Wellness and Self-Management
What are the top five things you can do to stay healthy? Eat healthy, get active, get screened, quit smoking and watch your weight.
These health behaviors, like the ones you learned in your sixth grade health class, are the kinds of things that prevent a lot of chronic conditions from occurring. And when they do occur, it's these same health behaviors that can help minimize the level of severity and allow you to be as healthy as possible living with that chronic condition.
The good news is when it comes to wellness and prevention; we have a lot of control! The bad news is unhealthy behaviors become habits; and changing those habits can be hard.
For some people the concept of wellness is the total absence of disease and that you don't have to take medications. But one of the ways that one might think about wellness is that you are the healthiest that you can be given the health conditions that you're living with.
Often the words “health” and “medicine” are used interchangeably. But the distinction is important. “Health” is the state of physical, mental and emotional well-being while “medicine” is the process that can help take us from being sick to being well.
You have an important role to play when it comes to both health and medicine. Your daily choices and behaviors allow you to maintain your health. But when you do get sick, it's your partnership with your doctor and your healthcare team that helps ensure your medical care is successful.
Quality health care happens when people take an active role in their own care, becoming partners with their doctor to create a more effective, trusting relationship that helps them stay healthy or determine the right care when they need it.
Regardless of what type of relationship you have with your doctor, there is a lot you can do on your own to manage your health like watching what you eat, getting exercise and limiting stress.
Learn more about Everyday Healthy Living from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.