Veterans possess remarkable resilience and unique strength during service and play a significant role in the international security of their country. However, their journey toward wellness continues long after hanging up the uniform. As they transition into civilian life, their health and well-being become paramount. It demands attention and deliberate action.
Exposure to asbestos, gunpowder, environmental pollution, and extreme weather conditions can harm health, which may take years to surface. Therefore, it is crucial to address these concerns as soon as possible. As per ELG Law, asbestos-related diseases affect around 30% of veterans yearly, with 10% suffering from mesothelioma – a type of asbestos-related condition, making it crucial to prioritize healthcare.
Moreover, severe injuries, disabilities, mental health challenges, and chronic health issues make life challenging for veterans. That is why it is essential to implement some useful health tips.
1. Get Frequent Health Checkups
Regular health checkups are a crucial step for every veteran after service. Your doctor appointments are a vital compass keeping you on track and enabling early detection and prevention of potential health risks. By staying proactive and vigilant, veterans can catch any conditions before they escalate.
Among the numerous health conditions that warrant our attention, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks that mesothelioma carries – a rare but aggressive condition stemming from asbestos exposure during service. However, mesothelioma symptoms can take years to surface after exposure, making routine checkups more crucial. There could be different symptoms for different mesothelioma conditions, and early detection can help manage your condition better. The good news is that you can access resources to manage and treat the condition and learn all about your diagnosis at a dedicated mesothelioma center.
Also read: Recently Diagnosed With Diabetes? Here’s Everything You Need To Know
Frequent checkups can also help address internal and severe injuries that require constant medical attention. Getting the required help and care can improve your condition while boosting your overall health.
Moreover, other health conditions may warrant different healthcare professionals. Addressing mental health concerns is equally imperative. You can contact a mental health professional to get what you need.
2. Eat Right
Proper nutrition lays the foundation of good health, especially for veterans. They need to establish and maintain a healthy eating routine that includes whole foods, grains, nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables, and water with a balanced amount of proteins, minerals, fibers, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, etc. each day to support the immune system and fight off diseases.
A good diet helps promote physical and mental resilience. At the same time, it is crucial to be mindful of meal portions and calorie intake to maintain a healthy weight. By practicing mindful eating and making healthy, informed food choices, veterans can improve their cognitive function, optimize energy levels, and support overall well-being.
Moreover, engaging in meal planning can help you make a conscious effort to improve your diet. It promotes consistency, especially if you plan all your meals. Going grocery shopping and preparing your meals helps establish control over the ingredients, source, portion size, and overall nutritional quality. Meal planning also saves time and money by reducing reliance on processed foods.
All processed foods, junk food, and packet food items can harm your health. Therefore, replace them with healthy food options for optimal health.
3. Stay Active
Consistent bodily movements are essential for veterans’ overall well-being. Regular exercise increases stamina and improves mental and emotional well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults must indulge in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety, enhances learning, improves memory retention and judgment skills, and reduces the likelihood of non-communicable diseases like heart and lung problems.
Moreover, participating in group physical activities can boost social skills and engagement. Joining sessions like swimming, fitness, and yoga classes, sports teams, or recreational groups can foster community spirit, which is good for veterans’ emotional and mental well-being while building a social support group.
Veterans can also customize their workout plans and incorporate activities based on their individual preferences. For example, walking, jogging, weightlifting, cycling, meditation, Zumba, and other similar activities can help eliminate boredom from the same routine. It is also good to have a different plan for every week to make physical activities fun and exciting.
Also read: Expert Warns On Meat Consumption, Hidden Dangers
4. Manage Stress
Stress is an inevitable part of life for everyone, including veterans. If you cannot avoid taking stress, you can adopt strategies to manage it. Stress management is vital because it impacts your mind, body, and soul in many ways and can feel like a burden on your shoulders. It is essential to lighten it to feel good and maintain good health.
The first step in stress management involves identifying triggers. Veterans can identify their stress triggers in work settings, social events, financial concerns, relationships, etc. It allows the formulation of targeted strategies to mitigate their impact.
You can then practice some stress reduction techniques like deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, mindful meditation, and guided imagery to calm the mind, reduce anxiety and improve overall emotional well-being.
Regular physical activity also helps reduce stress levels by reducing stress hormones and increasing endorphin production. It helps regulate overall moods. Engaging in fun and outdoor activities or playing games as a team can also help relieve stress.
Moreover, speaking up about the things that bother you is essential. Connecting with fellow veterans, joining support groups, reaching out to mental health professionals, or talking to a loved one can help relieve the burden off your shoulders and foster resilience.
Furthermore, indulge in self-care strategies by doing what you love to relax and unwind. It can be helpful for veterans to go on a vacation, spend time in nature, engage in hobbies, learn a new skill and get enough sleep. It essentially involves doing what relaxes you the most.
Lastly, time management and establishing boundaries are essential for veterans. They can do this by prioritizing tasks, delegating them, and establishing realistic goals for themselves while considering their limitations. Setting work and personal boundaries can help provide the space they need.
Life can become overwhelming after quitting service and transitioning into a civilian lifestyle. It may take a lot of work to embrace such a huge change. However, prioritizing your health can help you lead a quality lifestyle.
Therefore, it is crucial to indulge in self-care and get the medical help you need to detect non-communicable diseases and address serious injuries. Prioritizing mental health is equally critical, as veterans frequently experience stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Contacting professionals and building a strong support system can help induce a sense of community and belongingness, thereby staying physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.