Dr. Sabika Abidi
A few simple steps taken every day may be surprisingly beneficial for obtaining powerful health benefits. In fact adapting a healthy lifestyle using simple strategies can help to reduce the risk of multiple diseases. Let us know these easy strategies to enhance the quality of life.
Utilise the advantages of exercising regularly
Low impact physical activities such as walking, cycling, skipping, swimming, etc. helps to keep functioning of heart and lungs efficiently. Research also shows that staying active can be linked to small increase in bone mineral density and helps to strengthen muscles and improve balance. For people who are young and ones who can manage, moderate activity of 30 minutes every day, minimum 5 days a week like brisk walking, swimming or 20 mins of vigorous movements like jogging can be beneficial.
Choosing Food smartly
Swapping one daily serving of red meat for nuts, legumes and whole grain can help ward off health problems. Choosing plant based diet like soy or black beans instead of always having animal protein, swapping processed meats for lean and unprocessed meat and fish, choosing to have whole grains, low fat dairy and small amounts of healthy meals, skipping sugary soft drinks, caffeine and soda, etc can be few options that can lower the risk of obesity and heart diseases.
Managing your weight
Weight loss of 5 % body weight in already obese people can cut their risk for type2 diabetes. Being over weight also may increase the risk of cancers, heart disease, type2 diabetes, osteoarthritis etc.
Chronic stress produces an abundance of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, linked to weight gain and higher blood sugar, risk factor for heart disease, etc. Managing and coping with stress can be possible with breathing exercising, muscle relaxation techniques, yoga, meditation, aerobics, engaging in pleasurable activities, and if unmanageable then seek help from Mental health experts.
Getting enough but not too much of sleep
Sleep deprivation causes body to secret large amount of stress hormones which may lead to risk of heart disease. Appropriate amount of 7 to 8 hours of good night sleep may help to boost immune system and reduce likelihood of falling ill. If one sleeps too little or too much, consult a physician to check for hidden medical reasons.
Breath unpolluted air
Breathing polluted air may lead to serious risk of Heart and Lung diseases. Air pollution composed of fine particles from factories, smoke, motor vehicles, etc. may cause inflammation and damage to blood vessels. One can use HEPA filters and Air purifiers to reduce air particles and filter air conditions.
Cutting down on substance use
Higher percentage of cancer deaths get attributed to tobacco and smoking which can also harm heart health and respiratory system. Drug misuse, abuse and addiction can all lead to both short term and long term health effects or distress.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking appropriate quantity of water everyday can prevent dehydration, that can cause mood changes, unclear thinking, constipation, kidney stones, indigestion, etc. Every day we lose water through our breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. We must replenish our body’s water supply by consuming minimum 2.5 liters to 3.5 liters of water everyday.
The writer is Consultant Physiotherapist, Masina Hospital Physiotherapy Center, Mumbai