Taking care of your body should not be an after-the-fact matter. We shouldn't be playing "catch-up" to issues that could have been avoided altogether. Unfortunately, preventative healthcare is not prioritized in today's society. Learning how to properly take care of your body can make a huge difference in the development of many diseases. What is preventative healthcare? These are actionable steps taken to prevent diseases, such as cardiovascular or type 2 diabetes. Diseases are brought on by a combination of many things and these include: environmental factors, genetic predisposition, life style factors, and disease agents. It is complex, but there are measures that can be taken to reduce your risk of developing a disease. What are some actionable steps to take? To truly take hold of your health, I would start by meeting with your doctor and getting an evaluation on where you are at. This can serve as a baseline for your health, but you can also make sure everything looks great before you dive into exercise! I recommend meeting with a dietitian, nutritionist, and/or obtain a coach to aid in your journey to better health. We want this to be sustainable - a life change!!!! You cannot do this by hooking on-to fad, designed-to-fail diets. These people are equipped to adequately serve you on this journey. Next, I would start making small changes to your daily life and as those become routine, slowly add more. Oftentimes, we get so excited and motivated to get a jump start on our health, we try an all-or-nothing approach. We end up throwing too much into the mix while setting too ambitious goals. By starting small, we can set ourselves up for success. This can look like getting up 30 minutes earlier, so you can go on a walk or purchasing a reusable water bottle to ensure you are getting your water in! My last tip - obtain some accountability!!! You are more likely to be successful in your health journey when you have someone holding you accountable. This can look like getting an online coach or a personal trainer or a gym partner. The monetary investment in a trainer or coach are great motivators because you are making an investment - why would you not want to take full advantage of that investment? A gym partner is also A-MAZING. You have someone there to push you and you get to do the same for them! Additional thoughts: This is something that should be covered by all health insurance companies and encouraged by employers. Healthy employees means less sick days, higher energy, and increased productivity! Something as little as providing group fitness classes for employees to attend during the workday could make a huge impact on their health. Any movement provides substantial benefits, but it is recommended by the American Heart Association to obtain at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity of aerobic activity per week. Many people struggle to add exercise to their daily life due to busy schedules and many don't see the value in it. By employers providing easy means and encouraging their employees to get active, this can increase the health of many. According to the World Health Organization, 1.9 billion people age 18 or older have overweight, with approximately 650 million of them having obesity. This excess body weight is associated with an increased likelihood to develop heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, sleep disorders, gallstones, breathing problems, musculoskeletal disability, and certain forms of cancer (endometrial, breast, and colon). __________________________________________________________________________________ Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for Americans. The three biggest risk factors are poor diet, physical inactivity, and smoking. This is the leading cause of death and the three biggest risk factors are manageable risks. This came to a shock to me when I read this statement. THIS is why I want to push preventative healthcare. CVD should not be the leading cause of death. I want to lower this number and increase the health of Americans - not just for aesthetics - for the genuine health and quality of life of my fellow neighbors.