Want to get down to basics? Here are four fundamental tips that can substantially decrease your risk of disease and illness, and greatly improve your quality of life - for the rest of your life. Make the following part of your healthy lifestyle:
- Watch your weight. Carrying extra body weight increases the risk of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, postmenopausal breast cancer and cancer of the uterus, colon, kidney, and esophagus. You can help lose those extra pounds by eating a healthful diet and getting regular physical exercise.
- Eat a healthful diet. Fad diets are more popular than ever, but don’t buy into the hype. A healthy diet can be achieved simply by avoiding processed foods and instead focusing on a wide variety of whole, fresh foods, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables. Use my Anti-Inflammatory Diet Pyramid as a guide - it is not a quick fix diet, but rather an eating plan for life.
- Don't smoke. Tobacco addiction is the single greatest preventable cause of illness, and tobacco smoke is the most obvious environmental cause of cancer. Exposure to tobacco smoke increases the odds of developing many kinds of cancer, and raises the risks of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
- Be cognizant of your well-being. Disregard for your health and maintaining unhealthy lifestyle habits can markedly increase the risk of chronic problems in later life. If you like adrenalin highs, whether it’s running a marathon or cliff diving, be careful about how you get them - know the hazards of the activities you choose and how to contain them. By evaluating the short- and long-term risks involved in your behavior, you can help your body to keep working well as you age.
And don't forget to get moving. Advice on keeping your New Year's fitness resolutions.