We asked readers to share on social media and in our weekly newsletter the most important thing they do for their health. Thank you to all who responded. Here’s what you said….
Q: What is the most important thing you do on a regular basis for your health and well-being?
“‘Take care of your teeth!’ My grandmother told me that. She wore dentures. Now we are finding there’s a connection between dental health and heart health, digestive health, probably more!”
—Lara Bruce, Naperville
“I watch my weight. I think having the advised normal weight for your age is the most important, and same importance is being active — not being a couch potato.”
—Ihab Aziz, MD, family medicine physician at Sinai Chicago
“Learn about sepsis. Clean all wounds and cuts with soap and water. Call you doctor’s office immediately if you have had a joint replacement surgery.”
—Kristine, Medinah, Illinois
“When I was pregnant with my first kid, another mother in my friends’ circle recommended I specifically ask for pelvic PT afterward, regardless of whether the doctor proactively prescribed it. She highlighted that the regular postnatal check ups were cursory and mostly focused on the baby. The idea that basic physical therapy could help us avoid long-term birth injuries — but that it’s not widely known or discussed — stuck with me.”
—Jess Kent-Johnson, via LinkedIn
“That bagels are worse for you than donuts. One of the doctors I dated told me that. I looked it up, and that is what Google said too.”
—Beth Comer, Westlake, Ohio
“I’ve been with Red Cross going on 19 years, and even though you’re going to be freaked out, if you feel comfortable, go ahead and try to help someone. But if you are not comfortable, don’t do it. Just call 911, and stay with the person until help arrives.”
—Traci Johnston, field operations manager for the central Midwest, Red Cross
“My patient told me once, ‘I never experienced hearing loss, but my family did.’ That has now stuck with me because it really is telling of how a patient’s hearing loss has real consequences for the people they converse with the most. Many times audiology helps the family members even more than the patient we see!”
—Marie Vetter, AuD, audiologist
“Wear a mask. I haven’t had a cold, the flu, or Covid-19 since the lockdown in March 2020.”
—Skip Weiss, Chicago Health publisher
Originally published in the Spring/Summer 2023 print issue.
Erin O’Donnell is a freelance health and science writer, parent, and graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. Walks by Lake Michigan make her happy.