What Are Common Strategies for Prevention of Chronic Diseases?
Chronic diseases are often linked to lifestyle choices, including smoking, poor diet and lack of physical activity. Fortunately, there are many ways you can prevent these conditions and improve your health.
Preventing chronic disease starts with understanding your risk factors and what you can do to lower those risks. Read on to learn more about the common strategies that are proven to reduce your chances of developing chronic diseases.
Whether you’re walking the dog, playing a sport or cycling to work, exercise helps keep your heart and body healthy. It increases blood flow, reduces stress and improves your mood.
It also decreases pain and stiffness in arthritis patients and helps people with diabetes maintain proper blood sugar levels.
The key to effective exercise is finding activities that feel comfortable and are within your fitness level. While some types of activity are more intense than others, you can start with something that feels easy and build your way up over time.
Regular physical activity reduces the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. It also improves your sleep, boosts your energy and supports a healthier immune system.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the most important ways to prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. A diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products can help prevent these health problems and reduce your risk for developing them in the future.
A balanced diet that includes lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats can also help control high blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. In addition, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends that you limit your intake of saturated fat and sodium, and consume less than 10% of your total energy intake from free sugars, such as those found in soft drinks and many processed foods.
However, a large percentage of the population does not follow these recommended guidelines. Instead, they often eat too much salty food and eat too many calories from added sugars.
Quitting smoking reduces the risk of many chronic diseases. It also can improve treatment, manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
Smoking has harmful effects on almost every part of the body, including the heart, lungs and blood vessels. It also causes respiratory problems such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The good news is that you can stop smoking for good. You can use medication and counseling to help you quit.
Medication helps to ease nicotine withdrawal and prevent cigarette cravings. Counseling can teach you about coping strategies and give you support throughout the process.
It’s important to remember that it takes time and commitment to stop smoking. Make sure you’re ready for the challenge. Talk to your doctor or a certified tobacco cessation counselor to learn more about what you can do to get started.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is an important step for reducing your risk of chronic diseases. This can help reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol problems, heart disease, gallbladder disease, female health disorders, arthritis, some types of cancer, and sleep apnea.
Ideally, you should aim to keep your weight at or below an estimated healthy weight range. This is based on your body frame, height, and distribution of body fat.
The CDC website has an easy-to-use body mass index calculator that can give you your BMI and help you understand if you’re at a healthy weight.
To keep your weight at a healthy level, you need to eat healthy foods and get enough physical activity. This will improve your energy levels, self-esteem, and health care costs.