Every 6 out of 10 adults in the US suffer from a chronic disease. And every 4 out of 10 adults have two or more chronic illnesses. And these stats are enough to explain that chronic illnesses are the leading cause of death in the US. What’s the possible cause of these illnesses? The first thing that pops up in your mind is probably a genetic predisposition to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, but that’s not always the case.
Genes, undoubtedly, play a part in the development of chronic illness. Besides genes, several lifestyle factors facilitate the development of a chronic illness, even when you don’t have a genetic predisposition.
According to CDC, factors like poor nutrition, alcohol abuse, excessive smoking, and a lack of physical activity are the primary factors that lead to most chronic diseases. However, the good news is that all these factors are controllable. With a little input from your side, you can stave off the symptoms of any chronic disease. Keep reading to discover what you might be doing or eating wrong without even being aware, and adopt a few alternatives to make positive changes in your life.
Improve your home air quality
Do you think you are safe from air pollutants just because you are inside? According to the EPA, the air quality inside your house could be much worse than the outside. The air cleaners you use might be the source of lung-damaging ozone. The fuel-burning stoves and heaters could be exposing you to the deadly CO gas. All these factors make you vulnerable to developing lung-related chronic conditions like lung cancer, COPD, asthma, etc.
Another fatal lung-related chronic disease, mesothelioma, is caused by asbestos. You can look up online resources such as mesothliomahope.com to learn more about its risk factors, stages, types, and prognosis. Asbestos is found in your house’s wall insulation, roofing shingles, textured paints, etc.
Simply put, ensure your house is free of airborne toxins to keep your lungs healthy for a long time. Check for damaged insulation and clean your HVAC system regularly.
Eat a nutritious diet
In this day and age, people are always on the go. And in their busy routines, they rely more on processed foods that are easy and take less time to prepare. However, these unhealthy eating habits make them vulnerable to various health concerns that later cost them their health, time, and money. So, it is better to add a few nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, etc., into your diet. This way will be able to keep disease symptoms at bay.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, whole grains, nuts, etc. Eating nutritious foods helps prevent, delay, or reverse chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, and more. Plus, a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins bolsters immunity and reduces the risk of cancer and several aging-related health problems.
Physical activity is also an effective solution to your low mood and deteriorating body health. It helps you feel better, sleep better, and function better throughout the day. Moreover, it strengthens your immune system, improves your cognitive functions, and protects you against chronic health conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Thus, start exercising today to reap its benefits for the rest of your life.
If exercising feels like a daunting task, initiate with small steps. Go for a brisk walk 2-3 times a day, try running the next day, and challenge yourself by going on a hike or climbing stairs when you feel confident enough. With these little steps, what seems challenging will subtly become your habit and keep you going stronger for life.
Quit or reduce smoking and drinking
Smoking tops the list of risk factors for several chronic diseases like cancer, heart diseases, stroke, COPD, diabetes, lung diseases, and more. In the US, smoking claims the lives of more than 480,000 people per year. Also, it reduces the lifespan of smokers by 10 years than non-smokers. Thus, quit smoking if you want to live the average lifespan or even longer.
Quitting smoking at once is not possible. This way, you are more likely to relapse. Take an effective approach by reducing the amount you smoke each day.
Alcohol is equally damaging to your health. When you realize that your alcohol use has exceeded the safe limit, try to control your usage on your own. In severe cases, you can seek professional help and get yourself admitted into rehab. Joining support groups is also beneficial when trying to curb addiction.
Stress is a silent killer. While most people focus on the apparent health issues, stress works behind the scenes to disrupt your physical health and emotional well-being. Daily stress is manageable, but it is better to seek help when it becomes chronic.
You can do numerous things to fend off stress symptoms. For example, you can practice stress-reduction techniques like mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, breathing exercises, etc. If these sound too difficult to squeeze into your hectic routine, you can try some other options. For example, you can start journal writing, keep a pet, spend time in nature, or babysit some houseplants. These activities will help you manage stress.
Get enough sleep
If you treat sleep as a luxury rather than a priority, you are in trouble. Researches show that people who don’t get enough sleep and have irregular sleep patterns are at a higher risk of developing chronic illnesses. Type-2 diabetes is the most common disease associated with disturbed sleep patterns.
No matter how busy you are, take out time for sleep. It is best to sleep for straight 7-9 hours at night. Even if you can’t help but burn the midnight oil, try to maintain a consistent sleeping pattern. You can also try a few tips to help you sleep better. These include avoiding caffeine before bedtime, keeping your room cool and dark, and avoiding using your phone at least an hour before bedtime. These tips will work wonders for your health.
Nowadays, people don’t value their health and take it for granted. It is only after a problem or illness they realize what a blessing health is. If you don’t want to become one of these people, take action before it’s too late. This article mentions a few tips to keep your body healthy and avoid chronic illnesses. These include breathing in toxin-free air, staying physically active, getting enough sleep, staying stress-free, eating a nutritious diet, and more. These tips will help you avert problems in your lifestyle that could lead to chronic illnesses. Be sure to visit a doctor regularly to monitor any symptoms.