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Tips to be proactive about healthcare

When it comes to health and wellbeing, one should get into good habits from the outset rather than try to change bad habits once it is too late, argues one expert.

Preventative health plays a strong role in Australians’ overall wellbeing, and it’s important to take care of your whole self, TAL’s general manager of health services, Dr Sally Phillips, said.

Here are her “simple pieces of advice” to stay ahead of the game when it comes to self-care:

Make meal planning a habit to help eat healthily

A nutritious and well-balanced diet is the foundation of good health, but it can be challenging to eat as healthily as we’d like to due to our busy and often time-poor lives, Dr Phillips said.

“Finding ways to enjoy healthy food will help improve your physical as well as mental wellbeing,” she said.

“Creating a meal plan for the week is a simple way to get organised, and it will help you feel less stressed about what you need to prepare and give you more control over your eating habits to help you maintain your health.”

Find a new exercise or sport to enjoy with friends

“Exercise is an important way to stay healthy and feeling good. By regularly exercising and elevating your heart rate, you can help keep your heart and circulatory system, in particular, healthy to prevent cardiovascular disease, which impacts one in five Australians and is more prevalent in older adults.

“Choosing to exercise with friends can often be more fun and it can motivate you to commit to a routine as well as providing a great way to socialise and deepen your relationships, which can boost your mental wellbeing.”

Prioritise sleep to help boost health and productivity

“It’s important to remember your mental wellbeing, and one of the best ways to avoid burnout and reduce stress is to make sure that you schedule in some non-negotiable rest and recovery time to recharge your mind and body,” Dr Phillips said.

“Resting your body and getting a good night’s sleep can improve concentration and productivity during your day, and also supports healthy growth and development and can help protect your mental health.”

Ask your GP about which preventative screening tests are relevant for you

Visit your doctor to find out what preventative screening tests are relevant for you, she concluded.

“Preventative health plays a crucial role in Australians’ overall wellbeing, and we know that early detection of health conditions can literally save lives.

“It’s best to check with your doctor for regular medical check-ups to help you stay healthy and pick up any early warning signs of conditions. It’s also worth asking your GP what you can be self-checking to help spot any changes early.”