4 SIMPLE lifestyle behaviors to cut your risk of chronic disease

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simple-lifestyle-behaviors(NaturalHealth365)  Sometimes the simplest solutions for health are the hardest to do.  All too often, people will dismiss them because they are so simple.  Other times though, in this fast food, ‘give-it-to-me-now’ world, immediate results are preferable to gradual, healthy lifestyle changes.

The thing is, the “old school” methodical approach works best, and there’s plenty of science to back it up.  Multiple studies show making several simple lifestyle changes can dramatically cut your risk of chronic disease and other medical conditions.

Simple just works.

Cut your cancer risk by kicking THIS habit to the curb

In a study published in Preventative Medicine, smoking cessation provided the most benefits of lifestyle changes.  Scientists found improved lung function, a decreased risk of certain cancer, and improved heart health.  This, in turn, resulted in reduced risk for hypertension, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

How to make the change:  Quitting smoking is not easy, but that does not mean it is impossible.  There are many programs available that are designed to help people stop smoking and medical interventions such as short-term prescriptions and patches.  Your doctor can help you find the solution to stop smoking that is right for you.  But remember, don’t be too hard on yourself.  Many people quit smoking several times before they put it down for good.  So if you slip up one day, don’t let it set you back.  Just get right back on that horse and press on!

Studies show maintaining a healthy weight provides MULTIPLE health benefits

Obesity is one of the most prevalent medical conditions with the most negative impact on your health – and it is one of the easiest to prevent.  Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of many severe health conditions such as all-cause of death, high LDL cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, many types of cancer, chronic pain, depression, diminished brain health, and heart disease.

Studies have shown that losing weight can begin to reverse these conditions and lower your risk of serious medical issues.  Maintaining a healthy weight eliminated them almost completely.

How to make the change:  Making gradual changes to facilitate weight loss is very effective.  Remember, you are aiming for lifestyle changes, NOT a diet.  Start by walking three or four times a week and gradually increase the time and speed.  Next, make healthier food choices, such as reducing your sugar intake or adding more vegetables to your meals.  Gradual changes can help ensure that you are making changes in your life that you can continue for life.  Complete deprivation is not realistic but learn to control your portions and make sweets or less healthy foods an occasional treat instead of a daily indulgence.

A little goes a long way: 30 minutes of exercise every day yields SURPRISING benefits

Just 20-30 minutes of exercise each day can give your health an impressive boost while lowering your risk for many health conditions and diseases.  In addition to weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight, it can also lower your risk for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, brain health, and mental health issues like depression.  Exercise is also a great way to manage stress, and a lower stress level means lowering your risks for those health conditions even more.

How to make the change:  You have so many options when you decide to start exercising.  Some people choose to join a gym, but it is not necessary.  You can walk around your neighborhood park, even in your home.  Walk up and down stairs or get a mini-trampoline and do a workout on it.  The internet has thousands of videos and articles on creative ways to incorporate exercise into your life – even if you are incredibly busy.  The important thing is that you do it.  How you do it is up to you.

Eating healthy: Every meal is a choice; choose wisely

Eating healthier can lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes, but it can also boost your immunity, improve your skin, and give you more energy.  One of the natural benefits of eating healthier is losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.  This, in turn, means better health all the way around, from your brain down to your feet.  When you put better things into your body, your whole body benefits.

How to make the change:  Adopting a healthy eating lifestyle requires a little forethought.  First, you need to assess the areas where your eating habits need help.  Are you a late-night snacker?  Do you have cravings?  Are you a sugar junkie?  These things will all factor in how you approach your dietary changes.  Be kind to yourself, though.  Start small and work into it.  Begin by incorporating lean meat and fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains into the foods you eat while at the same time cutting back on the things that aren’t so great for you.  It is a process, but if you stick to it, you will see results pretty quickly – and that’s always a great motivator.

Before you begin any program or make any significant lifestyle changes, you should talk with your healthcare provider.  They can give you valuable tips and help you find the right solutions to get the best outcome as you work toward better health, longevity, and all the good things that come with it.

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