After serving in the military, transitioning to civilian life can be challenging and complicated, particularly when it comes to maintaining good health and wellness. Military service’s structured and disciplined lifestyle can be hard to maintain outside of that life, and many veterans struggle with establishing healthy habits and routines in their post-service lives.
However, there are effective strategies that veterans can develop to stay healthy and prioritize their physical and mental well-being while navigating the challenges of civilian life.
This article will explore a range of approaches to maintaining good health after being discharged from the army, offering tips and strategies to help veterans adapt to life outside of the military while maintaining their health and wellness.
- Stay up to date with health screenings:
Staying up to date with health screenings is crucial for maintaining good health, as it can help detect potential health issues early. Regular health screenings can also help prevent serious health problems by identifying risk factors that must be addressed.
If you are a veteran discharged from the army, you must know the potential health risks of military service. One such risk is exposure to asbestos in army barracks, which can cause serious health problems. Asbestos is a mineral that was commonly used in buildings, especially in military vessels. Therefore, it’s important for veterans who may have been exposed to asbestos to contact their healthcare provider so they can get the proper tests and watch for any health problems.
Planning routine health tests to detect any health disorders early is essential. Depending on your age, medical history, and way of life, your healthcare professional can recommend the best screenings.
- Exercise regularly:
Physical activity is necessary for sustaining physical and mental health. Regular exercise helps to improve your cardiovascular health, build muscle strength, and increase flexibility. It is also an excellent way to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
There are several methods to include physical activity into your everyday schedule, whether going for a walk, joining a gym, or trying a new sport. Finding an enjoyable activity can make it easier to stick to a regular exercise routine. Setting achievable fitness goals can also keep you motivated.
In addition to physical health benefits, exercise also has numerous mental health benefits. It can improve your mood, reduce anxiety and depression, and increase your overall well-being. Regular exercise has also been shown to enhance the quality of sleep, which is crucial for good health.
It’s essential to listen to your body and start slowly when starting an exercise routine. Gradually increasing your workout’s intensity and duration over time can minimize injury and exhaustion.
- Eat a balanced diet:
Maintaining a healthy diet is vital for all of us, including veterans. A balanced diet is all about consuming various foods that provide the necessary nutrients the body needs to function correctly. By eating a balanced diet, former soldiers can help manage their weight, reduce their risk of chronic diseases, and improve their overall health.
Fruits and vegetables are tasty and essential components of a balanced diet. They contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve digestion. Whole grains are another great option incorporated into meals in various ways, such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or quinoa. These foods provide the necessary fiber and carbohydrates that the body needs for energy and can help reduce the risk of heart problems and type 2 diabetes.
Protein is also essential to a healthy diet because it gives your muscles the building blocks they need to grow and heal. Lean protein sources, such as chicken, turkey, fish, and beans, are great options. Plus, there are so many ways to prepare them. Limiting the amount of highly processed foods, sugary drinks, saturated fats, and salt you eat is also essential.
In addition to making healthy food choices, paying attention to portion sizes is essential. Even eating nutritious meals in excess might result in weight gain and other health issues. Therefore, veterans can consult with a registered dietitian who can help them develop personalized nutrition plans that meet their individual needs.
- Connect with others:
Connecting with others is vital to staying healthy after being discharged from the army. Social support can help veterans cope with stress, reduce feelings of loneliness, and promote a sense of belonging.
There are many ways that veterans can connect with others. They can join clubs or organizations that align with their interests or hobbies. They can also contact family and friends or make new connections through online communities or local events. Even volunteering or participating in community service can be an excellent way to connect with others while making a positive impact.
Connecting with others can also help veterans stay motivated to maintain healthy habits. Sticking to an exercise routine or healthy eating plan is easier when you have a support system to encourage and inspire you. Plus, having someone to talk to when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed can help put things into perspective and provide comfort.
- Manage stress:
Stress management is an essential aspect of maintaining good physical and mental health. High-stress levels can lead to various health problems, such as hypertension, heart disease, and depression. Identifying the cause of stress, which could be work-related, family-related, or any other factor.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to manage stress effectively. Physical activities such as walking, jogging, or participating in sports can help alleviate stress levels. These activities have been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, and meditation are also helpful in reducing stress levels. These techniques help you relax your mind and body, relieve tension, and improve overall well-being.
In addition to exercise and relaxation techniques, self-care is critical for managing stress. Engaging in relaxing and happy activities like reading a book, taking a soothing bath, or listening to music can help alleviate stress.
In conclusion, maintaining good health post-service requires regular exercise, healthy eating habits, health screenings, stress management, and social connections. You can improve your overall health and well-being by making minor changes to your lifestyle and including these habits in your daily routine. As a veteran, it’s crucial to be aware of potential health risks associated with military service. By taking care of your health, you can continue to lead a fulfilling life after serving in the army.