The 3 deadliest chronic diseases in the United States are cancer, heart disease, and stroke. But in our current healthcare system, patients don't go to the doctor until symptoms arise. By the time a patient is diagnosed with a chronic disease, it's too late to prevent it.
Traditional treatments don't focus on a solution to this. And here's the thing: you deserve more than just a reaction to the symptoms you are feeling. We should prevent illness and disease from happening. So, what foundation can we lay in our everyday life to live well and extend our life? Here are four things that you can do to live a longer, healthier life.
1. Eat real foods
One of the leading causes of illness and diseases worldwide is poor nutrition. In the U.S., more than 60% of our diets consist of highly processed foods with additives. Processed foods contain high amounts of poor-quality fats, added sugar, and salt. These harmful ingredients reduce the nutrients in the foods that our bodies need.
So what do we do to combat this? Eat real foods.
When we incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet, we lower the risk of health complications. Traditional Mediterranean diets that are rich in Omega-3 and fiber help to lower blood pressure and keep your blood sugar in check so that your body can get what it needs to thrive.
2. Exercise regularly
Staying physically active can add years to your life and keep you healthy. Research shows that as little as 20 minutes per day of physical activity can help you live longer.
Why is exercise so important to extend your life?
Exercise helps to control your weight, boosts your "good" cholesterol (HDL), and reduces your risk of illness and disease.
When you stay on a regular exercise plan, you help lower your health risks and live longer. Even if you move your body for only 20 minutes a day, you’ll experience a difference in how you feel inside and out.
3. Manage stress and anxiety
While stress is important for your body's survival, too much stress can have negative impacts on your well-being. It not only can have implications on your mental health but your physical health as well. Research shows that stress can reduce your life expectancy by nearly 3 years.
Feelings of high stress for extended amounts of time can lead to high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and heart disease.
Managing your stress levels throughout the day is certainly easier said than done, but there are many ways to manage your stress. This includes regular exercise, meditation, and connecting with loved ones.
Simple daily habit changes can help you manage your stress levels, as well. For example, simply reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake and making sure you're getting enough sleep play huge roles in lowering your stress.
Speaking of sleep ...
4. Get enough sleep
Sleep is the body's way of repairing and restoring yourself for the next day. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep to function well. But many Americans admit they're not getting the sleep they need -- and actually don't consider it a priority.
While you sleep, your body is working hard to process the day's activities, lower stress hormones, and fight inflammation. That means a poor night's sleep can potentially lead to higher blood pressure and risk of heart disease, weight gain, depression, and cancer.
Get more quality sleep by consistently going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Limit your caffeine intake throughout the day, as the effects can last up to eight hours in the body. And finally, remove distractions from your bedroom, like phones, computers, and TVs.
The Bottom Line
When we don't take care of our bodies, we risk chronic disease and cut down our life expectancy. But, we have the power to change our habits and become healthy so that we can find long-lasting relief from underlying health problems or prevent them from happening in the first place.
If you already suffer from chronic health problems, such as type II diabetes and chronic inflammation, we can help find the right solution for you to get you back to feeling your best. Schedule a consultation with us and we’ll help you find a solution to chronic health problems.