Look around you. How many people do you know in your life that have, or have had, a chronic disease? I know six. It’s pretty scary right? The older we get, the more inevitable it seems that we will end up with some type of chronic disease.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics show that the leading causes of death for women in Australia are:
- Dementia including Alzheimer’s
- Coronary heart disease
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
Source: AIHW National Mortality Database
Two-thirds of global deaths occur due to a chronic disease. Some factors that contribute to our risk of getting a chronic disease are:
- Social influences
Not all those factors are in our control, but what we can control is our lifestyle.
Dr David Katz the founder and former director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and co-author of How to Eat says chronic diseases are effects. Effects from lifestyle choices. He says healthy lifestyle choices will help to reduce our likelihood of getting chronic disease.
What does this mean? LIFESTYLE IS MEDICINE!
What we choose to eat and do with our bodies has a direct impact on our health and our likelihood of getting a chronic disease.
Here are some healthy choices we can make by listening to our bodies and assessing what makes our bodies feel good or bad:
- Try to cut back on foods that may create inflammation in your body like sugar, tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods.
- Talk to your medical practitioner about any medications you have been prescribed and ask if there are alternative options.
- Think about any stress you might be experiencing in your life. It could be from work or a troubled relationship. These areas in our life impact our emotions and can lead to bad food choices. Try some stress reduction techniques like focused breathing, meditation, or taking a walk in nature.
- Ensure you’re getting enough sleep. Insomnia has been linked to chronic diseases like heart attack and stroke.
- Get your body moving – whether it’s a daily walk or yoga, physical activity has significant health benefits from improving circulation to maintaining cardiovascular health.
Remember - live well longer x
Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An unmet Public Health Problem. 3 Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/
Foods that Fight Inflammation Havard Medical School
Mariotti, A. (2015) The effects of chronic stress on health: new insights into the molecular mechanisms of brain-body communication. Future Science