Health and Wellness

The 7 Biggest Health Management Mistakes You Can Make

11:08 AM

Healthcare shouldn’t be complicated, yet somehow, it is. The management of the way that our bodies work, how we get the most from them, how we care for illnesses, and how we fund all of these things is one of the most complicated areas of life we have to navigate. Just keeping ourselves healthy isn’t the default setting; we have to go to great extremes to ensure we’re on top of the situation at all times.
Juggling this necessity along with a life, a family, and a job is always going to tax even the most organized of minds-- so no one can be blamed for the odd mistake in their health management. However, that’s not to say that mistakes should be accepted as read: they should still be challenged and, if at all possible, corrected. If you can find a little time to set yourself on the right course and avoid the things you absolutely should not do, then your health management will begin to take care of itself.

So when it comes to the overall picture of your health, here are the seven biggest mistakes that you’re going to want to avoid…

#1 - Focusing too much on your BMI

When it comes to health, weight is a vital part of the equation. Sadly, the equation most of us use to help is calculate health is less reliable.

The equation in question is the body mass index (BMI), which members of the general public and doctors all rely on to indicate whether someone is at their “correct” weight. The BMI is measured via a simple calculation that takes into account factors such as your height and weight, and it’s so widely accepted that it’s almost impossible to imagine that it’s flawed…

… Except it is. Badly.

The major issue with BMI is that it cannot separate types of weight. If someone has 3% body fat and is packed with muscles, it’s more than likely that the BMI will tell them that they are overweight, or even obese-- yet they couldn’t be more healthy if they tried. The BMI is a flawed metric that should be used as a general guide, but not taken as gospel.

It’s important to reframe the way that you think about BMI. It’s an indicator, yes, but it’s not the only indicator. Other factors, such as your body fat percentage and your hip-to-waist measurements, should also be focused on when attempting to keep your body weight stable and healthy.

#2 - “White” lies to your doctor
“How much alcohol do you drink?”


It’s the question no one wants to answer, and even when we do answer, it tends to be an incorrect answer. This is just one example of how we’re all tempted to tell the doctor a “white” lie.

If you’ve done something you know is bad for you, then you don’t want to have to admit it to your doctor. The same applies if you’ve experienced ill health or injury because you’ve done something embarrassing; we’re all more likely to clam up and try to come up with an excuse than admit to the truth.

The above can be potentially disastrous for effective healthcare management. Your doctor isn’t going to judge you; they may have a quick word about your habits, but they’re not going to tell you off or laugh at you. They’re asking these questions because they are medically necessary, which means you have to give medically useful responses.

For example, one of the worst cases of “white lies” occurs when patients are told to fast prior to receiving a general anesthetic. Patients don’t want to confess that they broke the fast thanks to a midnight attack of hunger pangs, so they nod along and tell their doctor that yes, of course they fasted as they were told to! The complications of this “white lie” can literally be fatal. This is an extreme example of why you must always tell any medical staff you deal with the truth-- even if it’s not quite the version you wish you could tell them.

#3 - Forcing yourself to eat breakfast

Many people wake up of a morning and find that they can’t face food. However, years of “breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” have had their effect, so these same people force themselves to eat something. 

The truth is that breakfast isn’t any more important than any other meal, and if you don’t feel like eating, don’t eat. If you’re worried that going without food will damage your health: don’t. Fasting is becoming more and more accepted by the medical community as study after study reveals its benefits. If you don’t want to eat in the morning, then that’s completely fine: just wait until your body is actively seeking food and your appetite is demanding satiation.

#4 - Underestimating your needs
What is your main consideration when you buy health insurance?
Realistically, for most of us, it’s the cost: that’s the area we focus on, especially if we are generally healthy and have no underlying conditions. While cost is always going to be a factor in health insurance decisions, it shouldn’t be the only factor.

People have a tendency to drastically underestimate the level of health insurance that they may require throughout their life. People in their 20s, feeling young and vibrant, often feel that they can cope without health insurance at all; while people in their golden years assume Medicare will cover their needs, when in actuality they’re going to need to consult the likes of to provide the absolute coverage they need. No age group is immune from thinking that their health insurance can be minimal and cost-assessed only, which perhaps explains why so many people run into problems with medical debt.

While some causes of medical debt are unforeseeable, some of the cases -- especially those involve underinsurance or no insurance -- can be prevented. As shows, medical debt is a mounting problem that can happen to anyone at any time, so you have to ensure you don’t underestimate your needs when buying coverage or relying on governmental support systems. The last thing you want to have to deal with is choosing between treatment and the stability of your finances.

#5 - Avoiding health screenings

No one enjoys health screenings, such as cervical smears, mammograms, and other techniques used to try and identify health issues before they become life-threatening. These exams are invasive, uncomfortable, and waiting for the results can produce no small amount of anxiety.

However, these health screenings are also incredibly important for protecting your health. When it comes to your well-being, the more information you have at your disposal, the better. Cervical smears, particularly, can identify cells that are relatively benign, but are certain to become cancerous-- at which point the issue will be far more complicated to cope with.

No matter how uncomfortable you feel with health screenings, they are nevertheless an important weapon in your arsenal when it comes to health management. Early diagnosis is one of the most decisive factors for the outcome of a number of different serious health issues, so do whatever you need to do to ensure that you keep your appointment.

#6 - Restricting yourself too much
For most of us, restriction is a part of general health management. We restrict the number of calories we are supposed to eat, the alcohol we consume, and generally place a number of limitations on our lives.

This is all well and good… but it doesn’t necessarily work. The more you restrict yourself from doing “bad” things, the more likely you’re eventually going to find that your willpower cracks and you do a lot of “bad things” in a short space of time. It’s far healthier to allow yourself the occasional indulgence. Be on your best behavior 80% of the time and you won’t go far wrong.

#7 - Neglecting mental health
Finally, it’s important to focus on your health management in a holistic way. Many of us have a tendency to focus primarily on physical health, assuming that our mental health will take care of itself.

This, simply, isn’t the case; mental health requires the same management, assessment, and treatment as physical health. Not only is mental health important for your overall happiness and enjoyment of life, but it’s also key to your physical health, too. As points out, stress -- one of the most common mental health conditions -- can literally make you physically unwell.

Take the time you need to ensure that your mental health is functioning as well as it needs to. Spend time in nature, exercise for pleasure, give yourself a day off from responsibilities-- whatever it takes. Nurturing your mental health is a key component of your overall wellness, so try not to overlook it.

In conclusion
If you can avoid the seven mistakes above, then your overall health management will be as under control as it’s possible to be-- allowing you to enjoy your life to the fullest as a result.


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