DIY Checkup: Resources and Tips for Staying Healthy

Monday, August 16, 2010 - 08:51 AM

After ten weeks, DIY Checkup is coming to a close. We discussed a lot of valuable topics over the course of the summer, but the most important one – the one that might get lost in two plus months of information – is that when it comes to being healthy, simple is better.

You don’t need health gimmicks or alternative treatments to start down the road to better health. And while each person is different, the basic tenants for healthy living are the same: eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Exercise a little each day (or for longer periods throughout the week). Don’t smoke. Once you’ve mastered those, the other parts of being healthy will come more easily: get lots of sleep (7-8 hours a night). Keep a good relationship with your doctor and keep an eye on your mental health.

This doesn’t mean that it’s not hard work to get healthier. The execution of these tasks can be incredibly challenging. But knowing what to do shouldn’t be. As you try to live the healthiest life possible, avoid shortcuts or gimmicks or secret tricks. There are no secrets. There are no tricks. Just basic, healthy principals that will give you more energy, clarity, and peace of mind.

Of course, there are always other issues and problems that arise which may require more specific instruction. While personal health decisions are best decided with consultations from your doctors and loved ones, you can make a better choice and ask better questions if you’re educated on the issues. Here are some of my favorite sources for health information:

  • Eurekalert: A database of research-related press releases put out by major universities. If you have a question about a specific illness, treatment, or therapy, searching their site will give you an easy-to-understand collection of study highlights.
  • WebMD: It’s famous for a reason. A great overview of frequently asked questions and basic information about health and wellness.
  • Newsweek’s Healthy Living Package: A comprehensive guide to what tests you need and health issues you should be concerned about, organized by age.
  • Finally, here's an article Newsweek published last year, which focuses on how to find health information on the web without making yourself crazy. (The article also included a list of five useful health sites.)



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