For a lot of people, health is something we notice only when we start losing it. It’s easy to take youthful energy and exuberance for granted, but once we start aging and developing conditions and problems that can’t be ignored, life becomes more frightening. Of course, treating a disease is a lot more difficult than simply preventing it, and those who wish to nurture a good mindset need to be aware that health should always be our priority. Are you eager to get your life back on track and start feeling good in your own body? Then it’s time to take charge and introduce new habits. If you want to live a healthier life, here’s how you can go about it.

Organize your medical records

Your medical history is an important part of maintaining good health because it can give your doctor insight into the state of your body. Every X-ray, every MRI scan, every blood analysis result, and every finding you get at the doctor’s office should be organized in big binders and kept in one place. This kind of extensive anamnesis will provide your medical team with a quick way to see how a disease might have progressed or when it started developing, so it’s particularly important for people who are already living with a condition. It will also make it easier to be taken seriously—sometimes, a patient who doesn’t know how to describe their symptoms is dismissed by doctors. This way, you’ll have physical evidence of everything that’s going on and you can more accurately show them your symptoms.

Stop avoiding doctors

Now that you have your anamnesis, it’s time to actually go see a doctor. People are often guilty of avoiding checkups, particularly if they’re supposed to see a dentist, and this can lead to the worsening of conditions that could have otherwise been easily treated. In certain countries like Australia, dentistry is at a high level and people see it as a regular part of their health checkups. Most Aussies understand the benefits of a good dentist, so for a nice smile, they turn to professionals in Melbourne for porcelain veneers when they want that perfect row of pearly whites. Your health and even beauty will depend largely on how regularly you visit your doctors, so don’t allow fear or laziness to prevent you from getting proper treatment.

Track your symptoms

There are certain things you can do even without a doctor’s directive. For example, measuring your blood pressure and pulse every day is a great idea if you suffer from cardiovascular diseases, as this can help you keep track of your condition. If you want to truly get a good insight into how you feel, start a health journal. Get a notebook and write down any symptoms and changes in the mood you feel each day. This will help both your doctor when you go in for an appointment, but it will also help you become more aware of your body and learn which periods might be more difficult for it. For example, you might learn that your headaches are more frequent in spring, or that you have mood swings during certain parts of the month.

Make lifestyle changes

As you probably already know, a good diet and an active lifestyle are the basis of both health and good looks. There’s simply no avoiding it—you have to work out at least occasionally, and you need the right food to keep your body in an optimal state. Become more active by signing up for a swimming class, going to yoga, or doing home workouts, and let go of sugar and processed foods if you want to look trim and beautiful.

Cook as often as you can and avoid eating out so you’d be able to keep track of your calorie intake, and try to eat one portion of veggies with every single meal. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meat such as fish are the healthiest food options, so up their intake and you’re bound to see great results. If you’re always short on time, try doing meal prep—basically, pick one day of the week where you can cook large amounts of food and divide it into several containers. That way all your weekly cooking is done in one day, and you’ll have meals prepared and waiting for you in the fridge.

Get some sleep

Normalizing your sleep pattern is important. Your body needs rest to heal and recuperate, and being constantly tired is very bad for your health. So, to make it easy for yourself, try going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Don’t disrupt your pattern by staying up late more than once a week, and don’t use your Sundays to “catch up” by sleeping past noon. This will only mess up your cycle and make you feel really tired the next morning.

The power is in your hands—you get to make all the decisions concerning your body, and you’re the only one who can change it for the better. Use these tips to transform your life and start feeling good again.