Are You Protecting Your Health?

by Editorial Team October 13th, 2017 | Health News
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Chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes affect around half of all adults in the United States, yet seven of the top 10 causes of death are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). Despite the statistics, it seems that many of us take our health for granted. Evidence shows that there is plenty more to be done if we wish to protect our health and live a long, healthy life.

Where Are We Going Wrong?

When it comes to health, pressing issues include a lack of aerobic exercise (around half of all adults to not meet recommended exercise requirements), consuming too much sodium (which can increase the risk of high blood pressure), eating far less fruits and vegetables than is required, smoking (a habit that accounts for almost half a million deaths a year), and drinking excessively (which accounts for almost 90,000 deaths a year). The consequences of making the wrong lifestyle choices affect us personally, but also pose a great burden for the public health system, accounting for approximately 86 per cent of our $2.7 trillion annual health expenses.

What is the Way Forward?

Eastern medicine and philosophy have certainly grown in popularity in the Western world over the past decade. With their emphasis on holistic health, they are increasingly being embraced by a population whose self-destructive habits are often the result of excessive stress and a lack of a work-life balance.

To pursue a healthier lifestyle, there are several steps we need to take. The first is exercise – regular aerobic and strength training will not only keep obesity at bay and promote better heart health, but also have a positive effect on our stress levels, reducing them considerably – especially when we choose to exercise outdoors! Prevention is also key; we can protect ourselves against the effects of disease by attending yearly exams and by opting to have specific screening tests recommended for our age (e.g. a colonoscopy at the age of 50). Screening is vital if disease is to be caught at an early stage. Most of these tests are actually included in our coverage, so it makes sense to avail of what our plan can offer us.

Diet is another fundamental pillar, with research indicating that the Mediterranean diet (with its balance of healthy lean proteins, essential fats and seasonal fruit and veg) is one of the healthiest. It is also important to find natural ways to deal with stress – including yoga, Tai Chi and mindfulness meditation.

Although the statistics show that many of us are neglecting our health, the silver lining lies in the ease with which we can make a change – by starting with small steps, and trying to exercise, consume more fruits and vegetables and have regular screenings for common health issues, we can give ourselves one of the best gifts possible: that of longevity.

Brought to you by our friend, Sally.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.