Transitioning from the military to civilian life can be an exciting and challenging experience. As you embark on this new journey, it is crucial to take care of your health and well-being. In this article, we will discuss some essential tips on how to take care of your health after leaving the military.
Get Your Medical Records Discharged
One of the most crucial steps in taking care of your health after leaving the military is to get your medical records discharged. When you leave the military, you are entitled to your medical records. It is essential to request your medical records as soon as possible and make sure you have a complete copy.
Having a copy of your medical records can be incredibly beneficial when you visit civilian doctors. Civilian doctors will need to understand your medical history to provide you with the proper treatment moving forward. Your medical records will provide them with the necessary information regarding your medical conditions, treatments, medications, and allergies. You should check that all the necessary information is included, such as laboratory results, radiology reports, and referrals to specialists. If you find any discrepancies or missing information, you should notify the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.
Register for VA Healthcare
As a veteran, you are entitled to healthcare benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA healthcare provides a range of services, including preventive care, primary care, mental health care, and specialty care. To register for VA healthcare, you can apply online, by phone, or in person. You will need to provide your military discharge papers, known as DD Form 214, along with other personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, and contact information.
Once you are registered for VA healthcare, you can access a range of services. These services include regular check-ups, prescription medications, and referrals to specialists when needed. It is important to note that VA healthcare is not an insurance plan, but rather a comprehensive healthcare system for veterans.
Stay Physically Active
Physical activity is crucial for maintaining good health. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and improve your mental health. Finding an exercise routine that works for you is essential. You may choose to join a gym, participate in sports, or go for a daily walk. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something you enjoy and can stick to. Consistency is key when it comes to exercise. If you have any medical conditions or injuries, it’s important to speak to your doctor before starting an exercise routine. Your doctor can advise you on what type of exercise is safe for you and provide you with any necessary precautions.
Eat a Healthy Diet With Nutritious Foods
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for maintaining good health. A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, and they can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and beans provide your body with essential amino acids, which are necessary for building and repairing tissues. Whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa are good sources of fiber, which can help regulate digestion and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
You’ll want to avoid processed foods and sugary drinks as much as possible. Processed foods are often high in calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats, which can increase the risk of chronic diseases. Sugary drinks such as soda and juice are high in sugar, which can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes.
Stay Up-to-Date on Preventive Care
Preventive care is essential for maintaining good health. Regular check-ups, cancer screenings, and hormone checks can help detect health issues early, making them easier to treat. Regular check-ups can help identify any health issues you may have and provide you with the necessary treatment. Cancer screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies can help detect cancer early when it is most treatable.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Leaving the military can be a significant life change, and it’s normal to experience feelings of anxiety, depression, or stress. Take care of your mental health by talking to a mental health professional, joining a support group, or practicing stress-relieving activities such as yoga or meditation.
Taking care of your health after leaving the military is essential for leading a fulfilling life. By getting your medical records discharged, registering for VA healthcare, staying active, eating a healthy diet, and taking care of your mental health, you can maintain good health and well-being.