All too many Americans who are in generally good health do not give much thought to the possibility that their health could fail due to lifestyle. The “it won’t happen to me” mindset, while comforting, leads many people into continuing unhealthy habits that may be causing invisible damage to their bodies.
According to statistics compiled by the CDC, seven in ten yearly deaths in the US are caused by chronic diseases. Chronic diseases, which include conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancers, also account for 75 percent of all health care costs in America. Heart disease and stroke combined are the leading causes of death in this country, followed by cancer.
Once an individual has been diagnosed with one of these frightening conditions, the deteriorative effects to health can be very difficult to reverse. Major lifestyle changes, such as changes to diet and physical activity, have worked wonders in many cases, but it is an arduous process to say the least, especially when the individual is experiencing medical complications. The drugs used to mitigate the symptoms of many chronic conditions come with a long list of side effects.
Luckily, many of these conditions are largely preventable by simply eating a diet of whole, natural foods, getting moderate amounts of physical exercise, a good night’s sleep and avoiding bad habits such as smoking, excessive drinking and snacking on processed foods. The CDC reports that over 43 million American adults smoke cigarettes, over a third fail minimum recommendations for aerobic physical exercise and only 24 percent eat five or more servings of fruits and veggies per day.
If you are in good health, count your blessings, but make sure to take steps to keep it that way. Avoiding processed foods, eating real foods instead of those that come in a flash-frozen package or drive thru bag, exercising (especially outdoors), getting enough sleep and avoiding the pitfalls of bad habits such as smoking and sitting around all day, can go far in the prevention of chronic illnesses.
Additionally, leading a healthy lifestyle can also boost your immune system and ward off many non-chronic, seasonal illnesses, as well. Don’t wait until you are already sick and have to work hard while in a weakened state to recover. Now is the time to embrace healthy habits and ensure yourself the healthiest future possible.
-The Alternative Daily