Written by Sarah Thebarge, Physician Assistant
Taking care of your health sometimes involves an in-person visit to a health care facility. But there are lots of ways you can improve your health virtually, too! Here are some simple ways you can improve your health from a distance via virtual health.
1) Schedule a virtual health visit
A wellness visit also called a check-up, is an opportunity to connect with your provider to make sure you’re up to date on health screenings and preventive health measures. It’s also a chance to ensure that any chronic health conditions you may have been well-controlled. These virtual visit appointments also allow you to discuss your health and wellness goals with your provider and get the resources and support you need to help you achieve those goals. Many of the components of an annual wellness visit can be discussed during a virtual health visit. If you’re due for any in-person treatments like vaccines or bloodwork, you can decide to come into the office later to receive those.
2) Invest in in-home medical equipment
Patients can now purchase home medical equipment that’s like what many medical practices have in the office. You can purchase a home blood pressure monitor that helps you monitor your blood pressure. A home pulse oximeter measures your heart rate and oxygen saturation. A thermometer can help you keep track of your temperature. A home glucometer lets you monitor your blood glucose levels. And various types of scales can measure your weight, body mass index (BMI), and body fat percentage.
3) Join an online support or accountability group
There are a variety of online platforms that offer virtual support for patients who are dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, and other emotional stressors. Support groups are also available for patients who are trying to make healthier lifestyle choices, whether it’s losing weight, eating healthier, or reducing their dependency on alcohol, tobacco, or recreational drugs. Online accountability groups also provide a forum for patients to stay on track with their health goals. Virtual group exercise classes, healthy eating challenges, and 30-day health challenges like Dry January provide patients with the opportunity to improve their health with the support and accountability of a virtual community.
4) Use an app to track your health and fitness goals
An acronym that’s helpful for people setting and working toward goals is S.M.A.R.T., which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Lots of apps are available to help patients set specific, measurable health goals and track their progress. If there’s a specific goal you’ve set to improve your health, there’s probably an app for that! Many apps offer tips and tricks that help you succeed, as well as positive motivation that encourages you to keep going until you’ve achieved your goal.
5) Redesign your living space
Since many people are spending a lot of time at home due to shelter-in-place orders and remote working, it’s more important than ever to make sure your living space is healthy. If you’re working from home, make sure your workspace is as ergonomic as possible. A well-designed workspace can improve your posture and help you avoid common musculoskeletal conditions that many people encounter when they spend many hours a day sitting at a desk. You can promote healthy eating habits by having fruits and vegetables more visible and accessible than other less healthy snack options. And you can promote healthy sleeping habits by making sure your bedroom is a calming space. Ideally, bedrooms should also have window coverings that can be used to eliminate light at bedtime, which helps promote the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. These window coverings should also be opened in the morning to allow natural light in, which lowers melatonin levels and helps you feel more alert.
At GoHealth Urgent Care, we’re here 7 days a week to care for you.