WHAT IS YOUR LIFESTYLE TELLING ABOUT YOU?
According to the medical dictionary “lifestyle” is defined as set of habits and customs that is influenced by the lifelong process of socialization, including social use of substances such as alcohol and tobacco dietary habits, and exercise, all of which have important implications for health.
Did you know that most of the chronic degenerative diseases can be prevented by appropriate lifestyle?
Lifestyle disease: A disease associated with the way a person or group of people lives. It includes: atherosclerosis, heart disease, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes; and diseases associated with smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.
Regular physical activity helps prevent obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, colon cancer, and premature mortality.
In 1900, the top three causes of death in the United States were pneumonia/influenza, tuberculosis, and diarrhea/enteritis. Infectious (communicable) diseases accounted for about 60 percent of all deaths. In 1900, heart disease and cancer were ranked number four and eight respectively. Since the 1940s, the majority of deaths in the United States have resulted from heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases. And, by the late 1990s, degenerative diseases accounted for more than 60 percent of all deaths.
In the land of plenty we are killing ourselves. The way we eat, move and live is making ourselves our own worst enemies. The food we eat is mostly a highly processed, chemical laden “material.” The way we move, actually the lack of it, is our number one killer. We are stressed out all the time, unable to sleep, so what do we do? Reach out for sleeping pills. Wake up in a bad mood, what do we do again? Reach out for mood enhancer. After all, we are a Prozac Nation. Low energy? No problem, just give me an energy drink or let me buy my 10th coffee for the day. We destroy our pancreas, liver, adrenals, brain and our blood vessels and our relationships.
What are the components of a lifestyle?
- Stress management
- Social life
- Our environment
DIET: We are overfed and malnourished at the same time. Let me explain. The food we consume, the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) diet is stripped of nutrients. Fast food and packaged food are not even foods anymore. We consume a large amount of empty calories. Our bodies are not getting quality macro and micro nutrients, hence cellular malnutrition. We eat heavily processed “chemicals.” Meat is filled with hormones, antibiotics and many other toxic substances. Fruits and vegetables are filled with pesticides and herbicides. Most Americans consume less than 1/3 of recommended fiber (30g/day for adults).
We suffer from food addiction, especially sugar. We load our bodies with sugary drinks, salty and fatty snacks. Then wonder why we are tired, feeling low most of the day. Then we reach to another addiction: energy drinks.
More than 20 million adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with Diabetes and more than 70 millions have pre-diabetes. Over 2/3 of our population is overweight.
EXERCISE: We live a sedentary lifestyle, and drive everywhere. We don’t need to put any physical effort into gathering food, just drive to the grocery store and take it from the shelves. Media likes to emphasize the benefits of exercise. Do we pay equal attention to what lack of exercise will do for us? Our bodies are built for physical activity. Lack of it will cause obesity and a multitude of conditions related to it. No wonder why there is such a high rate of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic degenerative diseases, constipation, etc.
STRESS MANAGEMENT: We live at a fast pace and want to fix everything right now. High level of stress will cause increased Cortisol (stress hormone). A high Cortisol level can create: decreased immunity, belly fat gain, resistance to losing weight, inflammation, sleep problems and much more. It will increase risk for heart diseases, depression and obesity.
SLEEP: We need 7-8 hours of restful sleep in order our body to perform at it’s best. Sleep deprivation will lead to irritability, poor performance, low immunity, weight gain and low energy. We reach for sugary drinks, coffee to “fix the problem.” If you wonder how sleep deprivation affects our ability to lose weight, the answer is in the hormones leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin (a hunger hormone) will increase and leptin (makes you feel full) and will decrease with sleep deprivation. It will also trigger inflammation with all the consequences on health.
SOCIAL LIFE: Hectic lifestyle frequently makes us to forget what is truly important in life; the relationships and the experiences we create. We don’t have time for each other, we lost the quality time together with our family and friends. We disconnect from each other and from ourselves. Then we wonder why we fill so empty, losing joy in our everyday. Quality social support and interactions are equally important for our overall health.
ENVIRONMENT: Our house is loaded with toxins. Cleaning items, carpets, skincare products, tooth paste, just to name a few. When did you read the label on your body lotion? Keep in mind our skin is the largest organ.
What is your lifestyle telling about you?
Do you value yourself and your health? Do you nourish your body with clean, healthy and nourishing foods? Or gobble down whatever you find, not paying attention what goes into your mouth? It is up to you. You can decide to CHANGE. Every small step counts. Set realistic goals and set yourself for success. If you start with one healthy meal per day, increase fruits and vegetables, and walk 20-30 minutes, that will make a huge impact on your health. Even if you stop for a second after reading this article and think about the facts, that is a first good sign.AWARNESS BRINGS NEED FOR CHANGE.
Life is precious, love yourself and live your life to the fullest.