Celebrating Prevention and Wellness Month

Health is a gift that enables us to work, play and thrive throughout our lives. Although most of us recognize the importance of health, living in a society of convenience and leisure can make good habits such as diet and exercise difficult to maintain. However, with the summer months upon us, the warm weather makes getting outside, staying active and focusing on our health more appealing.

For the first time, Americans will recognize the warm, sunny month of June as the official Prevention and Wellness month. Instead of focusing on sickness, disease and lack of healthcare in our nation, this month we should expect to see more positive announcements, events and advertisements promoting ways to keep our health and the health of our families in check.

The recommendations for nutrition, exercise and plenty of rest are repeated to us through the media on what seems like a daily basis. However, there are lesser known health precautions that many people may be unaware of such as TB testing, rectal exams and immunizations that should also be taken into consideration. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has compiled a list of recommendations such as the importance of immunizations, screenings and illness prevention for men and women of all ages.

According to healthcare.gov, Americans only use preventative services at about half of the recommended rate, due to cost. Seven out of ten deaths in America each year and 75 percent of the nation’s health spending are due to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, which are all preventable.

Living a healthy lifestyle is not only essential for disease prevention; it keeps us alive longer and contributes to our overall happiness and well-being. With the ever increasing convenience of our society also comes an increasing rate of disease. In a world of desk jobs, fast food and massive portions, we can be easily lured into bad health habits. Celebrating June as the official Prevention and Wellness month will help, at the least, to remind us of the importance in slowing down and taking a step back to evaluate the lifestyle that will inevitably shape our future.