Guest writer: Jennifer McGregor has wanted to be a doctor since she was little. Now, as a pre-med student, she’s well on her way to achieving that dream. She helped create PublicHealthLibrary.org with a friend as part of a class project. With it, she hopes to provide access to trustworthy health and medical resources. When Jennifer isn’t working on the site, you can usually find her hitting the books in the campus library or spending some downtime with her dog at the local park.
Everyone wants to be healthy, yet some people sacrifice their well-being by making poor choices that are detrimental to their personal safety. One such example is a person who chooses to smoke despite being aware of the serious health risks associated with tobacco use. There are many examples of personal safety choices that can impact your overall health and well-being. An awareness of good personal safety habits and positive decision making are among the most important things you can do for your health.
Preventative Health Checkups for Long-Term Health
No one wants to spend an afternoon sitting in the waiting room of a physician’s office, particularly when you feel perfectly fine. But an annual health checkup is an important personal safety habit that can help you preserve long-term health.
That’s because preventative screenings for various types of cancer, blood tests and blood pressure screenings can detect minor underlying health concerns that can be easily treated with lifestyle changes or medication. Early detection is the key to survival for many serious conditions. Likewise, preventative health habits such as regular exercise will improve your health and longevity, helping to ward off conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Your Dog: An Additional Layer of Protection
A good dog will always protect you from harm when it can. Even a smaller dog can ward off home invaders by acting as an intruder alert system.
Plus, it really is good for your health. Dogs lift our moods, keep us active and on our toes, and relieve our stress. Sometimes there’s no better therapy than going for a hike in the woods with your dog, or even just walking in to a wagging tail after a tough day at the office. Loyal protectors who fill our hearts with joy: they really are man’s best friend!
Stay Smart When Out and About
Going about your daily life, you may not think much of walking through a dimly lit parking lot at night. But an awareness of your surroundings can help you avoid potentially dangerous situations, such as encountering individuals with ill intentions. If another car is the only car in the parking lot and is parked right next to yours, for instance, you might avoid approaching until you can call someone for help.
Wearing a seatbelt means you’re less likely to be seriously injured if you’re in an accident, and traveling on well-traveled roads means other people will be nearby to call for help should an accident occur. These rules of thumb don’t apply only to cars, but to other activities as well. If you’re swimming, for instance, avoid swimming in areas with warning signs and don’t swim in isolated areas alone. If there’s no lifeguard on duty, make sure there’s a rescue buoy nearby. You shouldn’t avoid doing the things that you enjoy, but you should take the appropriate steps to stay safe while doing them.
Wash Your Hands and Use Safe Cooking Practices
Washing your hands is one of the most basic healthy habits, yet many people don’t wash their hands before preparing food or cooking a meal. Washing your hands before eating prevents you from ingesting germs and bacteria that your hands have gathered from touching the many objects in your everyday environment, such as door knobs, countertops and the credit card machine at your local convenience store.
Preparing food safely, though, is about more than simply washing your hands. While you should always wash your hands before preparing food, you should also follow safety practices like using a separate cutting board for meat, thoroughly cleaning surfaces after preparing food, and cooking meats and eggs thoroughly before eating. These safety tips will not only help you avoid spreading viruses and bacteria, it will also reduce the likelihood of food poisoning, often a result of eating meat that has not been fully cooked.
Good Personal Safety Habits Mean Less Stress
When you practice positive personal safety habits, you’ll benefit from reduced stress. Situations that pose personal safety risks are often stressful, such as encountering a shady character in a dark alleyway at night with no one to help in sight. That’s why adopting good habits that will improve your personal safety will also reduce the stressors in your life. That’s not to say your life will be entirely stress-free, but it certainly helps to know that you don’t have to worry about safety hazards that are within your power to control.
There are simple ways to improve your personal safety every day. Most of these things require little more than utilizing common sense and following any safety rules and good safety practices that are known to make situations or activities safer. Make personal safety a daily habit, and you’ll also improve your overall health and well-being by avoiding illness and injury and reducing stress.