Six in ten Americans live with at least one chronic disease, like heart disease, cancer, stroke, or diabetes, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports. “These and other chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in America.” Balanced Well-Being Healthcare works with our patients to help them learn about healthy lifestyle and diet choices that support their life and wellness goals. Most chronic diseases can be prevented by eating well, being physically active, avoiding tobacco and excessive drinking, and getting regular health screenings. Learn tips to stay healthy this Spring, and all year long!
How Habits Affect Our Health
As the weather begins to warm up and outdoor activities become more available, the numerous opportunities for you to take advantage of Spring and improve your health are numberless. As the options for fast food and lazier living have increased, so have Americans’ likelihood of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease. These diseases, and many others, are debilitating and can affect not only your life but your family’s lives, as well. For many, “unwellness” begins with unhealthy habits, such as bad eating, high levels of stress, poor sleep and medication overload. These stressors, along with the environmental toxins that we each come in contact with on a daily basis, can create inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, and blood sugar and/or cholesterol imbalances. If these habits go unchanged, they can lead to any one of the aforementioned diseases, which can be deadly. Many symptoms in patients go unnoticed, some until it’s often too late. For this reason, it is important to be on top of your physical, mental and emotional health from the get-go to ensure that you are avoiding chronic diseases that can damage your life.
Tips For Healthy Living
Most of us, if not all, have health goals that we would like to accomplish but simply don’t know where to begin. We know that we want to decrease the amount of medications that we’re taking or lose a certain amount of weight, but how? Here are the top ten tips for developing a good and healthy lifestyle:
- Eat a variety of foods
- Include plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates
- Replace saturated with unsaturated fat
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Reduce salt and sugar intake
- Eat regularly and control portion sizes
- Drink plenty of fluids (especially water!)
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Be physically active
- Begin now, and make changes gradually
Good health is a combination of all of these recommendations. Our bodies require more than 40 nutrients to properly sustain themselves, which means that we need to eat a variety of different foods to get the nutrition we need. Eating foods high in carbs, such as breads, cereals, potatoes and pasta, helps our bodies function and should make up about half of our daily intake. Limiting the amount of saturated fats, which comes from animals, and replacing them with unsaturated fats (like fish) will positively affect our weight and cardiovascular health. Additionally, eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day is recommended so that we get enough vitamins, minerals and fiber.
High salt diets are a large contributor to high blood pressure, so choosing products with a lower sodium content or substituting salt with spices when cooking can lower the amount of salt you consume each day. Make sure that you are eating regularly and controlling portion sizes to prevent hunger and overeating. Drinking plenty of liquids-about 50 fluid ounces each day-can help flush your system of unwanted toxins and keep you hydrated. While maintaining a healthy body weight can sometimes be hard to do, being physically active can help get rid of excess body fat that accumulates from eating too much. One of the most important tips that you can start including into your everyday routine is making gradual changes. Small, consistent changes are much easier to handle and tend to be more successful than major changes introduced all at once. Start by taking note of all the foods and drinks you consume and how much you move, and make a plan from there. Your health is dependent upon the decisions you make, so make the decision to take control today!
Getting Rid Of Excuses
Everybody knows how excited we get to make New Year’s resolutions each January, and just how quickly we stop concentrating our efforts on those goals. A major roadblock to healthy living is the excuses that we make to not eat well, to not workout and to not get enough sleep. For those who are just starting out, one of the easiest things you can do is schedule a quick health screening with your doctor to review lab work and create a personalized diet plan. A health screening can identify any chronic risks you may have, and give you some tips on how best to take care of your body. If you catch yourself saying things like, “It’s too hard,” “This is taking too long,” “This isn’t fun,” or “This is too expensive,” then it’s time to evaluate your goals and what you need to do to take care of your health. If things are too hard, check with your doctor to see what activities they recommend; if your results are taking longer than expected, understand that some benefits are immediate, even if you don’t see them. If the activities that you’re doing aren’t fun to you, try other ones until you find one that works for you, and then your fun will begin. If your physical activities are costing you, try finding options that won’t take a hit out of your budget, such as free online workout videos or walking around a park.
If you’re needing help to get your health up to where it needs to be, call Balanced Well-Being Healthcare at (970) 631-8286 for a consultation. Dr. Alessi and her staff are committed to helping you achieve your goals and obtain ultimate health!