Lifestyle diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, stroke, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), asthma, and osteoporosis, significantly impact the quality of life and may result in many complications. They may be caused by controllable factors like physical inactivity, smoking, and poor eating habits. Lifestyle diseases may also be caused by factors you cannot control, including gender and age.
While there’s nothing you can do about illnesses resulting from the factors you can’t control, diseases from unhealthy lifestyle choices can be prevented. This article outlines six ways to prevent lifestyle diseases.
1. Maintain a healthy weight
A 2017- 2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that almost one in three adults are overweight, over two in five adults are obese, and around one in 11 adults are severely obese. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many severe health conditions like hypertension, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, breathing problems, gallbladder diseases, and more. Maintaining a healthy weight can help decrease these statistics while preventing lifestyle diseases.
Lifestyle changes including healthy meals and exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight and can’t lose excess weight through physical activity and diet, gastric sleeve surgery can help you attain the desired results, improving your quality of life.
2. Become physically active
Physical inactivity increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Regular physical activity can help avoid unhealthy weight gain, boost musculoskeletal and bone health, reduce lifestyle disease risk, improve sleep quality, and lower anxiety. You can engage in aerobic or cardio activities like biking, yard work, brisk walking, and dancing. You may also incorporate muscle-strengthening exercises, including crunches, free weights, squats, and elastic bands. If you have health issues, consult your doctor before engaging in physical activity.
3. Maintain a healthy diet
Poor nutrition impairs your well-being and health and lowers your ability to live a healthy life due to nutrient deficiencies. It increases the risk of becoming obese or overweight, having high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, osteoporosis, and more.
A balanced and healthy diet plan including various vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and lean protein can help prevent, manage, and delay illnesses, ensuring a healthier lifestyle. Limiting saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium can also help provide a nutritious diet, control blood sugar, manage body weight, reduce blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels.
4. Limit alcohol intake
Excessive alcohol intake over time can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, liver disease, and other health conditions. It includes heavy and binge drinking. Heavy drinking for women means taking eight or more drinks and 15 or more for men weekly. Binge drinking for women implies taking four or more drinks and five or more for men on one occasion. Reducing alcohol intake or not drinking at all can help prevent associated diseases.
5. Quit smoking and tobacco use
Smoking and tobacco use may cause heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, lung diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. Secondhand smoke exposure may result in lung cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke in adults and increase the risk of severe asthma, acute respiratory infections, and slow lung growth in children. You can quit smoking and avoid tobacco use for a better quality of life.
6. Consider regular screening tests
Considering how increasingly common lifestyle diseases are becoming, going for regular health checks could be the wisest move. While these screenings help identify health risks or sleeping symptoms before they start manifesting for early diagnosis and disease management, your healthcare provider can also encourage the adoption of a healthier lifestyle if they believe your health profile can benefit from the improvement.
Regular health checks can help detect blood cholesterol level abnormalities, blood pressure discrepancies, obesity, heart diseases, bone health issues like osteoporosis, kidney diseases, and cancers.
Lifestyle diseases can negatively impact the quality of life. Use these tips to prevent lifestyle diseases.