COVID-19 has shown us all how fragile life can be and highlighted why, more than ever, it’s essential that we focus on making the right health choices to promote long and fulfilling life. Many of the biggest health issues that trouble the Western World today are treatable by modern medicine and addressable and preventable through healthy lifestyle choices. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory issues, and some cancers are often far more dependent on the foods you eat, the activities you participate in, and general behavioral habits you partake in than they are on genetic predispositions. For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that “A healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.” Furthermore, studies show that just 150 minutes of exercise a week can extend your life by an average of seven years!
Exercise is clearly a great way to increase the length and the quality of your life, but your diet is also an incredibly important choice that we make every day, which will extend your life and reduce the risk of chronic disease. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that higher consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of mortality from all causes, especially heart disease. Controlling your diet and exercise are the two most important lifestyle choices that can prevent and treat chronic disease, and it is never too late to start making better choices for yourself.
Obesity, for instance, does not have to be for life. Just walking for thirty minutes a day and cutting out fatty red meats and adding more vegetables to your diet can decrease your body fat percentage, making you feel healthier and decreasing your chances of hospitalization from obesity-related diseases. To put this in the context of our current lives, the rise of COVID-19 in 2020 meant that lifestyle choices have never been more important. Studies in the United States have shown, for instance, that having a BMI over 30—the threshold that defines obesity—increases the risk of being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 by 113%. Making healthy lifestyle choices can protect us from so many problems relating to our well-being and increase the pleasure we get out of each day. With a good diet and regular exercise, we feel more energized and often are less affected by mood swings. In short healthy equals happiness.
It can sometimes seem daunting when undertaking the task of reclaiming your health, but you never need to take this journey on your own. Nutritional counseling is an effective way to get personalized advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle and reduce the chances of suffering the effect of chronic diseases while reclaiming your life without the reliance on extreme medical solutions. A healthy lifestyle starts with a choice that costs extraordinarily little, but can change your life for the better and the longer!