“The body is a temple” is a bible verse taken from the New Testament, specifically 1 Corinthians 13, which forbids sexual immorality. However, this same bible verse is often referenced by those who take pride in leading a healthy lifestyle that includes exercising regularly, consuming a well-balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and so on.
And most physicians, nutritionists, and dieticians applaud this mindset since all of these things can fend off diseases and allow individuals to live a long, healthy, and fulfilling life. That said, the process of transitioning from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one can pose a challenge to newcomers looking to change their life for the better.
Poor Lifestyle Habits and Devastating Health Consequences: What You May Not Know but Probably Should
Most will agree that poor lifestyle habits can bring about a host of physical and even mental health problems. However, many don’t understand the extent to which this is the case. As a result, many will do things that bring them immediate satisfaction without thinking about long-term consequences. One such example is smoking, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
To further illustrate this point, we need only look at how many deaths are caused by cigarette smoking each year. According to a separate CDC study, researchers revealed that cigarette smoking is to blame for an estimated 480,000 deaths annually. Of course, this news is not entirely surprising when you consider the type of diseases linked to smoking. Some of the ones commonly diagnosed include the following:
- Chronic bronchitis
- Heart attack and stroke
- Lung and oral cancer
Along with these chronic health problems, some studies have pointed to a correlation between smoking and an increased risk of developing tuberculosis and certain eye diseases. The same studies also show that smoking can cause rheumatoid arthritis and weaken the immune system, which, in turn, opens the door to the development of even more diseases.
In addition to smoking, a poor diet, particularly one high in saturated fat, sodium, and sugar, can also lead to a plurality of health problems. Consuming too many foods rich in saturated fat, for example, can result in high LDL levels, otherwise known as “bad cholesterol.” When this happens, the likelihood of suffering a stroke or heart attack can increase considerably. As far as sodium, consuming too many high-sodium foods can cause hypertension, which, much like saturated fat, increases the risk of suffering either a heart attack or stroke. Turning our attention now to sugar, a study published by Harvard Health publishing revealed numerous health consequences associated with consuming too much of the sweet stuff, some of which include the following:
- Fatty liver disease
- Weight gain
It is worth noting that a poor diet coupled with a sedentary lifestyle can also lead to obesity and mental illness, namely depression, say many physicians and mental health professionals.
7 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Health Starting Today
Now that we are a little more up to speed on some of the lifestyle choices and habits that can adversely affect one’s health, let’s focus our attention on seven proven ways to go about achieving good overall health:
- Diet and drinking enough water – The two best ways to get started on your journey to better health comes down to cleaning up your diet and increasing your water intake. And this means consuming less processed foods, especially those ladened with sugar, sodium, and saturated fat. Instead, you will want to eat more whole grains, lean proteins, nuts, and fruits and vegetables. As far as water, drinking a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses each day not only keeps you hydrated but also minimizes the risk of developing kidney, urinary, and other diseases.
- Alcohol and cigarettes – Smoking and drinking alcohol excessively can have a profound impact on your health. That said, quitting cigarettes and cutting back on alcohol can go a long way toward improving your health. Further, doing so may add a few more years to your life. After all, these two lifestyle habits tend to go hand-in-hand with cirrhosis of the liver, lung cancer, and oral cancer.
- Sports and regular exercise – Whether you opt to play sports or go for a run, physical activity of any kind will do wonders for cardiovascular and overall health. More than that, adopting a physically active lifestyle can lead to healthier bones and joints. Further, it is much easier to maintain a healthy weight when you’re physically active versus leading a sedentary lifestyle.
- Getting enough sleep – According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should aim for getting between 7 and 9 hours of deep, restorative sleep each night. And it is not too difficult to see why they made such a recommendation as sleep deprivation is the driving force behind numerous physical and psychological health problems. Some of the most common include a weakened immune system, weight gain, low libido, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal ideations.
- Annual physical exams – Undergoing a routine physical exam is the best way to detect health problems before they get worse. And this includes testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH) deficiencies, both of which trigger mental health disorders. In short, low testosterone and low HGH can trigger a spike in cortisol production.
The longer an individual’s cortisol levels remain elevated, the more susceptible they are to suffering from anxiety, depression, insomnia, and much more. Fortunately, correcting hormone imbalances as for example Genotropine results show can resolve or prevent most of these problems.
- Taking medication as prescribed – If you’re on antibiotics or antidepressants, for example, it is in your best interest to take them as prescribed by your physician. The same is true for other medications as well. Doing so not only improves your existing health problem but also helps prevent new ones from taking form.
- Coping with stress – Studies show that individuals who live a stressful life also tend to have high cortisol levels that can trigger depression and anxiety. Additionally, high cortisol levels caused by chronic stress increases the risk of developing numerous physical health problems, including asthma, obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, and much more. That said, cutting toxic people out of your life, exercising regularly, and meditating are all good ways to combat stress, which, in turn, reduces the risk of developing these associated health problems.
Final Thoughts: How to Stay Focused and Get Better Results All the Time
All in all, if your goal is to live a long and healthy life, making a few positive lifestyle changes can help you in your efforts. Of course, you shouldn’t expect to see improvements overnight. These changes must be consistent and ongoing, which requires a great deal of focus and commitment.