Premature wrinkles? Irregular heartbeats? These might be the signs of aging and heart disease, common health problems triggered by poor lifestyle choices.
Many health issues are avoidable with effort and lifestyle makeovers. Life Advancer highlights a few of these issues and shares what we can do to keep them from surfacing.
Lifestyle Factors That Affect Health and Well-Being
Modern living has affected our health states, and not for the better. The way we live our lives can explain why certain health problems are increasingly common today.
1. Obesity and Unhealthy Eating
First of all, unhealthy changes in our eating habits and physical activity have resulted in the world population becoming obese. The National Health Survey showed that 55% of females were either overweight or obese.
Unhealthy eating also causes diseases like diabetes, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, or uterine cancer. The National Health Survey also found that females were more likely to form healthy eating habits than males.
2. Physical Inactivity
Physical activity stops all kinds of chronic diseases. It also promotes healthy weight and sound mental health.
Women are less active than men. Girls are less active than boys because of social and environmental factors. Caring responsibilities, lower socio-economic status, concerns about personal safety, and poor body image discourage people from exercising. Many women comment that the lack of time causes them to become physically inactive.
The news that smoking kills is old but relevant. Tobacco use causes stroke, heart disease, cancers, and other ailments.
Women tend to smoke more than men. They are more likely to light up because of stress, especially if they are subject to abuse. Women of lower socioeconomic status have a greater tendency to smoke than their peers.
4. Alcohol Consumption
Consuming too much alcohol can lead to liver cirrhosis and colorectal cancer. Generally, women drink less alcohol than men. That said, they are at higher risk of alcohol abuse. Social factors have led to an increase in alcohol consumption.
Furthermore, drinking while pregnant leads to the poor health of both mothers and babies. Research has also shown that it leads to impaired learning ability and cognitive inhibition.
Common Health Problems Affected by Lifestyle Factors
1. Heart Disease
First of all, a stressed-up, Type A personality has a higher risk of Coronary diseases than others. Stress inhibits blood flow and releases triglycerides into the blood. It also increases a person’s tendency to smoke. Doctors suggest that emotional stress can trigger heart problems.
Smoking and stress also lead to Asthmatic attacks. A mum’s stress may lead to their babies developing Asthma. Babies born to moms who smoke or smoked during pregnancy may be prone to Asthmatic attacks.
Everyone knows that poor portion control can lead to obesity. What fewer people know is that stress can cause fat to store on the hips because it causes the body to produce the hormone, Cortisol. It also increases the fat in the abdominal area.
Excessive eating and alcohol consumption leads to diabetes. These habits raise the glucose levels of people with Type 2 diabetes.
People consider stress one of the most common triggers for headaches and migraines. Research proves what we knew all along – that overwork, unemployment, relationship problems, and life changes can all lead to migraines.
Medical professionals make a suggestion that won’t surprise: that stress causes depression levels to rise. It leads to an overactivation of the stress-response mechanism of the body. Susceptible patients may become depressed if it doesn’t stop.
7. Gastrointestinal Issues
Digestive problems are a result of poor health habits such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and overwork. They cause or even worsen ulcers. Chronic heartburn is a result of stress.
8. Alzheimer’s Disease
Alcohol, nicotine, and stress can cause brain lesions to form, triggering the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers have recently discovered connections between the two.
9. Aging too Quickly
This fact probably comes as no surprise, but stress can make a person age faster than he or she should. Studies on highly-stressed mothers showed that undue emotional pressure affects the telomere, a particular part of the female chromosome. It speeds up the aging process by about 17 years.
10. Premature Death
Research confirms what people have thought all along – stress contributes to an early death. A study on elderly caregivers showed that they had a 63% higher rate of death than their peers who were not.
Little Lifestyle Changes to Help You Prevent Common Health Problems
We balk when someone says that we have to make lifestyle changes to improve our health. Pushing ourselves to exercise twice daily or give up our cigarettes abruptly is a tall order.
But lifestyle changes don’t have to be drastic. The little things we do will make small, but significant improvements to our well-being.
1. Overhaul our refrigerators
First of all, we can give our iceboxes makeovers. We should fill them up with ingredients for salads instead of processed ham. Throwing away takeout containers and putting in yogurt is possible. Overhauling our fridges will encourage us to make healthy choices.
2. Make Online Purchases and reading food labels
We can purchase our groceries online instead of at supermarkets. Going to them often leads to impulse buying. Many of us don’t read food labels and end up with unhealthy tidbits or canned food in our carts. Making online purchases will afford us the time to do so.
3. The Seven-Minute Workout
We all know that exercise puts us on the path to well-being, but few of us have a lot of time to commit to it. Work, children, and our social lives make working out difficult. Workout applications like the Seven Minute Workout are helpful. They enable us to exercise different muscle groups in just a few minutes.
4. Develop a Sleep Schedule
Establish a sleeping pattern and keep to it. Go to bed and wake up at the same time daily. Our minds will be focused and sharp when we are well-rested. Another tip related to conforming to healthy sleep patterns is to wake up before others do. Rising before the rest of the family will reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by routines and activities.
5. Stay on top of stress
Eliminating stress isn’t possible, but there are ways to minimize it. Apps like Trello will allow you to create to-do lists quickly, while calendars like Google Calendar enable you to keep track of your schedule. You can also seek help with managing your bills and invoices. Spreadsheets keep track of an individual’s taxes, while billing services can help busy business owners with keeping track of their accounts.
6. Practice hygiene
Our busy lifestyles may cause us to neglect proper health habits. We shouldn’t forget simple practices like washing our hands often or covering our mouths when we sneeze, as these will keep us healthy.
7. Watch the Posture
Walking and sitting up straight are habits we should keep in mind. Swap the office chair for a stability ball. Doing this will help you to deal with your back issues.
In all, common health conditions aren’t as challenging to manage as we think. Minor lifestyle changes will help.