Life expectancy is increasing in advanced countries thanks to advances in science and awareness of the need for a healthy lifestyle. There is no magic formula to ensure that we live better and longer, but there are certain habits that we can do to prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease and cancer, which are two of the main causes of premature death.
Our lifestyle has a clear impact on our health. Living a sedentary life, consuming alcohol and/or tobacco or diets rich in fats are risk factors that can favour the appearance of illnesses. On the contrary, eating a healthy and balanced diet and exercising has great benefits for our body.
Many studies have shown the importance of healthy habits to prevent cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer. That is why it is very important to know the specific things that can help us to take care of our health and reduce the risk of suffering from diseases.
Changing to a healthy diet and quitting smoking are actions that have immediate positive effects on our health. By following a series of simple tips, we can reduce the risk of suffering from cancer or cardiovascular disease by half, so this is an issue to keep very much in mind if we want to stay healthy.
It is never too late to change our lifestyle habits, so encourage yourself to lead a healthy life and you will soon notice the positive effects. The following are the main guidelines to lead a healthy life:
We all know that exercise is very good for our health. It allows us to stay in shape, avoid overweight problems, reduce stress, improve mood, strengthen and tone our muscles and improve motor coordination, among other benefits.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), with only 30 minutes of moderate exercise (walking at a good pace or running smoothly), five days a week, it significantly reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes, having a heart attack or having a stroke. In the case of children, the need for exercise is greater, so ideally one hour a day.
It is the only way to have a guarantee that our arteries will not be blocked, which could have very negative consequences for our health. It is important that the cholesterol level does not exceed 200 mg/dl, especially in those people who have an inherited gene that makes them produce too much bad cholesterol (LDL).
To keep cholesterol at bay it is vital to avoid saturated fats and increase the consumption of foods low in cholesterol. It is also essential to exercise and avoid being overweight.
Controlling blood pressure
Having high blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for coronary heart disease. Hypertension can generate serious consequences for our organism, since it causes blood to flow through the arteries with great force, affecting all our vital organs.
This chronic disease is known as the “silent epidemic of the 21st century”, as it usually has no symptoms, but if left untreated, it can lead to heart attacks, haemorrhages, stroke, kidney failure and blindness. Periodic check-ups are therefore vital, as this is the only way to detect the existence of hypertension in its initial stages and to establish adequate treatment.
The best way to control blood pressure is to eat a low-salt diet, avoid being overweight, control stress and anxiety, keep fit with regular exercise and limit or eliminate alcohol and tobacco consumption.
Learn to eat well
Diet is the risk factor that causes the most deaths and disabilities in the world, according to the largest study on diseases, accidents and life expectancy conducted so far. The Globan Burden of Disease Study insists on the need to reduce unhealthy fat intake, cholesterol-rich foods, sugars and partner.
On the contrary, it is recommended to increase the consumption of foods rich in fiber and lean protein, as well as fruits and vegetables. Fish should also be eaten at least twice a week.
Keep your weight at bay
If we follow the above advice, we will be avoiding the problems of overweight and all the associated diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, some types of cancer.
If our Body Mass Index is greater than 25, we should go on a diet as soon as possible, as the risk of suffering cardiovascular problems increases considerably.
Reducing sugar intake
Having diabetes substantially increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. This is why it is important to prevent the onset of this disease by always controlling the level of sugar in the blood, even in young people.
In order to reduce the level of glucose in the blood it is necessary to reduce the consumption of simple sugars (sweets and soft drinks), to make regular exercise and to take the medication if our doctor has prescribed it. A healthy blood sugar level helps us protect our main organs, so we will live longer and better.