It’s Time to Spring Clean your Health

by Hojat Askari, Founder and Medical Director, Thumb Butte Medical Center

Following a relatively mild winter in Greater Prescott we may not have been forced inside for weeks at a time, but spring is always a good time to assess the state of your health and look for areas in which you might need to do a little bit of a course correction.

Ideally, this should start with a full physical if you haven’t had one within the past year. It will document health markers including blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight and breathing rate, as well as an examination of your eyes, ears, head, throat and other parts of the body when appropriate.

Comprehensive blood and urine tests may be ordered as well, especially if there are any concerns about physical symptoms or lifestyle habits.

The thought of getting so much information about your physical health may be stressful, but any changes you need to make are rarely as draconian as you fear and are almost always guaranteed to boost your energy level and overall well-being.

Regardless of the results from your physical exam or blood work or the fantastical claims made about the latest drug or supplement to hit the market, there are some widely accepted practices you can recommit yourself to:

Get more active — Even if you’re a top-tier athlete, there’s always a way to work in a little more activity, but as a rule most of us aren’t active enough. So prioritize walking to any store you can, and keep up with demanding housework chores like yard maintenance and vacuuming. Pick up a new sport or get back into hiking like you were when you first got here.

Clean up your eating — Avoid highly processed foods, especially anything with refined or added sugar. Take advantage of all those fresh fruits and veggies hitting the grocery shelves or farmers market. Seek out lean protein sources like fish, poultry, beans, lentils and tofu.

Drink enough water — The U.S. Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommend men drink at least 3.7 liters per day and women 2.7 liters.