Having an active role in your wellness journey is one of the top components toward achieving a healthy lifestyle. When you prioritize your health, you not only align your brain-body pathways, but you also acquire a future focused mindset, which in turn, motivates you to take preventive action and become the best version of yourself.
Monitoring your health each day allows you to be in tune with your body and stay accountable for your healthcare goals. There are a variety of ways to keep tabs on your well-being.
To start, you can periodically assess your mood and stress levels throughout the day. Doing this will give you the opportunity to learn more about your emotions and physiological responses.
A frequent question that patients often ask is, “When monitoring my health, how do I know what to focus on?”
While everybody’s health goals are distinct, it is most important to concentrate on aspects that affect your day-to-day living such as your dietary habits, exercise regimen and mental health.
For example, pay attention to the quantity and types of foods you eat as well as your fluid intake. Limit eating foods that are fried or high in sugar, and instead, fuel your body with nutrient rich foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Evaluate how often you engage in physical activity — are you getting your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes, five days a week?
For those individuals who have high blood pressure, it is important to take your blood pressure at least a few times per week, when you’re the calmest, to gauge how your body is functioning — an ideal blood pressure is generally 120/80.
If you are looking to keep a tangible record of your activities with numbers or data, consider using apps, logs, journals or monitoring devices to provide real-time tracking. Whether you are noting your steps, calories, blood pressure, glucose levels or even your thoughts, there are countless strategies to put your well-being first.
Managing your health is an ever-evolving process. Consequently, no matter what stage of life that you are in, it’s critical that you can recognize when your body may be in distress. If you experience pain, sweats or chills, a fever, change in appetite, unintentional weight fluctuation, newfound aversions, or any new symptoms related to specific illnesses or conditions, don’t be afraid to seek medical intervention.
To take more control of your health, strive to see your primary care physician (PCP) at least once a year even if you are feeling well. From children and teenagers to adults and the elderly, individuals of any age can benefit from annual medical visits. For example, your PCP can assess your health risk, perform a physical exam, order blood work or other screening tests to check for potential abnormalities or guide you to an appropriate specialist for any further evaluation.
At DuPage Medical Group, we are committed to delivering the highest quality care to our communities. In the strange times that we are currently living in, DMG prioritizes creating safe healthcare experiences so patients can foster lifelong relationships with providers they can trust.
Even if too busy or unable to make it into the doctor’s office, DMG also offers telehealth visits, so a doctor is just a click away.
Receiving regular medical care is necessary to help you thrive. Nonetheless, it is completely normal to feel scared or embarrassed during appointments. To reduce anxiety about going to medical appointments, keep in mind that you and your care team work collaboratively — the more you share or inquire about, the greater conversation and feedback you’ll have in return. As patient advocates, your healthcare team is trained to guide you through your individualized wellness journey, so you can live the best quality life possible.
To engage in informative discussions at your appointment, develop a list of questions or topics before your visit, if needed. During your meeting, relax, be honest, and openly share your history, symptoms and reservations. Being as open and truthful as possible will let you fully maximize your visit and reach your peak health potential.
After your appointment, you may receive an “after visit summary” that outlines your provider’s orders, your vitals and medications. Make sure to review this summary and reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
Digital tools like MyDMG Health, DMG’s mobile app and MyChart site, can also be helpful as it offers online access to your medical records and test results, enables you to conveniently log notes, request medication refills, schedule appointments, and message your care team.
Medicine can be described as a two-way street, so it’s necessary that you communicate with your team to work together on a personalized plan. Hence, choose practitioners who you can count on and have access to. While healthcare professionals can provide suggestions, encourage lifestyle modifications, and prescribe medications, as a patient, you are ultimately in the driver’s seat to steer your health in the right direction. Caring for your health is key to longevity and quality of life; after all, if you don’t try, you’ll never know.
• DuPage Medical Group is the largest independent, multi-specialty physician group in Illinois with more than 750 primary care and specialty care physicians in over 100 suburban Chicago locations. For more than 20 years, DMG has focused on making healthcare better for its patients and communities by offering high quality, compassionate healthcare. As a physician-led organization, DMG’s physicians work together — utilizing leading-edge technology and innovative treatment options — to ensure that each patient receives accessible and efficient healthcare. For more information visit www.dupagemedicalgroup.com.