Thinking Beyond Insurance: 5 Tips for Keeping Yourself Healthy

by Steve Strauss

The New Year has come and gone, and with parts of the ACA beginning to go into effect, healthcare is definitely on everyone’s mind. However, one thing that should also be part of the conversation is the fact that your ultimate goal should be to keep yourself out of the doctor’s office as much as possible in the first place. While this may not save you from having to pay the basic costs associated with health insurance, it can certainly lower the extra you’ll pay for things like surgery and medication. Here are a few tips to help you keep yourself healthy:

Eliminate Stress

One of the biggest health risks in our everyday lives can be stress, especially because it has such a dramatic effect on us both mentally and physically. Try to identify when you can’t possibly do anything to solve a problem, and let it go. If you can solve it, solve it! The sooner you take care of things, the less there will be to stress about later.

Eat Healthier

This is something that can be a problem whether you work in an office or at home. In an office setting, you’ll often be pressured to go out to lunch with coworkers, where you’ll more than likely make some bad food choices. If you work from home, the temptation to grab something “quick” and keep working can often lead to lunches (and even dinners) of fast food or frozen dinners. Instead of letting that cycle continue, make an effort to bring a healthy, filling lunch with you to the office, or carve out some time to pause your work and cook some real food if you work from home.

Find Time For Exercise

When you’re working long hours at a desk job, it’s important to get all the exercise in that you can to counteract the fact that you’re sitting for most of your day. Take small breaks where you get up and stretch or walk around, or even invest in a standing desk to eliminate some of that sitting time. If your company provides optional breaks to exercise or even go to the gym, take advantage of those opportunities. If you’re the boss, consider offering an incentive for your employees to be active. If you’re a solopreneur, you’ll have to motivate yourself, but convincing the boss you need the time off should be pretty easy.

Eliminate Bad Habits

Stress, food and exercise aside, there are still many ways that you can improve your habits to help keep yourself healthy. Instead of taking that smoke break, take a walk and get some fresh air. Maybe skip a few after-work trips to the bar. It may be tough to give up certain indulgences, but your body will thank you for it down the road.

Use Proper Technique and Equipment

This tip is less of a lifestyle change and more of a choice to play by all the rules. In many professions, there are places where corners can be cut and procedures can be overlooked. Maybe you don’t need to wear that hard hat because you’ll only be in a potentially dangerous area for a few minutes. Maybe you don’t really need two people to lift that box – surely you can do it yourself. This attitude may help you get some things done faster, but in the end it’s also significantly increasing your chances of getting hurt or even killed. It may add a few minutes of hassle to your day, but the potential benefits of following proper safety procedures far outweigh the inconvenience.