4 Simple Health Tips You Can Use to Prevent Chronic Illnesses

Here’s what you can do to reduce your risk factors.

Woman walking up the stairs as a way to prevent chronic illnesses

Knowing what to do to care for your health and prevent chronic illnesses can be overwhelming, but with some simple tips, you can stay on track and reduce your risk factors.

Start with small lifestyle changes

Your lifestyle and habits have a serious impact on your overall health and well-being. Everything from the food you eat to your activity level will play a role in how you feel every day, as well as your risk of contracting a chronic illness.

Changing your entire life all at once is impossible but making a few small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in the long run. If you smoke or use tobacco products, cut back or get help to quit. Doing so can lessen your risk of contracting lung cancer by 39% after five years smoke-free.

If you have trouble fitting a workout into your daily routine, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator or heading out for a walk on your lunch break.

Related: 7 Small Changes That Lead to Lasting Healthy Habits

Improve your diet

What you eat also plays a major role in your health, as well as your risk of contracting certain diseases. Diet has been linked to the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, especially since the foods you put into your body directly correlate with your weight.

Obesity is a growing health concern in the U.S. and is linked to a number of health conditions and diseases, including:

• High blood pressure

• High LDL cholesterol levels

• Type 2 diabetes

• Coronary heart disease

• Osteoarthritis

• Sleep apnea

• Stroke

• Gallbladder disease

• Body and joint pain

By changing your diet, you can reverse some of the effects on your body and shed some of the excess weight that puts you at a higher risk of chronic illness. Incorporating more plant-based foods can help with heart concerns, while eliminating unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fats is good for your health.

Include plenty of whole foods in your diet, such as whole grains, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, legumes, and low-fat dairy products.

Move your body

Exercise has a number of health benefits, one of which is the potential to lessen your risk of certain chronic illnesses. Staying active is good for your physical and mental health, and it’s one of the most important habits to include in your daily life.

Engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic activity for 150 minutes a week can put you at a lower risk of contracting type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. You may also find that a regular workout boosts your mood and helps you combat stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.

Related: Stop Making Excuses and Get Fit

See your healthcare provider regularly

As you work to reduce your risk of chronic health ailments, make sure to visit your doctor regularly for preventive checkups. Your primary care provider (PCP) can perform cancer screenings, test for diabetes and pre-diabetes, and check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels to watch for any warning signs. You can also get additional health tips from your provider, customized based on your unique needs and habits.

Reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other chronic illnesses can benefit you in a number of ways. You can live a healthier, happier life and participate in the activities you enjoy. These tips are ideal for people in all stages of life, so implement them into your lifestyle today and start feeling the benefits.

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