The number one killer in the majority of developed countries is not a murderer, a terrorist, or even a gun-wielding maniac. It’s heart disease. Why would a seemingly age-related disease be so prevalent among those over 40? The answer is bad lifestyle choices. One of the deadliest diseases in modern history is caused by our own decisions. That’s both good news and bad news. It shows that it’s not too late to change our habits to avoid conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes in the future.
The time to change our lifestyle habits won’t come when we are about to retire. Healthy eating and exercise habits should develop early on. Ideally, they should start when you are about to mass-mail a 30th birthday invitations card pack, if not earlier. Changing long-standing lifestyle habits is not easy. Once you have made up your mind, here are a number of tips to follow:
Cigarette smoke contains dozens of chemicals, most of which are known carcinogens. Tobacco smoking leads to no good. It’s bad for your lungs, it’s bad for the environment, and it will almost certainly give you cancer. Do your best to stop smoking completely. You can try nicotine patches or e-cigarettes to help you wean off this bad habit.
Reduce or Eliminate Refined Carbohydrate Intake
Refined carbohydrates are found in white rice and all products made from white flour. They are so called because these carbs break down quickly in the digestive system and convert into sugar, elevating blood glucose levels. Too much refined sugar leads to excess weight and problems like diabetes. Therefore, replace the white, floury foods in your diet with complex carbohydrates, like brown rice, quinoa, legumes, and unprocessed flour.
Eat Green and Orange Vegetables
As you reduce your refined carb intake, you should increase the amount of veggies you eat. Vegetables contain essential vitamins that keep us healthy and young-looking. For example, green veggies contain vitamins E and A, which keeps the skin naturally moisturised and firm. Orange vegetables have beta carotene, which keeps facial skin blemish-free and eyesight keen. How can you do without these vitamins as you age?
Give up Sugar
Sugar is addictive, and is mostly the main cause of diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Humans only need a minute amount of sugar, but we consume bucket-loads of sugar each day, hidden in sodas, cereals, candies, and even supposedly healthy food like orange juice. If you want to maintain your good health, you must seriously limit your sugar intake.
Shed Excess Weight
Excess weight can lead to health complications like heart disease. Obesity can also be an indicator of a disease like diabetes. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to shed any excess weight to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Losing weight is a combination of eating healthy and exercising. Consult with a physician regarding how you should lose weight.
Everyone should exercise, not just those who want to lose weight. Exercising helps to strengthen our muscles and maintain optimal health. Sedentary lifestyles are killers. So, go out today and start doing some form of physically strenuous activity.
While you heed all of the above tips, it’s also important to keep in mind to get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can be as bad as smoking or overeating. Therefore, plan your day so you can sleep uninterrupted for at least 7 hours per night.