Lifestyle continues to be the biggest factor impacting health

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Lifestyle continues to be the biggest factor impacting health

For the last two decades, the top factors causing premature death and leading to chronic disease have been tobacco, poor dietary habits and lack of physical activity. Health epidemics such as obesity continue to grow.  Lifestyle continues to be the biggest factor impacting health.

Living a healthy lifestyle could delay dementia by up to 12 years, according to a landmark UK study. Heart disease could also be staved off by around six years compared with those who neglect their diet and exercise, said the health specialists.

For a time I ignored all my knowledge. I neglected my health, diet and relationships, my spirit was crushed. I’d been surviving in a sink-or-swim battle in my business, in my relationship, in my life. I stopped training, something I’d always loved, just eat for convenience and simplicity, what can I microwave or pick up to eat on my way home.  I completely let go of my lifestyle, and my health definitely paid the penalty.

Back to the Landmark UK study where they asked men to follow a five-step healthy living plan. They were urged to take regular exercise, not smoke, maintain a healthy weight, eat a good diet and have a low alcohol.

They found that those who followed four or five of the specified healthy steps were 60 per cent less likely to develop dementia. There was a similar reduction in the risk of heart attacks and strokes, along with 40 per cent fewer cancers. There was also a 70 per cent cut in the risk of diabetes. This evidence surely shows you the importance of a healthy lifestyle for you.

Keeping to a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but it will make a big difference to your wellbeing. If you’ve been thinking about making changes to your lifestyle, such as stopping smoking, losing weight, eating healthily, drinking a little less alcohol or doing more exercise, there’s plenty of help and support available, and now’s your time to do it.

Leading a healthy lifestyle has got to be your number one priority. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  1. Exercise

It is best to get at least one half hour of exercise three times a week, but any amount of exercise is better than none at all! You don’t have to join an exercise class or the gym, although they are both great options, you can go walking, jogging or running, maybe swimming, and even working vigorously in your garden will do you good. Just do something that will give you a vigorous workout, make you sweat, and is more than you’re doing right now.

  1. Eat a healthy diet

Your body needs the right foods to stay strong and healthy. Other foods, if eaten too often, contribute too many illnesses. Here are some guidelines:

Eat 6-11 servings a day of breads or grains, like rice, pasta, tortillas, or cereal.

Eat 3-5 servings a day of vegetables, like carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, or peas.

Eat 2-4 servings a day of fruits, like apples, peaches, mangos, bananas, or fruit juice.

Eat 2-3 servings a day of meat, fish, beans, eggs or nuts, for protein.

Eat 2-3 servings a day of dairy products like yogurt, cheese, or milk.

  1. Don’t smoke

It’s never too late to feel the benefits of giving up smoking. Ask your GP or pharmacist about local one-to-one or group support and anti-smoking medication. I know there is very mixed messages about e-cigarettes but all those I speak to tell me they really do the trick. And I have no doubts nothing can be worse for you than the damage that cigarettes create within your body.

  1. Positive Mind

Stress is probably the worst plaque of modern society. I rarely find anyone who is not overstressed and badly effected by its impact. Each of these people is overcome by their negative inner chat, those things they say to themselves in their mind. Have no doubts taking control over your inner conversations is key to your health. All it takes is first observing what you do, and then taking deliberate control and make sure you start filling your head with positive thoughts. Something I find myself recently telling a lot of people is to fake it till you make it. Just start filling your head with positive chatter, thoughts and expectations. A healthy mind is part of a healthy body. When you are in a good state of mind, you make good decisions for yourself about your job, your lifestyle, and your health.

  1. Get enough sleep

You will find an amazing amount of research telling you that you need approximately 8 hours of sleep a night. Getting a good night sleep is essential for good health so a significant element of a healthy lifestyle. You know that you feel better, have more energy when you get sufficient sleep, so stop burning the midnight oil and recharge your mind, body and soul every night.

  1. Get regular checks

Going to the doctor, dentist and optician on a annual basis is the best thing you can do to avoid being caught out by potential disasters. It is best to be safe than sorry. I know the importance of eye checks having gone through major difficulties with my sight and no that I could have avoided many of the problems by just having gone for an annual check every year. By getting regular checks you can pick up any problems at an early stage.

These are just a few tips for you but as I’ve said earlier finding the information is easy implementing it is what counts. Lifestyle continues to be the biggest factor impacting health, so to avoid things like high blood pressure, diabetes and dementia get started on creating your healthy lifestyle.

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.
One comment
  1. KW Stout December 3, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    A healthy lifestyle really is the key to everything in life. Sometimes I wonder how people get by with some of the unhealthy habits they practice. Especially because of the stress factor that you mentioned. More and more evidence is showing that stress is killing us and an unhealthy lifestyle makes it very hard to reduce stress.

    Good stuff!

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