Did you know that the US is ranked as the 35th healthiest nation? We are the only wealthy nation to see life expectancy decline (for 3 consecutive years!). We also boast the highest rates of years lived with chronic disease and disability.
We The People could turn this around if we all practiced just 6 basic strategies, which <3% of us currently do.
1. Get moving at least 150 minutes per week
A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart diseases. Exercise can reduce these risks to keep you healthier, help you lose weight, sleep better, have more energy during the day, and be happier - exercise causes release of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonine and norepinepherine. Exercise has also been shown to increase brain and cognitive function, and even stave off some degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
2. Never touch tobacco
Tobacco is extremely detrimental to one’s health. Cigarettes are responsible for 1 out of every 5 deaths in the United States - more than HIV, illicit drug use, alcohol, motor vehicle accidents, and firearm related deaths combined. Cigarettes directly contribute to the development of heart and lung diseases as well as over a dozen different types of cancer. Smokeless tobacco is the number one risk factor for oral and throat cancers.
3. Maintain a healthy weight of BMI <25
Being obese can lower life expectancy and cause many chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension, and even some cancers. The best way to combat obesity is through regular exercise and a healthy plant-based diet.
4. Eat a plant-based diet avoiding sugars, refined and processed carbs
Plant based foods are rich in vitamins and antioxidants which are important for your body to be able to maintain its optimal health. Refined carbohydrates are quickly metabolized to their base sugars in the body, significantly raising blood sugar and insulin release. The results increase fat storage throughout the body.
5. Minimize alcohol intake
Chronic alcohol consumption contributes to a host of cardiovascular diseases such as strokes, arrhythmia, and high blood pressure as well as severely damaging the liver. Long-term alcohol use can also lead to the development of several different types of cancer, including oral, throat, and breast cancers.
6. Prioritize sleep by getting 7-8 hours per night
Sleep is incredibly important for the physical and mental performance of our bodies. It’s necessary for learning and long-term memory. In fact, chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep also protects against things like heart and kidney diseases, strokes, and obesity. Not getting enough sleep can also hamper your immune system, which may lead to prolonged or worsened illnesses.