A healthy lifestyle is essential to preventing disease and living a long, happy life. If you already have a chronic condition, taking care of yourself can help you manage it.
The CDC says that nearly fifty-two percent of Americans have at least one chronic condition. These conditions include diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and heart disease. Chronic diseases are significant causes of disability and death in the US. In addition, they cost our health system billions each year.
The good news is that these diseases aren’t inevitable. You can prevent them by adopting healthy habits into your daily routine — and sticking with them over time. Here are things you can do to help prevent chronic disease:
Eating well is an essential part of preventing chronic disease.
You can’t make up for poor eating habits with exercise. To be healthy, you have to eat well, including getting enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and healthy yet delicious snacks like THC vape pen .
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Following these tips will help you eat better:
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
It’s not hard to add more fruits and veggies to your diet. For example, try adding a side salad to lunch or dinner, or snack on an apple or banana instead of chips or cookies.
Choose low-fat dairy products over high-fat ones.
If you’re going for cheese or yogurt, choose low-fat varieties rather than full fat — it cuts down on the calories.
Limit your sodium intake.
Most Americans consume excess sodium, more than they need from their diet — about twice as much as recommended by the federal government. Foods high in salt include processed foods like canned soups and frozen dinners; cured meats like bacon and ham; cheese; many condiments like mustard and ketchup; fast food; takeout meals; restaurant meals; salted snacks such as pretzels; pickles; olives.
Managing stress and anxiety
It’s vital to learn how to manage your stress and anxiety. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health conditions.
Stress management techniques can include:
This is where you focus on your breathing to stay in the moment. It helps calm your mind so that you can better handle stressful situations.
- Eating healthy snacks
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Exercise helps maintain your weight, prevent depression, and relieve stress. It also has been shown to help with memory loss and slow down the aging process. Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate and your breathing rate. Examples include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing, and climbing stairs.
How much: The Department of Health recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week—such as brisk walking—or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week—such as running—or a combination of moderate and vigorous activities. If you have a condition or are 65 years old, check with your doctor before starting a fitness program.
Getting Quality Sleep
Quality sleep is an important lifestyle choice that can help prevent chronic diseases. When your body repairs itself, it strengthens its immune system and keeps your mind functioning well. Conversely, lack of sleep can lead to chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and severe conditions.
The best way to get the rest you need is by going to bed same time every night and waking same time every morning. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try to relax before heading to bed by taking a bath or meditating. You should also avoid eating large meals late in the evening, as they can make digestion difficult while lying down and sleeping.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends that adults get seven hours of sleep per night. But many people don’t get enough sleep. Nearly 30% of American adults are sleep deprived. People cite the most common reasons for not getting enough sleep: stress, financial concerns, and technology use before bedtime.
Make an annual doctor visit part of your routine.
The CDC recommends seeing your doctor at least once a year for an annual checkup. This lets your doctor know how you’re doing, check on existing health problems, and ensure your vaccination and other preventive care are updated.
If you haven’t already started making regular trips to the doctor part of your routine, it’s time to get started. It’s easy to put off going until something is wrong, but if you wait until something is wrong, it’s too late — there’s no time for prevention or early detection.
Making an annual doctor visit part of your routine means:
- Getting a physical exam that includes a review of systems (for example, checking for signs of diabetes or high blood pressure)
- Having blood tests are done if needed (for example, checking cholesterol levels)
- Getting recommended vaccines (such as flu shots).
As it turns out, a healthy lifestyle does matter. It matters for your satisfaction and your quality of life. It can determine how long you live. If a healthy lifestyle helps both people in general and athletes recover faster from injuries and avoid this type of injury, why shouldn’t everyone practice it?