Health Literacy

Your Body, Your Health – Your Responsibility!

Woman Running Fitness

We all want to live healthy, long lives – no one wants their time to be cut short and to lose out on seeing their loved ones. No one wants to suffer or live in pain. However, some of the things that we do (or in some cases, don’t do) in life can cause exactly this. If you want to live a healthier life, here are some things you should be doing.

Attending Relevant Health Screenings

Fourteen million new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year, and research suggests that one in two people born after 1962 will get cancer at some point in their lives. However, with advancing medicine and good screening processes, more cases are being caught at the early treatable stages. You will be sent out an invitation letter to attend any health screenings that are relevant to you by your GP. Make sure you attend, it’s nothing to be worried about. It just means if there are any early changes, these can be treated before cancer develops.

Visit The Dentist Regularly

Visiting the dentist is good for maintaining oral hygiene – a healthy smile will mean you’re free of pain and it’s also an attractive feature. However, you should also visit the dentist for the health of the rest of your body too. Many diseases and illnesses can start in the mouth, very dangerous heart issues like endocarditis for example. Going for checkups every six months will allow you to keep on top of everything. Your dentist can spot issues early and put you on the right course of treatment to prevent it becoming a painful and expensive health issue.

Look After Your Body

When your body is well nourished and well hydrated, and you exercise regularly you can perform at maximum capacity. You drastically slash your risk of developing all kinds of health-related illnesses, and you will generally look and feel your best. Plenty of fresh produce, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy should all provide your body with what it needs. Aim to get two hours of moderate to vigorous activity in every week. If you find an activity you love, this will be easy. You should be avoiding illegal drugs, quit smoking and drink alcohol in moderation.

Know What’s Normal For You

This is something that’s so easily overlooked. But if you know what’s normal for you, it makes it easy to spot any problems or changes. Regularly feel your body for lumps and bumps. Be aware of how your body looks and feels – for example, any marks on the skin. And how it reacts to different foods, alcohol and more. We are all so different, and so what’s ‘normal’ for one person might not necessarily be for you. If you’re unsure, it’s always worth speaking to your doctor, but having a good idea about how your body usually looks and feels is a smart move.


In summary, prioritizing health is key to a long and fulfilling life. Regular screenings, dental check-ups, proper nutrition, exercise, and understanding our body’s norms are vital. These steps empower us to detect and address potential health issues early, ensuring a brighter, pain-free future with our loved ones.

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Dr. Jade Marie Tomaszewski is a pathologist-in-training at McGill University, where she also did her degree in MSc Pathology. She obtained her medical degree (MD) from the University of the Philippines, after completing a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In her (little) spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, curling up with a book and a large mug of tea, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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