When you think of diseases, your mind instantly races to tuberculosis, AIDS, or cancer - the real bad guys. No doubt, they’re dangerous and you must take measures to prevent them. However, there are a few more common conditions, which go unnoticed but are equally dangerous, and more importantly, preventable.
They’re known as chronic diseases or common lifestyle diseases. And habits play a major role in contributing to them. Most of you are unaware that the simple act of watching TV for hours on end makes you vulnerable to borderline lifestyle diseases.
Lifestyle diseases often develop slowly over time, and the symptoms may be subtle. And they may not cause alarm until it is too late.
So, how to prevent lifestyle diseases? The solution lies in leading a healthy lifestyle. All you need to do is to incorporate a few lifestyle changes to steer clear of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and more.
Top 5 Reasons Of The Growth In Lifestyle Diseases
Unhealthy habits can often find their way into your daily routine for various reasons. Perhaps it's a matter of convenience, or it could be a result of certain choices you make. Take, for example, staying up late - it might be a necessity for those working irregular shifts or a habit you form from enjoying late-night television.
Either way, this approach to lifestyle isn’t ideal and causes health issues. Thus, the choices you make daily lead to several lifestyle diseases. Here are some common reasons for the growth in lifestyle diseases.
1. Unhealthy eating habits
When you consume junk food that is high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, you're more likely to gain weight. This causes health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Digestive issues, nutrition deficiencies, and a weakened immune system are the results of a diet that's low in fiber and nutrients. This makes you more susceptible to infections and illnesses. Unhealthy eating habits negatively impact your mental health, leading to mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
2. Sedentary lifestyle
If you’re not physically active, it slows down your metabolism and makes you prone to weight gain and obesity. This increases the risk of developing serious conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.
But that's not all. Prolonged sitting leads to poor circulation and clogged arteries, putting you at risk for heart attacks and strokes. And if that's not enough to get you moving, a sedentary lifestyle weakens muscles and bones, causing painful conditions like osteoporosis and back pain.
3. Stressful lifestyle
Your busy lifestyle is a possible breeding ground for stress. And if you leave it unchecked, it can have consequences on your well-being.
The hormones your body releases during stress send it into overdrive, leading to a range of lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Stress also takes a toll on your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to infections and illnesses.
But stress doesn't stop there - it can push you towards unhealthy habits like overeating, which can further increase the risk of lifestyle diseases. Even your sleep can take a hit, leading to mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
4. The lack of sleep
The lack of sleep leads to disrupted metabolism, making you feel hungrier and more prone to reaching for unhealthy foods high in sugar, fat, and calories. This can cause weight gain and increase the risk of lifestyle diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, sleep deprivation increases the likelihood of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. Not to mention, it takes a toll on your mental health, contributing to anxiety and depression, which can further impact your overall well-being.
There are chances of impairing cognitive function, slowing down your reaction time and decision-making ability, which can lead to accidents and injuries.
5. Lack of awareness
There are several reasons people may lack awareness of lifestyle diseases:
Firstly, many people are unaware of the link between lifestyle choices and the development of chronic diseases. This lack of awareness about healthy lifestyle choices impacts overall health.
Secondly, busy lifestyles result in people not having the time or resources to learn about healthy lifestyle choices or to take care of their health.
Lastly, some people may not have access to information about healthy lifestyle choices, such as through healthcare professionals. This leads them to make choices that affect their health.
How To Live Healthy Lifestyle And Prevent Disease?
A report by The Assocham-TARI found that over two-thirds of individuals who suffer from lifestyle diseases fall into the age group of 26 and 59 years. This is an alarming number, considering more than 65 percent of India’s population is under the age of 35.
The good news is that simple changes in lifestyle, dietary habits, and an increase in physical activities, among others, can reduce the risk of or prevent chronic diseases.
To keep lifestyle diseases away, these are the four key points to remember and follow:
1. Make nutritious meal selections
By making small changes in your daily routine and being mindful of your choices, you can avoid unhealthy eating habits and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
- Take some time to plan your meals for the week ahead. This helps you avoid the temptation of unhealthy options and make healthy diet choices.
- Opt for whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins rather than processed foods that are high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats.
- Pay attention to portion sizes and avoid overeating. Use smaller plates and bowls to help control portion sizes.
- Keep healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, nuts, and vegetables on hand to avoid reaching for unhealthy snacks when hunger strikes.
- Choose water or unsweetened beverages instead of sugary drinks like soda or energy drinks.
- Cooking at home can help you control the ingredients and make healthier choices. Try new recipes and experiment with healthier cooking methods.
2. Get moving
Striking a balance between physical activity and food helps you stay in the pink of your health.
- Walking is an easy way to get active. Try a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day. You can walk around your neighborhood or find a local park or nature trail.
- Cycling is a fun and low-impact exercise. You can cycle outside or use an indoor bike.
- Dancing is an excellent way to get active and have fun at the same time. Take a dance class or just dance around your living room.
- Gardening helps you get active and enjoy the outdoors. Try planting and maintaining a small garden in your yard or on your balcony.
- Cleaning your home or apartment helps you stay active. Vacuuming, dusting, and washing windows are all good ways to get your heart rate up.
- Stretching helps improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension. Try doing some simple stretches when you wake up in the morning or before going to bed at night
3. Undergo preventive health screenings
There are various diseases that come with clear warning signs and symptoms, which you can easily detect through regular checkups with your doctor.
It's important to visit your doctor at least every three years between the ages of 19 and 64, and more frequently as you get older. Follow your doctor's recommendations for screenings and scans, even if it may seem like an inconvenience.
These preventative measures ultimately help you stay healthier and reduce the risk of leaving any dangerous disease untreated. Remember, investing time and resources in preventative healthcare can have significant long-term benefits for your overall health and well-being.
4. Deep-level rejuvenation
You rarely give enough importance to practices that can help you alleviate stress, despite the increasing awareness of its negative impact.
Daily guided meditation has immense potential to ease your mind and body. In the afternoon, you can take a break from work and listen to guided meditation.
As you practice this, you will notice your heart rate slowing down, your breathing becoming more relaxed, and your core body temperature dropping, which indicates reduced blood pressure. This state of calm is what Zen truly means.
This practice is essential and helps manage any lifestyle disease and you should prioritize it. By doing so, you can find the missing piece in managing your overall health and well-being, leading to a positive impact on other aspects of your life.
Better Health For Better Quality Of Life
Better health is the foundation of a better quality of life. When you prioritize your health, you can enjoy a more fulfilling life with increased energy, reduced stress, and better overall physical and mental well-being.
To achieve better health, it's important to focus on a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and adequate sleep. You can also incorporate stress-reducing practices like meditation or mindfulness into your daily routine.
Don't forget to schedule regular check-ups with your doctor and be proactive about preventative care. Your one-stop solution is the Loop app. You can consult with experts in a matter of minutes and avoid stepping out of your home and long wait times. Read more about our in-house doctors here.
Taking care of your health may require some effort and discipline, but the health benefits are well worth it. With better health, you can enjoy the things that matter in life and make the most of every moment.