In 1736 Benjamin Franklin uttered the famous phrase “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure“, not as a health warning but to address the issues of home fires which was common at the time. But that statement while applicable to many instances carries more weight today when it comes to your health. The US government has come to understand the implications of that statement either directly or indirectly, as evident in some of the provisions in the new Health Care Reform bill. What everyone need to grasp is that it is more important recognize what it takes to stay healthy though preventative maintenance of your body. By doing so conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure which can lead to heart disease or stroke can possibly be adverted or maintained to the point where they will not become a serious issue later in life.
You are never too young or old to consider proper maintenance on your body. Let’s apply Mr. Franklin’s statement to your car. Taking you car in for an oil change every 3,000 miles for example is called preventative maintenance. By doing this you significantly decrease the chance of your car having engine problems later. A $20 oil change can add years to the life of your car and thus by extension saving you hundreds possibly thousands of dollars in fuel and repairs. In simpler terms taking you car to the mechanic before there is a problem is less costly than taking your car to the mechanic after there is a problem. Your body is no different. Preventative care of your body will like your car add years of healthy living and will be less costly in the long term. More and more health care professionals are seeing the advantage of keeping you healthy rather than treating you while you are sick. But where does preventative care begin and how can I implement a preventative care plan now?
It’s never too soon to consider your long term health. For starters taking an annual examination means that you can monitor your health and find out where you stand physically from year to year. This is especially important for those who have a family history of chronic diseases and conditions. The earlier you can detect the onset of these conditions the earlier you can put a plan in place to prevent that condition from becoming critical. As always diet and exercise plays a major role in your long term health. Also being aware of what you put in your body means that you can make the proper choices when it comes to your long term health which means being mindful of your choleric intake. How many of you know that the recommended daily amount of calories is 2,000? And how many of you adhere to that recommendation? Probably not many, certain fast food chains offer a single meal which would account for a good portion of that recommended allowance in one sitting. Exceeding the recommended allowance and not exercising can put you at risk of increasing your cholesterol levels which can lead to a heart problem. Now this is not to suggest that you should completely avoid such places but this is to make you aware of what you are putting in your body and what the long term effect can be.
Preventative care should not have to involve prescription medications. Remember, prescription medications is “…the pound of cure” and come into play when your condition has escalated to the point where it is potentially life threatening. Your goal should be to not let your health reach that stage. Dietary supplements are the “Ounce of prevention…” and are considered an alternative form of preventative treatment. There are many dietary supplements which can naturally help you reduce the risk of certain conditions from occurring. Dietary supplements can be used to fortify your body to stave off conditions which can occur just by going about our daily lives. There are hundreds of supplements out there in various forms which can help you maintain heart health, cholesterol levels, a healthy liver, and blood pressure. There are also supplements which can assist you in making up for the vitamins your body lacks naturally. You have antioxidants to combat free radicals and slow the aging process, Probiotics to clean your colon and a myriad of other supplements for each vital function of your body. But before you go running to the pharmacy looking to start your preventative maintenance program have a discussion with your health care professional to find out what is best for you and your lifestyle, implementing a plan on your own can not only be costly but harmful especially if you are already taking prescribed medicines.
The first step is to understand the needs of your body, no matter how healthy you believe yourself to be you more than likely have deficiencies, deficiencies which can lead to larger health issues later in life. Once you know where you stand develop a preventative health program which will be the second step in adding healthy years to your life. The honorable Mr. Franklin probably never realized that his statement uttered 274 years ago would echo to this day, but when it comes to your long term health, no truer words were ever spoken.