There are some diseases and conditions which are caused by the way you live your life and your habits. They're known as lifestyle diseases as the video above explains.
In today's society, we not only have an abundance of food (and not always the healthiest food), we also have more opportunities than ever before to be less active and plenty of opportunities for increased stress levels. The pressure at work and in society can raise our stress levels, which, when combined with poor nutrition and lack of exercise, can be a recipe for illness and disease. Nobody is saying that you can't enjoy a delicious, romantic meal and a bottle of wine with your partner this Valentine's Day, but it is important that any treats are part of a balanced diet.
So, what are these lifestyle diseases I'm talking about?
- Atherosclerosis (where plaque builds up in the arteries)
- Heart disease, including heart attacks and coronary artery disease
- Diseases associated with smoking and alcohol abuse
- Type 2 diabetes
Many of these conditions are prevalent in the western world, which suggests to me that there are things we could be doing to better manage our health. These diseases are interlinked and can impact one another. For example, if you are obese, you're more likely to suffer from Type 2 diabetes and so on.
Now for the positive news. We can prevent these types of illnesses and conditions as they are not something you just get, they are something that you do. They occur over a long period of time, when a lot of small things add up, leading to illness. For instance, you may one day suffer a heart attack as a result of years of poor nutrition, lack of exercise and stress at work. Making changes to your diet and lifestyle can prevent these conditions and improve your quality of life as you age.
It's never too late to make changes, and there are a few things that you can start doing right away:
- Change your habits - There is no need to make huge, sweeping changes. A small 10% change over time can improve your health
- Keep a journal - By recording what you are eating and how much you are exercising, you'll be able to see where changes are needed and track your progress
- Get a health assessment - This will allow you to see exactly where you are at with your health
By making small changes today, you can enjoy a healthier tomorrow, and you are never too old to make these changes. Many of my clients are in their 60s and 70s and have already started on the road to improved health and fitness!