It is true that science is making great strides in developing solutions to improve health and achieve cures for illnesses that, just over a few decades ago, sounded like almost invincible threats. However, a pill capable of prolonging human life with quality and preventing most diseases has not yet come out of the benches of pharmaceutical laboratories or universities. One of the most effective ways to make at least a portion of this apparent miracle is even the adoption of healthy habits or, for those who are far from walking the line, a change in lifestyle.
Take the example of cancer. Even though there are risk factors that we cannot change, such as age and family history, the others are subject to change. So much so that the American Cancer Society attributes a third of deaths from this cause to the maintenance of unbalanced diets and lack of physical activity. Likewise, several studies have already demonstrated the association between the reduction of heart disease and the combination of regular physical exercise, adoption of a Mediterranean diet – rich in fish, nuts and extra virgin olive oil –, weight control and, of course, smoking distance.
In addition to these habits, other attitudes, some more laborious, others less, are behind the maintenance of good health and the prevention of illnesses and organic imbalances, even if momentary. The good news is that often a single change can bring multiple benefits. When we sleep better, not only are we able to be more willing to face the challenges of the next day, with reduced stress, but we also help to improve metabolism and prevent obesity, which, among other damages, causes diabetes, a disease associated with cardiovascular events such as acute myocardial infarction.
Talk to your doctor and start working for your health right now. If you need help, also seek psychological support.
Tips to maintain health
Do not smoke.
Cigarettes contain about 4,700 harmful substances and are implicated in cardiovascular problems, several types of cancer and lung affections, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, among others.
Practice physical exercise.
WHO recommends moderate physical activity for 150 minutes per week. Whenever possible, go to places walking or cycling. Regular exercise helps you lose weight, boosts self-esteem, prevents illness and improves mood.
Eat healthy food.
Opt for real food, prepared at home, with fresh food . Processed products, such as frozen preparations, instant noodles, mixes for soups and cakes, ready-made sauces and seasonings, or ultra-processed products, such as sausages, sausage and nuggets , carry a lot of salt, sugar and harmful fats for the body.
Reduce your salt intake.
Excess sodium, present in salt, is related to high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease. Read product labels, avoiding taking those rich in sodium, and exchange part of the salt in recipes for herbs. Important: do not bring the salt shaker to the table.
Experts prefer to use, as a parameter, not the amount of liters or cups, but a volume sufficient to make the urine light yellow. Just avoid drinking water and other liquids during meals to avoid bloating your stomach and ending up eating more than you really need.
Avoid even those that don’t take sugar and prefer to eat the fruits instead of turning them into juices. The body takes longer to metabolize the sucrose in pieces of fruit, postponing the feeling of satiety, and the ingested fiber helps the intestine to function.
In fact, consume fiber.
Men should eat 34 grams and women 28 grams, according to the National Diabetes Care Association. In addition to fruits, fiber is found in vegetables and whole grains. They are important for the health of the digestive system, help lower cholesterol and control weight, and help prevent bowel cancer .
Avoid alcoholic beverages.
There is no way to talk about a green light in terms of alcohol, given the damage caused by alcoholism to the physical and mental health of the addict and his family, but the wine has some quality in this field, since it has resveratrol, an antioxidant that protects against cardiovascular disease . However, do not exceed one cup a day.
Wash your hands.
It is essential to maintain this habit, especially before eating and cooking, as well as after using the bathroom, to avoid contamination with possible infectious agents.
Manage your stress.
One of the vital factors in this regard is to manage time well, dividing it better between work, leisure and routine activities at home. Also, find an escape valve. Physical activity usually does this job and adds other benefits.
Take care of your affective and social bonds.
Keep a circle of people, friends and relatives you can count on to share your problems, celebrate your achievements, and be entertained.
Lack of sleep alters the metabolism and can end up resulting in overweight and resistance to insulin, a hormone that puts energy into the cells, with a consequent risk of developing diabetes. To get along with the pillow, don’t overeat at night or exercise before bed. When you go to bed, turn off all electronics and dim the room, as well as noise.
The protector must have a minimum SPF 30 for fair-skinned people and an SPF 15 minimum for people of African descent. In addition, exposure to the sun must occur at times of lesser ultraviolet radiation (before 10 am and after 4 pm).
Go to the doctor periodically.
Have a health check-up once a year or as recommended by your doctor. If you have any symptoms between appointments, see your doctor or emergency service.