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The Importance of Planning for Your Health

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Health is something we tend to think about mainly when we or others in our circle are not feeling well. If your efforts toward planning for your health are purely reactionary, you’re likely not setting yourself up for the best long-term results.

Whether the concern is preventing future illnesses or being prepared for unexpected health issues, planning for your health is essential.

Here are a few things to help keep you on track and prepare for the future:

Organise your time

As previously noted, it’s very easy to assume your health is in a good place if nothing is bothering you. With busy modern life, it’s also easy to forgo health maintenance activities in an effort to save time.

So if you’ve been struggling to stay on top of health appointment scheduling or exercise, better time management could help. Using a digital calendar can provide a system of reminders and other tools to organize your time to allow for health maintenance. 

Sometimes it’s just a matter of visualizing what you need to do. If you have a nebulous cloud of appointments you need to schedule just floating around in your head, it can be overwhelming. If you input scheduling deadlines into your calendar, those tasks might seem far more manageable.

Maybe you know you need to schedule a dental appointment, an annual OBGYN exam, and a skin cancer screening. If you have children, there are likely a few for them that need to be set as well. Each appointment probably takes well under 10 minutes to schedule, but the length of the list might be daunting. If you set reminders every two days on your calendar for a specific appointment, it can be done in less than two weeks. 

It’s also easier to get a support team in place if you use technology. If you have a friend who has agreed to go on walks with you, the back and forth of scheduling can be time consuming. There are a variety of scheduling apps available that compare both your calendars and find times that work for everyone. Calendly is one of the more well-known options, but there are numerous other choices if you’re looking for a Calendly alternative.

Prepare for the unexpected

Planning for your health isn’t just about preventing illness and injury. Sometimes it means having a plan in place for when the unexpected occurs.

No health plan is 100% guaranteed. You can eat quality food in healthy portions and stay active and still experience a major illness. For example, while healthy living can reduce your risk of cancer, it’s always a possibility. Somebody who has never smoked in their life has the potential to develop lung cancer. 

Some people are so focused on maintaining their health that they are lost when things don’t go according to plan. That can cause a lot of stress in areas of finance and autonomy.

Even if you’re a very healthy individual, it’s not recommended to forgo insurance. You don’t need to take out every type of coverage known to man, but creating a safety net is essential. At bare minimum you should carry catastrophic health coverage, but there are some affordable supplemental insurance types to consider. If your family has a strong history of cancer, you can take out a policy just for that. Life insurance is relatively affordable, especially if you’re only taking out enough to cover burial costs.

Another thing to consider getting in place is a living will. That way you can specify which person you want advocating for your care if you are incapacitated. 

It’s not enough to draft the document and tuck it away, however. You’ll need to talk to the individual about your wishes ahead of time and make the document accessible to them. It won’t do anyone any good if you put it in a safety deposit box that no one else can get into. If you’re in a situation where you can’t provide approval or access instructions, it’s useless.

Regularly take stock of your situation

If you’ve got a good routine going, critical assessment typically doesn’t carry a sense of urgency. But with your health, you’ll need to adjust certain things as the years go by just due to age and life changes. 

While your doctor should be helping you keep certain things on your radar, you should do your own research as well. For example, women in their 20’s don’t necessarily need to make weight lifting a priority. As they get into their 30’s and 40’s, however, loss of muscle mass can start to occur. Men also begin to lose muscle mass around that age, but statistically they have much more to begin with before the decline starts. 

So when you’re taking stock of what you’re doing and whether those actions are sufficient, take your individual situation into account. If you’re a woman in your upper 30’s and have never focused on muscle-building exercises, adjust your routine to incorporate that. 

You can also ask trusted people in your circle who are your age and older what they do to plan for their health. Oftentimes, the most useful information to tuck away is what older people wish they would have done at your age. Hindsight is a very perceptive thing, and you can use that to your advantage.

Proactive and prepared

The overall purpose of planning for your health is to be proactive. It’s impossible to foresee every potential health danger in your future, but you can give it your best shot. If you do so, you’re more likely to take steps towards maintaining your health and preparing for the unexpected.

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.


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