Staying healthy

When you think of adult health, you might think about various ways to stay healthy — from hand-washing and vaccines to cancer prevention. Good for you! The choices you make every day go a long way toward promoting adult health.

It's equally important to pay attention to your signs and symptoms. Know which adult health warning signs merit medical attention, from unexplained weight loss or changes in bowel habits to shortness of breath and sudden headaches.

And of course, regular physical exams and adult health screening tests are an important part of preventive adult health care. Know which screening tests you need and how often to have them done. Early detection can be the key to successful treatment.

Dental care

Regular dental care is an important part of oral health. Having healthy teeth and gums isn't a given, though. Brush up on daily dental care tips, and know which signs and symptoms deserve a dentist's attention.

Also consider common dental care questions. Should you use an electric toothbrush or a regular toothbrush? Does whitening toothpaste really work? Should your dental care include fluoride treatments or dental sealants? How often should you visit the dentist for professional dental cleanings? What can you do about bad breath?

Dental care counts. Take charge of your dental care today!

Skin care

Proactive skin care can help keep your skin youthful and healthy. Start with skin care rule No. 1 — protect yourself from the sun. When you're outdoors, wear protective clothing and use generous amounts of sunscreen. Then consider other skin care basics, from avoiding strong soaps and limiting bath time to eating a healthy diet and managing stress.

Of course, skin care goes beyond sunscreen and daily cleansing. Understand the risks and benefits of tattoos and piercings, including the latest tattoo removal techniques. Know the ins and outs of sunless tanning products. Find out the best ways to treat acne. Consider whether laser hair removal is right for you.

Whatever your skin care needs, count on reliable information to help your skin look its best.

Nail care

Take a close look at your nails. Are they strong and healthy looking? Or do you see ridges, dents, or areas of unusual color or shape? Proper nail care is important, whether your nails are healthy or in need of special attention. Consider nail care tips, from keeping your nails clean and trimmed to moisturizing your nails frequently.

If you rely on manicures to keep your nails looking good, know what to expect from your nail care technician. If you have weak or brittle nails, understand the do's and don'ts of various nail care products. If you tend to bite your nails, think about what fuels the behavior.

Remember, basic steps can go a long way toward keeping your nails healthy.

Eye care

Do you include eye care in your overall health care? If you're seeing clearly, it's easy to overlook routine eye care — but it's still important. Regular eye exams can give your eye care specialist a chance to help you correct or adapt to vision changes, as well as detect eye problems at the earliest stage.

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you might be considering laser eye surgery as part of your eye care. Understand who's a good candidate for eye surgery, as well as the risks and benefits of surgery.

It's also important to think about common vision problems as you age, from difficulty reading small print to cataracts and glaucoma. Knowing what's normal — and what's not — can help you promote the best eye care.

Sleep

It can be tough to get a good night's sleep. Work, household responsibilities and family commitments sometimes take priority over sleep. Factor in a partner's snoring or unexpected challenges, such as financial worries or an illness, and quality sleep might be even more elusive. Still, you're not doomed to toss and turn night after night.

To improve your sleep, consider simple self-care tips — such as sticking to a sleep schedule and relaxing before bed. If you're thinking about using a sleep aid, know what you're getting yourself into. Over-the-counter sleep aids can be effective for an occasional sleepless night, but they're not meant for long-term use.

Don't assume that a good night's sleep is only a dream. If sleep remains elusive, ask your doctor about other treatment options.

Mental health

How can you tell whether a mental health issue is normal or not? It's tricky. The line between normal and abnormal mental health is often blurred. Still, it's helpful to consider your feelings, thoughts and behavior in relation to cultural norms and other benchmarks.

Often, anger management is a key aspect of mental health. Expressed appropriately, anger can be healthy. In fact, anger itself isn't the problem — it's how you handle it. Consider whether you might benefit from new ways to manage anger.

Mental health also includes issues such as self-esteem, relationships and resilience. If you're struggling with self-esteem, denial or other mental health issues, remember that help is available. To find a mental health provider, ask your family doctor for a referral.

Healthy relationships

Healthy relationships with family, friends and other loved ones can be a great source of support, comfort and love. Still, healthy relationships don't necessarily happen by themselves. Often, healthy relationships require compromise and forgiveness. When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge — or you can embrace forgiveness and move forward.

Sometimes, honest communication is all it takes to weather relationship crises and maintain healthy relationships. In other cases, family therapy or other types of counseling can be helpful.

If a relationship becomes abusive, it's important to take action. Seek help or advice as soon as you safely can — and look forward to a future with the healthy relationships you deserve.

Healthy at work

Staying healthy at work makes it easier to do your job. For many people, staying healthy at work begins with proper office space ergonomics — such as correct chair height, proper equipment spacing and good posture.

For others, staying healthy at work means preventing back pain and injuries. The best bet? Exercise regularly — even if your job keeps you moving. Better yet, consider ways to include physical activity and gentle stretching in your workday. Strong and flexible muscles help keep your back in shape.

If your job involves travel, staying healthy at work might mean fitting in a workout while you're away from home.

Staying healthy at work also extends to your mental health and family life. Consider strategies to boost job satisfaction, improve work-life balance and prevent job burnout.

Mar. 06, 2014