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TOP 10 ACTIONS TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF ILLNESS

By Ruchel Louis Coetzee
Posted On Feb 19, 2018
TOP 10 ACTIONS TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF ILLNESS

Sometimes it is not enough to just think you are living healthy. There are preventative actions in life that can help your body ward off the onslaught of illness. Most chronic conditions start off as simple inflammation in your body that overtime become chronic if not carefully monitored – statistics even prove this. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC), in 2006, our health care expenditure was over $7,000 per person, more than twice the average of 29 other developed countries. As a nation, more than 75% of our health care spending is on people with chronic diseases. This includes heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, respiratory disease, and oral conditions.  But most of these chronic conditions could have been avoided if simple preventative measures were taken by a healthy individual. The following steps may sometimes sound so basic but studies have shown over and over again that they work in reducing your risk of illness.

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  1. Eat real food on a regular schedule. No fad diets, no detox diets, and certainly no processed or packaged food. Real food is the food your grandmother would cook. The food you find around the perimeter of a grocery store where the fresh produce, meats, and dairy are found. And also, don’t skip a meal, especially breakfast.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight. This is very doable if you stick to eating real food three times a day. By following the dietary guidelines of The Food Guide Pyramid, you are more likely to feel satiated so the chances of becoming obese are slim. No one food in the pyramid is more important than the other – for good health you need them all. This means 6 – 11 servings of whole grains, rice, pasta and cereals, 3 – 5 servings of fresh or frozen vegetables, 2 – 3 servings of whole fruit, and 2 – 3 servings each of dairy and protein. Fats and sugars at the top of the pyramid should be used very sparingly, if at all. Natural food can also provide you with your daily vitamins and other nutrients if you follow the pyramid guideline.
  3. Exercise on a regular basis and move constantly throughout each day. When you balance your healthy diet with regular exercise, chances that you experience high blood pressure, heart and stroke disease, certain types of cancers, or the most common cause of diabetes are greatly reduced. If you have a desk job, make sure you get up and walk around every 30 or 60 minutes. Read – https://www.newyou.com/health/hot-seat-sitting-disease/
  4. Avoid direct sun exposure without any sunscreen. Vitamin D is essential in helping the body fight However, melanoma is a real danger if you don’t make a habit of wearing sunscreen when outdoors. Outdoors could mean a walk downtown, cruising on a boat, or riding a bicycle, not just a day at the beach or pool.
  5. Get enough sleep. Make sure you maintain a 7-8 hour sleep schedule per night. Sleep is when the body has the time to perform some maintenance. In a 2010 study, Orfeu M. Buxton, Ph.D., an associate neuroscientist in the division of sleep and circadian disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, found that people who slept seven to eight hours a night were less likely to become obese and less likely to develop diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease than people who slept less (or more) than that. Make sure your bedroom is free from any mobile device or television for a really good night’s sleep.
  6. Follow the prescribed cancer screening schedules. These preventative schedules, such as mammograms, colonoscopy’s, pap smears amongst others, are proof that early detection saves lives.
  7. Avoid any tobacco products. This includes passive smoking. If someone lights up a cigar next to you, politely excuse yourself from the gathering and sit outside the range of smoke. According to the CDC, almost 60% of children – or 22 million children aged 3 – 11 years old – are exposed to secondhand smoke, which slows lung growth and increases risk for acute respiratory diseases and severe asthma.
  8. Get your yearly flu shot. The statistics are dismally low when it comes to people getting their flu shots, yet test after test have proven that it helps for two main reasons. First, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and sometimes updated to keep up with the changing flu viruses.
  9. This simple act can boost your mood no matter what. As Dr. David B. Agus says in his book, “A Short Guide to a Long Life,” it’s easier to smile. It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty- three to frown. Still need to be convinced?
  10. Be charitable. According to a 2009 Harvard Business School study on charitable giving, happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may operate in a positive feedback loop.  Being happy also broadens our focus and expands our thinking. Happiness also protects our health as it acts to undo any stress we may be experiencing.

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