The million dollar question…what matters most, genes or lifestyle?
You might be surprised to find out. Genes definitely play a role in our overall health but lifestyle most certainly pulls the trigger to the predisposed genes that can affect our health. Of course, like anything in life, there are exceptions and lifestyle doesn’t always prevent an event of poor health.
Let’s look at some of the more common health issues we face as we age.
Heart disease. By far, one of the more common complaints we face as we get older, genetics can play a role but a healthy lifestyle can lead to more prevention than we can imagine. There are more than 100 different genes that can affect our heart health but they play a very minor role in the overall picture of health. What you eat and how you move in a day, the habits you choose by far, outweigh the genes. Smoking, along with a sedentary lifestyle can destroy a good heart. Keep your stress levels in check, exercise daily and eat a well balanced meal can keep you on the road to good health, even good heart health, way into your golden years.
Type 2 Diabetes is rampant in this country thanks to a stressful lifestyle and diet filled with fast, processed foods. Type 2 Diabetes is a disease that is nearly always preventable. Here are some tips to lower your chances of developing this disease that seems to be showing up in younger and younger people. Eat real food…food that is not shelf stable is a good technique to measure how healthy the things are we put in our mouth. Make sure you are getting a well rounded diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, fiber, lean and organic proteins, along with healthy fats. Limit your intake of refined foods, sugar and even sugar substitutes.
The third most common health problem we face as middle aged women is stroke and hypertension. Learn about the negative lifestyle habits that most affect you. For many, stress and inflammation puts you more at risk of stroke and hypertension. Find ways to become stress resilient. When our bodies our inflamed you will naturally make cholesterol because cholesterol is a way our body heals inflammation. When we our arteries and veins are the thing inflamed, cholesterol comes along like a bandaid in an effort to heal them. If we are always inflamed we will have too much of a good thing and plaques can gather when they shouldn’t; in our brain and arteries. This puts us at increased risk for stroke and high blood pressure. Keep inflammation at bay with an anti-inflammatory diet. Look at the health problems you have and find ways to resolve them because overall health, adds to a healthy lifestyle.
It seems like the answer is always- change your diet, get better sleep and exercise! That’s because that is the answer, to many of the diseases that beset us.
Consider one simple thing you can change today to start you on a better path to increased health? Start small…walk a little more today than you did yesterday. Drink 8 glasses of water a day, avoid processed and sugary foods, and get your veggies.
With a little amount of effort, you can reap great rewards.