When it comes to your health, it’s not the time to test your luck. Taking proactive steps to limit your risk and help prevent disease is a better bet for overall wellness.
From heart disease and high blood pressure to diabetes and high cholesterol, there are dozens of diseases and health problems that can slow you down. Fortunately, research has shown that the risk for many of these health problems can be reduced through healthy lifestyle habits. What’s more, some of these medical issues can also be effectively managed so you can continue to enjoy all that life has to offer. The key is to understand your risk and take action early.
These three steps are the foundation for building a healthier you:
- Refuel the right way. During warmer weather seasons, cravings tend toward lighter, less dense foods, and dishes that are cool and refreshing. Summer is the perfect time to nosh on nutrient- and vitamin-rich foods straight from the garden. Crunchy fresh veggies, plump berries and even juicy melons all offer a delicious array of vitamins and antioxidants that do your body good. You may be surprised by all the palate-pleasing ways you can find to enjoy a healthier diet, from a crisp salad drizzled with a tangy vinaigrette dressing to an icy cold smoothie made from your favorite fruits. And don’t forget to reward yourself with a taste of dark chocolate indulgence. Research suggests that flavanol-rich cocoa beans (the main ingredient for chocolate) can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Invigorate with exercise. If getting started on a new get-moving routine seems overwhelming, remember that it’s perfectly okay to ease into a new workout regime. In fact, it’s better to start slow and build up your endurance so you don’t burn out mentally and physically. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity at least five days a week. If you need to, start out by splitting up your sessions into two 15-minute workouts and bump up your time and intensity as your stamina increases.
- Identify obstacles early. Get a jump on disease by getting appropriate screenings so you are informed and know your risk factors. A recent study published in the American Heart Association’s journal underscores the importance of early detection. The study, which included men and women in their 40s and 50s, revealed that 63 percent of participants had evidence of clogged arteries – despite having no known symptoms. Preventive health screenings, such as those provided by Life Line Screening, are designed by doctors and administered by trained professionals to help detect hidden health issues. Risk factors including family history, age or pre-existing health conditions determine the medical screenings right for you, and within a couple of weeks, you can receive easy-to-understand test results to share with your doctor so you can work together to prevent serious problems before they start.