Preventative medicine experts say that the single most important thing you can do to improve the nation’s health is simple – stay healthy.
Preventable illness like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and several leading forms of cancer make up a big chunk of healthcare spending, costing billions of dollars worldwide. These illnesses rob millions of people years of their life and tarnish the final years or others with sickness and disability.
Life does not have to be that way.
Consider evidence from a 2009 study of 23,153 adults who took part in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
Volunteers who followed the four tenants of good health – they did not smoke, they did not become overweight, they exercised, they ate a healthy diet – were 80 per cent less likely to develop chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Their risk of developing type 2 diabetes was 92 per cent lower than those who did not follow the four tenants. Additionally, their odds of having a heart attack were 81 per cent lower. Results like these prove that the most powerful tools we have to improve health are prevention.
In the health care profession, one of the biggest challenges we are faced with is convincing people to make these healthy changes and possibly curb the risk of preventable disease.
To craft your own health care programme, consider these top thee ways to improve your health. Try implement them on a daily or weekly basis:
- Be more active and exercise. Exercise offers so many health benefits:
• Reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and several forms of cancer, including colon cancer, one of the leading killers
• Increases circulation
• Burns calories
• Deepens breathing helping to eliminate toxins
• Assists in flushing the lymphatic system
• Improves brain function
• Increases positive self-image
• Decreases depression
Recommendation - a 30-minute brisk walk a day, five days a week. Bonus: 20 minutes a week of weight training
- Maintain a healthy weight. I know, easier said than done. Over the past five years, obesity rates climbed in nearly all countries following the typical American diet. Lose just a few pounds, or maintain a normal weight by reducing calories and getting good calories from nutrient dense foods. A healthy diet includes abundant fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A good diet limits refined sugars and saturated fats.
Recommendation: Start each day with a glass of water with lemon or 1tsp of organic apple cider vinegar. Throughout the day, sip on water so you are consuming half your body weight in ounces per 24 hours. At night, follow the 12-hour rule – eat 12 hours after your last meal at night.
- Increase your alkalinity. To maintain health, the diet should consist of 60 per cent alkaline forming foods and 40 per cent acid forming foods. Not all fruits and vegetables are alkaline forming. Fresh vegetables – primarily dark leafy greens – are the number one alkaline producing food.
• Simple – Eat a small salad each day
• Next level – Have a salad before lunch and dinner
• Alkaline Diet – A salad with each meal and the largest portion of the plate.
“Exercise is a miracle drug that prevents almost every illness and is 100 per cent effective...” – Dr Jordan Metzel
• All health content in this article is provided for general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional.
Christine is a certified holistic health and life coach (www.christine-carey.com), partner at Liquid Nutrition (www.liquidnutrition.com) and Director of Corporate Wellness at 242 Consulting (www.242consulting.com). With over ten years of coaching experience, Christine works with individuals and groups to assess and define their diet and lifestyle goals. She focuses on increasing knowledge, implementing new habits and creating personalized tools for success.