Self Defense: How Can You Prevent Disease? - Mercy Medical Center

Self Defense: How Can You Prevent Disease?

Posted on: September 3, 2020

Taking care of yourself has never been more important. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, and make you more vulnerable to other health concerns. Partnering with your primary care physician on staying well is about feeling healthier now–to defend yourself against disease and illness in the future.

Top 5 Things You Can Do Today to Stay Well

1. EAT HEALTHY.  Eating healthy helps you get all the essential nutrients, boosts your energy, and can help you to prevent disease. Poor nutrition can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease and cancer.

10% of children and adults eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables.

90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended.

50% of Americans will be considered obese by 2030.

2. DON’T SMOKE. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. It increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, lung disease and premature death.

16+ million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking.

480,000+ deaths are caused by smoking annually.

Smokers lives are reduced by 10 Years compared to nonsmokers.

3. EXERCISE REGULARLY. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age or physical ability. Your goal should be to exercise at least 150 minutes per week. You should also do strength training two days per week.

5 Ways Exercise Can Make You Healthier

  1. Fights disease
  2. Controls weight
  3. Improves mood
  4. Boosts energy
  5. Helps you sleep better

1 in 3 children get daily physical exercise.

Less than 5% of adults exercise for 30 minutes each day.

Children spend an average of 71/2 hours per day in front of a screen

4. SEE YOUR DOCTOR REGULARLY. The consistency of having a primary care provider who knows you, your potential health risks, and your family medical history will help you stay well.

A family medical history is a record of health information about your close relatives. Knowing your family health history is an important way to protect your health. A complete record includes information from three generations of relatives. Health screenings allow your healthcare provider to detect a specific disease or condition early, even when there have been no symptoms or signs of the disease. When a health problem is detected early, you can get the right treatment at the right time, and it gives you better control over your health.

Getting recommended screening tests is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Ask your healthcare provider which of these screenings may be right for you based on your personal health history, age, sex and genetics:

  • Certain types of cancer
  • Osteoporosis or weak bones
  • Blood pressure
  • STDs
  • Cholesterol
  • Mental health conditions,
  • Diabetes like depression

5. GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Sleep affects your mental and physical health. Sleeping less than seven hours per day can increase your risk of developing the following chronic conditions:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Frequent mental distress

1 in 3 adults do not regularly get the recommended amount of uninterrupted sleep they need to protect their health.

Sleep deprivation is common and afflicts almost 1/4 of the U.S. population.

About 70 million Americans have sleep disorders.

10-15% of the population suffers from chronic insomnia.


5 Reasons to Have a Primary Care Physician

Everyone should have a primary care physician. Mercy Medical Center’s board-certified primary care physicians provide long- term health care in non- emergency situations, treating common conditions and helping connect you with specialists, if necessary.

If you have a primary care physician, you are more likely to:

  1. Have chronic disease under control
  2. Have lower overall health care costs
  3. Experience higher satisfaction with care
  4. Receive recommended preventive screenings, tests and vaccines
  5. Receive preventive care, which results in earlier diagnosis and treatment of health problems and overall better health

Mercy Primary Care physicians are ready to take care of you and your family’s needs. When’s the last time you had a check-up?

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