Greg Nix brings more than health care expertise to his job as physician assistant at AnMed Young Adult Primary Care. The 22 years he spent in the Army equipped him with worldly experience and knowledge that he shares with patients on a daily basis.
He’s armed with unique, valuable perspective, too.
“During that time in the Army I didn’t realize all the benefits we got from the positive habits we made – different things like being physically active and eating right,” Nix said. “Now that I’m in the real world, I’m like, ‘Man, we could really learn a lot and make our lives so much better.’”
Therein lies his latest mission: using what he’s learned to make lives better.
It doesn’t take extensive training. And it can make a big difference.
“What I want to get across to people is that if they just make a few simple – keyword ‘simple’ –changes in their lives, by the time they’re 55 years old, they won’t be coming to primary care with a grocery bag full of medications,” Nix said. “The overarching theme is start good dietary and activity habits and take care of yourself now so you live the rest of your life happier and healthier.”
5 reasons to start preventative health care
Here are five reasons preventative health care should not wait, according to Nix and the friendly brigade at AnMed Young Adult Primary Care:
1. You’ll feel better
Taking action now to preserve, enhance and guard your health can make you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.
2. You’ll look better
Your physique, your skin and even the demeanor that people see in you will look better when you’re practicing preventative health care.
3. You’ll perform better
Your performance, both physical and mental, will be improved when you practice preventative health care.
4. You’ll have more money
You’ll be less likely to be spending big on medicines, and you won’t be spending money on tobacco, vape products or things like that, if you’re practicing preventative health care.
5. You’ll be happier
Good habits and healthier living directly correlate to positive physical and mental wellbeing. Guarding your health literally makes you happier.
10 easy ways to start preventative health care
Now, for simple tactics to support the strategy, here are 10 ways to incorporate preventative health care into your life more easily:
1. Start in the kitchen and be real
Your nutrition makes a serious impact on your life. Focus less on cutting things out than on moderation of the food that you enjoy.
2. Cut back on white foods
If you are going to cut out some things, limiting how much you eat of most foods that are white in color can help you control your weight. Breads, pastas, rice and cereal aren’t your friends if you’re trying to lose weight.
3. Avoid drinking calories
Sweet tea, soft drinks and energy drinks pack a lot of calories. You can make a big difference in how many calories you consume per day by avoiding drinking calories.
4. Consider intermittent fasting if you’re aiming to lose weight
This is a behavioral change, not a change in what you eat, and it’s an easier way to make a lasting impact. Several methods exist, all limiting your window for eating and creating times when you don’t eat. You can even slip out of it from time to time and go right back on the next day.
5. Get an annual physical
An annual physical helps you catch any issues that develop, and it monitors your health, and it will help in the future as you and your health care providers see trends for things such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
6. Incorporate physical activity into your routine
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further from your building and enjoy the walk. Then add 30 to 40-minute walks into your week as often as you can to easily build in more physical activity. That will bring wonderful health benefits, including valuable prevention of avoidable conditions.
7. Get enough sleep
You might be amazed at how much a lack of proper sleep affects mood and overall behavioral health as well as physical health. Invest in yourself. Get at least seven hours of sleep every night.
8. Try yoga
If you have pain in your back or elsewhere, practicing yoga can be a wonderful way to improve that while providing other benefits. And you can do it without any equipment in your living room for free with many options available through YouTube.
9. Be accountable
You make life-shaping decisions every day; make your health a priority. Being accountable and being responsible is a big part of what adulthood is about. Take ownership of the good and the bad, and allow yourself grace when needed. No one is perfect, but trying to improve is the perfect approach.
10. Get primary care
Much like a physical does on an annual basis, getting primary care provides a valuable way to handle issues that arise. And because you’ll develop a relationship with your primary care provider and collect information about your health on an ongoing basis, the perspective of your primary care provider will be more informed than what you’d find at somewhere like urgent care.
If you’re considering finding primary care, you live in the greater Anderson area and you’re between the ages of 18 and 35 years old, consider AnMed Young Adult Primary Care. Call us at 864-512-3452, or visit anmed.org/locations/anmed-young-adult-primary-care.