, hypnosis, acupuncture, and reiki play a role in preventive care. These therapies treat each person individually, supporting your ability to maintain homeostasis in a stressful world.
Nutritional Supplements: Health supplements are a great preventative health measure, filling in the gaps in your diet. A multivitamin, vitamin D3, B-complex, and omega-3 fatty acids are some supplements that may reduce the risk of deficiencies and chronic inflammation.
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