How to Use a Health Checklist to Stay Proactive

January 12,2023 |
Woman writing a healthcare checklist.

Although many people find New Year’s to be the best time to kickstart healthy lifestyle habits, the truth is that the sooner you start, the better. You don’t need to wait until next year, next week, or even tomorrow to work on preventative care. In fact, the opposite is true. The more you put things off, the lower the chances you’ll actually get it done. This is especially true when it comes to building healthier habits. Lifestyle changes take time and it’s normal to get derailed from your plans every now and then. However, having an all or nothing mentality can be extremely dangerous for your long-term health. To help you stay proactive and keep making progress, consider some of the benefits of using a health checklist throughout the year.


How Can a Health Checklist Benefit Your Urologic Health?

A health checklist is exactly as it sounds—a list of things you need to do to remain in good health. This can include things like seeing your doctor for yearly screenings, picking up medications each month, or even making some serious lifestyle changes. When you have a physical list available to refer to throughout the year, you’ll gain a better understanding of the big picture which can help you be more proactive.

Since many urologic conditions increase in frequency as we age, this can be particularly beneficial for maintaining optimal urinary control and function. Not convinced? Consider some of the ways a health checklist can benefit both your urologic health and your health as a whole.

  • Helps Keep You on Track
  • Breaks Down Goals
  • Acts as a Reminder for the Year
  • Lowers Stress
  • Improves Overall Health and Wellness


Items to Include on Your Health Checklist

One thing to remember is that lifestyle changes should be made slowly, not all at once. Trying to make too many changes to your daily life will ultimately lead to burnout. This increases your likelihood of abandoning them altogether. Instead, make both short and long-term goals and break them down into more manageable steps of progression. You can then schedule things into your calendar using your master checklist to help integrate simple steps to take better care of your urologic health into your daily life.

Exercise Regularly

Moving your body should be at the top of your health checklist. Regular exercise can help keep your body strong and reduce the risk of several chronic conditions. It strengthens your heart, builds muscle, and improves mobility as you get older. However, if you’ve never done an exercise regimen, it’s important to talk to your doctor before heading to the gym.

Remember to start slowly in order to help your body adapt. You can do this by simply adding a walk to your daily schedule, trying some yoga, or signing up for a class at your local community center. Your long-term goal should be to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week with two days of strength training. Some other aerobic exercises can include biking, swimming, playing sports, or hiking.

Prioritizing Nutrition

Nutrition is another key area to focus on when building your health checklist. Unhealthy habits add up and over time, we may not even realize we’re doing them. Although it may seem like an impossible task to change your diet, even small changes will result in big differences. Options that you can include on your health checklist are things like meatless Mondays, eating a high-protein breakfast every day, cutting out soda, or replacing your mid-day bag of chips with an apple. The healthier choices you make, the easier it becomes.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Another important item to include on your checklist is to maintain a healthy weight. This can come naturally when you get enough exercise and prioritize nutrition, but it may require some extra effort at first. However, keeping a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of certain urologic conditions like incontinence and keep you feeling more energized over the years. If you’re overweight, talk to your doctor about how you can shed unwanted pounds and keep them off.

Seeing Your Urologist Regularly

Although many people assume that urologists are just for men, that’s far from the truth. In reality, urologists treat urinary tract related conditions in both men and women. As men age, they should begin to see their urologist once a year for a digital rectal exam. This is the best way to be proactive about prostate cancer. However, men and women should schedule visits with their urologist if they’re experiencing symptoms that may indicate an issue with the urinary tract.

Focusing on Metabolism

Your metabolism is one of the best ways to keep a healthy weight, but as you age it begins to change and slow down. This affects the way food is digested and reduces your overall resting caloric burn. Unless you take a proactive approach to your changing metabolism, it can also lead to decreased muscle mass and fat gain. Luckily, living a healthy lifestyle can help you focus on your metabolism and keep it strong. Some additional items to add to your health checklist in relation to metabolism include quitting smoking, drinking plenty of water each day, sleeping at least seven and a half hours each night, and limiting alcohol use.

Create More Healthy Habits

Creating a health checklist is all about increasing the number of healthy habits you have. While some of the bigger ones are discussed above, try focusing on smaller items first. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, stay hydrated throughout the day, go on more walks, switch to a standing desk, etc. There are countless ways to incorporate small changes to your daily life that can help you improve your overall health.

Improve Sleep Patterns

Many people don’t realize how important sleep is to your health and wellbeing. In addition to helping you get ready to tackle the day, sleep is your body’s way of cleansing itself and processing information. Throughout the night, the cells in your body clean out waste products, transfer short-term memories into long-term memories, and help rejuvenate your muscles and organs. When you sleep too few hours each night, these processes can be disrupted and lead to both mental and physical side effects. Even if your schedule is busy, try to make it a habit to get between seven to nine hours of sleep every night.

Don’t Ignore Your Mental Health 

Finally, never ignore your mental health. Although it may not be as easy to manage as your physical health, your mental health plays an important role in your overall longevity. Chronic stress can even lead to physical side effects, so if you’re struggling with your mental health don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional. Other items to include on your health checklist for this category are getting outside every day, making time for something you love, spending time with friends or family members, and connecting with your community.

Although several of these things are important when taking a proactive approach to your health, adding too many new habits at once can backfire. Try to focus on one thing at a time and continue adding healthy lifestyle changes as new habits become routine. Focus on the easier items first, like scheduling all of your doctor’s visits, improving your sleeping patterns, and moving your body every day.

You can slowly change your diet to incorporate more whole, nutritious foods and find ways to support your mental health in your daily life, but if you need additional help don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional. Nutritionists, personal trainers, and mental health professionals can all help you get the most out of your health checklist and take control of your future.

Managing a urologic condition, or any other chronic condition, should be prioritized on your checklist. With the use of a few strategic products and an effective treatment plan, you can reduce any embarrassing situations or problems that many conditions cause. To help you along the way, it’s important to schedule regular visits with your urologist. For management of temporary or chronic urologic issues, Byram Healthcare is here. We carry a wide selection of high-quality incontinence products that can help you take back control of your life. To learn more, or to speak with a professional regarding incontinence questions and ongoing management, contact Byram Healthcare today.

Byram Healthcare is a member of the National Association for Continence’s Trusted Partners Program, whose mission is to provide quality continence care through education, collaboration and advocacy. We continue to build partnerships in the clinical community to ensure we focus on what’s best for the patient.