Monday, July 06 2015
How does your lifestyle impact your health? What I mean by lifestyle is the behavior and activities that make up your daily life. Your choices and lifestyle make a big difference to your overall health. Even if certain conditions like heart disease runs in your family, you can do a lot to change any probable outcome. Some genes lead to disease. “But for most people, a healthy lifestyle trumps inherited risk,” says cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones.
With heart disease, more than 100 types of genes may play a small role in a person’s risk, Lloyd-Jones says. “But by far the biggest factor is lifestyle.”
Your daily habits — such as what you eat, how active you are, and not smoking strongly affects your heart health. Those are up to you, no matter what’s in your family’s medical history.
Today, with an astounding number of reports about increasing obesity rates, diseases and conditions related to being overweight and out-of-shape, it is impossible to ignore the importance of fitness and healthy living. Health professionals attribute cancer, diabetes and mental issues such as depression to deficiencies in fitness and health.
Why then do so many American suffer from ill health because of their lifestyle choices? A common excuse is I don’t have enough time to exercise. We need, however, to make it a priority to take care of ourselves.
If finding the time to exercise is a challenge for you, concentrate for starters at getting small workouts in throughout the day. If your job takes the majority of your time, consider taking 3-10 minute breaks and walk at moderate intensity, where you break a little sweat and are slightly out of breath. Taking breaks are not only good for physical health, but also for mental health. You will go back to work feeling refreshed and satisfied.
If home life consumes most of your time, consider doing squats or other muscle toning exercises while doing housework. If you work from home, use a stability ball instead of a chair to sit on. Walk on the treadmill during conference calls. These are just a few suggestions.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week to achieve the health benefits, maintain current weight, and/or prevent weight gain. And for those who are overweight or obese, the ACSM recommends getting 250 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week. Results in studies have shown that weight loss can be significant. Just a heads up: moderate intensity is where you are out of breath a little but you can hold a conversation while performing the exercise.
However, the importance of providing our bodies with the proper nutrition cannot be overstated. Simply put, the human body requires the appropriate balance of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fat on a daily basis to function optimally and disease-free. In other words, we are what we eat, a topic of an earlier blog.