The best prevention of the most of the diseases is: physical activity, exercising and healthy diet
We should remember that regular exercise and physical activity is essential for maintaining our health stability and we should think about it long before serious health problems start to appear. Physical activity, exercises, healthy diet and weight control are the best ways to avoid occurrence of many of today’s common diseases.
The institutions and organizations specializing in health issues systematically publish their accounts and statistics of diseases like cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, respiratory/lung diseases, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, spinal diseases which result in different disabilities in most of the occasions and are the main causes of premature death. According to these studies the high rate of abovementioned diseases is determined by the lack of daily physical activities, unhealthy diets and obesity.
Health care and other expert institutions in fighting diseases unequivocally point out the crucial role of the abovementioned factors in developing those diseases and give the recommendations on how to reduce risks and get the best prevention.
1. Be active
In today’s life most of the people have jobs where they have to sit at their desks during the whole working day but they are not engaged in any physical activities in their free time. Sedentary lifestyle which is one of the main reasons of cardiovascular diseases has been described as a new epidemic in Europe and the USA.
“Physical activity, done on regular basis, several days a week, considerably reduces the risk of developing different widespread diseases and mostly the risk of premature death.” This is the recommendation of the state departments and the leading health care organizations in the USA.
most days of the week reduces the risk of developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness and death in the United States” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996). Regular physical activity improves health in the following ways.
• Reduces the risk of dying prematurely
• Reduces the risk of dying from heart disease
• Reduces the risk of developing diabetes
• Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure
• Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure
• Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer
• Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
• Helps control weight
• Helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints
• Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling
• Promotes psychological well-being
In addition, the Surgeon General’s report (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996) makes three key points.
1. People who are usually inactive can improve their health and wellbeing by becoming even moderately active on a regular basis.
2. Physical activity need not be strenuous to achieve health benefits.
3. Greater health benefits can be achieved by increasing the amount (duration, frequency, or intensity) of physical activity.
A moderate amount of physical activity can be achieved in a variety of ways.
2. Improving physical condition
Physical activity is beneficial for overall health but physical fitness can be even more beneficial. However, before engaging in fitness you must be used to some physical activities as fitness requires more intensity, duration and frequency of physical activities. It improves flexibility, balance, coordination, strength, energy, speed, strengthens cardiovascular system, muscle tissues and overall composition of the body. In addition it regulates blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels in the body, assists in fat burning and could increase bone density as well.
Physical activity can be performed within a freer schedule while fitness training must be well- planned, structured and repetitive.
Since 1980 North American health care institutions – American Heart Institute, American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, American Dietetic Association, have been publishing and updating their recommendations on reducing the risks of diseases based on healthy eating habits every five years, which are based on the latest studies in this field.
- Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol.
- Keep total fat intake between 20–35% of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
- Consume less than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.
- Consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt) per day. At the same time, consume potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Sodium consumption should be further limited in individuals with hypertension and congestive heart failure. However, iodized salt is important for prevention of thyroid disease.
- Those who choose to drink alcoholic beverages should do so sensibly and in moderation—defined as the consumption of up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
- Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. Be sure to include vegetables from all five subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables) throughout each week.
- Consume 3 or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products. In general, at least half the grains you consume should come from whole grains.
- Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products.
4. Obesity Prevention
Obesity is a condition characterized by excess body fat and is associated with an increased incidence of hypertension, hyperlipidemia (excess fat or cholesterol in the blood), diabetes, degenerative arthritis, certain cancers, reduced life expectancy, and early death.
Obese people are hospitalized more frequently than are people of average weight, and they have more surgical complications.
Obesity is defined as a level of excess body fat that increases the risk of disease. Other characteristics of obesity include: having a body mass index (BMI) of > 30 kg/m2, or a waist girth > 102 cm for men and > 88 cm for women, or a waist/hip ratio of ≥ 0.95 for men and ≥ 0.86 for women.
5. Abstaining from smoking
Smoking is responsible for causing several diseases. It harms nearly every major organ in the human body. Lung cancer and emphysema are perhaps the best-known outcomes associated with smoking. However, heart disease is statistically the most serious problem resulting from smoking. The risk and frequency of heart attacks are greater in individuals who smoke, and increase according to the number of cigarettes smoked.
The risk of heart diseases is considerably reduced only after two years from quitting smoking. And after 5-10 years breaking this habit the risk level is the same as among non-smokers.
Physical exercise, weight control, abstaining from smoking, healthy diet, controlling alcohol consumption is the main factors in maintaining your stable health conditions.