It has always seemed for me that my health is something I took for granted or flat out didn’t understand. At my heaviest weight, I never considered all the problems looming inside my body because I never showed outward signs of any problems.
At 27 years old I was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure, just before having my Lap-Band surgery. To be honest, both diagnoses scared the crap out of me. I was too young to have “old people” problems and I certainly didn’t want to be in poor health with a 4 year old at home.
Though I have had Lap-Band surgery now and no longer have diabetes and high blood pressure, thanks to the weight loss I’ve had, I completely understand that changing our health starts with small steps. As for my Lap-Band, it is only a tool for me to achieve health and weight loss; it is not a cure all.
Four years and two more kids later, my health is constantly on my mind. I want to live and love life with my kids and that is extremely hard to do when you’re in poor health. I also want to see grandchildren, one day.
My lifestyle has changed. And it only took small consistent steps to do it.
Begin Improving Your Health, Today!
There are really simple things you can do today that will ultimately make big changes to your overall health. Pick just one or two items and do that until whatever it is becomes routine. Once a positive healthy habit has been formed, changed something else and so on and so on until you’re doing the best you can to get and stay healthy.
1. Drink Water.
Even when I fall off the wagon with my proper diet, I always turn back to my water. Every single day I drink no less than 64 oz of water. And, I’m happy doing it because I have learned that my water doesn’t have to be boring. Fruit infused water or water enhancers is all I need to change it up, have a variety, and still get the water my body needs.
2. Be Active.
A huge workout everyday is not practical for everyone. It certainly wasn’t for me when I first started out. But just 30 minute minutes a day of doing something active helps. Throw the kids in a wagon or stroller and go for a walk. Turn the fitness channel on and try a new workout. Or, if it suits, head to the gym for some kid-free time and enjoy a brisk stroll on the treadmill or climb the stair stepper.
3. Plan Snacks.
For moms, we often do this anyway for our kids, but we forget about ourselves. Instead of spending your day preparing kid snacks, think of things that work for all of you. In our house grapes, nuts, bananas, and raisins are a huge hit for my kids and me. That means we’re all eating better and I’m demonstrating to them what a healthy diet looks like. Goodbye goldfish crackers!
4. Visit Your Doctor.
I know, duh! But how many times have you thought “I’m feeling fine, there’s no reason for me to go.” We make so many doctor’s appointments for our kids and never ourselves. Go in, get a check-up, let your doctor run some blood work from time to time. More than once these check-ups with my doctors have enabled them to catch problems, I didn’t know I had.
5. Don’t Delay.
Chronic illness starts its progression in your younger years. Heart disease can develop before we even realize it. That’s why it is important to start making healthy choices now – like eating whole grains in place of refined carbohydrates – when you’re young. The health decisions you make in your 20’s and 30’s impacts your heath in your 40s and well beyond.
6. Start Small
When we try to change everything all at once, nothing really changes. We become overwhelmed and frustrated, and that doesn’t lead to any change. Pick one or two changes you can stick with and do them until you master them. Once your new changes become routine, change something else. It won’t take long before you’re on track. And every change counts, so don’t worry that there are still unhealthy habits looming!
7. Visit Your Dentist
Your oral health is connected to your overall health. If something is going wrong in your mouth, your body is likely feeling it. Be sure to visit the dentist anytime you think you may have a problem and every 6 months for a check-up and cleaning!
Your Oral Health Matters
Your overall health and your oral health are completely connected. Last year I spent time with my dentist fixing every single little issue I had in my mouth. We discussed how to improve going forward, the right care for my situation, how often I should visit the dentist, and what more I could do daily to ensure I had no oral health problems. After many visits, my proudest moment was saying “I’m in perfect oral health.” Because, after not having dental insurance for many years, it was really all I wanted.
Because of those visits with my amazing dentist, I have a new found dedication to my oral health. When everything gets hectic or everything else falls behind, my teeth do not! Regardless of how badly I want to come home from work and fall in bed, my teeth are still a priority and so is the routine I have created.
My Oral Care Routine
In the grand scheme of things, just a few minutes a day taking care of our mouths has a big impact. Here’s my routine:
- Floss! I might be a floss junky, as I carry it with me, but I always start here.
- Brush! I time it, to ensure I’m doing it long enough. Brush it all away and don’t forget your tongue. Ew.
- Rinse with Water! Ditch the spit and extra toothpaste and clean up my mouth.
- Rinse with Crest! The Crest Pro-Health Tartar Protection leaves my mouth feeling fresh and clean.
I first chose Crest because, honestly, it is what my dentist told me to use. No more off-brand. No more whatever was cheap at the store that week. Just Crest. And, my teeth love me for it.
For the first time in years, I’m proud to have you look at my smile.
Crest Pro-Health Tartar Protection
The Crest Pro-Health Tartar Protection Rinse is the first rinse to combine mouth rinse that delivers both anti-cavity and anti-tartar benefits in one. It features fluoride to prevent cavities while the pyrophosphate helps to reduce tartar formation. Tartar is a hardened plaque substance that cannot be brushed away.
Crest Pro-Health Tartar Protection Rinse also freshens breath, fights unwanted surface stains and strengthens weakened enamel. You can pick it up at mass retailers nationwide for approximately $5.49 (1L).