When we want to be healthier, we often tackle our weight first. In fact, we tend to address our weight alone. Though it’s been proven that lighter weight doesn’t indicate better health, we still see unwanted body fat as something not only embarrassing but also dangerous.
While fat on certain body parts indeed risk your health, they’re not the only ones that can make you sick. By paying too much attention to your body shape, you may forget the other parts of your body that can also catch diseases. Ask yourself, when was the last time you checked your mental health? What about your bone health?
In talks of health, we should open up more topics aside from weight management. We’ve heard enough that obesity is a disease and that it could lead to diabetes and heart disease. Hence, we should also discuss other health issues that diet fads fail to address.
1. Oral Health
There’s more to good oral health than white teeth. And you can do more than brush your teeth at least two times a day. In a 2017 survey, it was revealed that 58% of 1,008 adult Americans visited the dentist at least once per year. The number may seem big enough, but it was actually down from 62% in 2016. In addition, only 52% visited the dentist for a routine checkup.
Dental appointments aren’t common in many people’s schedules. That’s because we tend to wait for an issue before seeing a dentist. Some may also reason out that routine checkups are too costly. But dental care can become more expensive if your teeth are already plagued with problems.
Poor oral health and hygiene can lead to cavities, gum disease, and possibly also heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Among those, cavities are the most prevalent complication. Between 60% and 90% of school children have at least one cavity. On top of that, nearly 100% of adults have the same problem.
If you have crowded or crooked teeth, that’s another reason you should visit the dentist more often. Getting any type of legitimate dental braces won’t just align your teeth, but also improve your overall oral health. Avoid waiting for serious issues to occur before visiting your dentist.
2. Mental Health
Mental health may be a popular topic on social media, but believe it or not, many people still neglect their mental well-being. Some don’t even believe in mental illnesses. Thankfully, mental health awareness is increasing by the day. Influential people are also urging society to take it seriously.
Just a few days ago, mental health was trending on the news and social media again because of American gymnast Simone Biles. Biles, dubbed as the most-decorated gymnast of all time, voluntarily withdrew from the team and all-around finals for Tokyo 2020. She stated prioritizing her mental health as a reason. Biles received mixed reactions from this, but positive ones outnumbered the negative. The negative comments, however, show that many people still don’t understand how poor mental health can thwart one’s performance, especially in something so big like the Olympics.
Poor mental health can affect your physical health and your social life as well. If you find yourself suppressing your emotions, downplaying your stress, or using unhealthy coping mechanisms during troubling situations, those might be signs that you’re neglecting your mental health. Start focusing on it more by being open about your feelings. Try exercising instead of drinking or smoking. More importantly, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. A strong support system will do wonders for your mental health and coping mechanisms.
3. Bone Health
It’s a common belief that when we get old, we’ll all develop bone issues, such as osteoporosis. But that’s not true; we can keep our bones healthy in old age. By staying active, consuming enough calcium, getting enough vitamin D, eating healthy, and preventing injury, we can lower our risks for bone loss. So avoid using age as an excuse to stop living like you’re young. Acting your age doesn’t include resigning to age-related health issues.
4. Liver Health
Around 88,000 Americans succumb to alcohol-related illnesses every year. Sadly, the drinking culture in many parts of the world seems to ignore this. Young people are made to believe that binge drinking makes them “cool”. Many adults, meanwhile, fall into alcoholism because drowning one’s sorrows is a more socially acceptable coping mechanism than getting therapy.
It’s time for everyone to realize that alcohol is meant to be consumed in moderation. Drinking more than what you need can be safe once in a while, but drinking more than what your body can handle is never okay. Fatty liver affects 90% to 100% of heavy drinkers. It increases their risk for more serious diseases, including liver cancer.
Taking care of your health doesn’t just benefit yourself, but the people who care for you too. So don’t focus your body goals on just a smaller waistline and abs. Your outer appearance will look better if your body is healthy on the inside, too.