Change your lifestyle for the better

Are you putting your health at risk by making bad lifestyle decisions? You can change your lifestyle for the better with our top tips.

The UK’s five biggest killers: coronary heart disease, respiratory diseases, stroke, cancer and liver disease have all got one thing in common. They can all be prevented by making better lifestyle decisions.
According to the Department of Health, these five big killers account for more than 150,000 deaths a year in the under-75s in England alone, and as much as 30,000 of these deaths are entirely avoidable.

Luckily, by making a conscious decision to improve our lifestyle (at any age!) we can still increase our chances of living to 100.

Assess your risk and start to make better lifestyle decisions right now by reading the five statements below. How many of these statements sound like something you might say? The more that apply to you, the more likely it is that you could develop potentially life-threatening illnesses such as coronary heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and cirrhosis.

Read more from holistic expert and therapist Gemma Clare on how to stay healthy and happy

1.“I eat a diet high in sugar, salt and unsaturated fat, and low in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains.”

An unhealthy, unbalanced diet leaves us susceptible to all kinds of health conditions. A diet high in unsaturated fat, sugar and salt is responsible for many cases of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke – caused by high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

2.“I smoke cigarettes every day.”

If you are a regular smoker, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of contacting every one of the five biggest killers. Smoking affects the body from head to toe, and is responsible for stroke, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and most types of cancers – amongst other illnesses.

Click here to watch a video on the benefits of stopping smoking

3.“I like to binge drink at the weekend.”

If you are drinking more than the government recommended level of alcohol intake – three to four units a day for men and two to three units a day for women – you are putting yourself at risk of liver disease and cirrhosis (scaring of the liver as a result of continuous long-term damage).

4.“I rarely exercise. I drive or take public transport to get from A to B and don’t go to the gym.”

Regular exercise of moderate intensity (about two and a half hours a week of brisk walking or cycling) is enough to lower risk factors like high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol levels. Therefore lack of exercise is responsible for cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, as well as cancer of the breast and colon.

5.“Most days I feel stressed with work and don’t make time to relax.”

Stress affects both mind and body and is related to most significant health conditions including  heart disease, obesity, asthma, depression, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s and accelerated aging.

Learn more about mindfulness based stress reduction

Read about our girl next door: Smart Living with Alex Jones

See Also: Alcohol and Obesity Linked to Liver Cancer 

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