Is it too late to turn your health around? Although we were raised certain ways we can still make a U-turn, or at least navigate a big curve. I was raised with dessert every day, lots of processed foods, little to no access to seafood, and limited fresh vegetables beyond summer. Meals were built around meat and potatoes. As for exercise, anyone who knows me can attest to my utter lack of athletic ability. So, should we settle for life-long habits and figure it’s too late to make changes now?
Actually, there is a LOT of evidence that changes, at all stages of life, still help you. Below are just a few of the most common habits/choices that can be changed in a way that really makes you feel better.
Changes to turn your health around
- Quit smoking –
- Just 20 minutes after you quit your blood pressure and heart rate decrease.
- Your risk of a heart attack starts to go down at 24 hours.
- Taste and smell start to improve at 48 hours.
- After 1-5 years your risk of heart disease is cut in half.
- After 10 years your risk of lung cancer is almost as low as a lifelong nonsmoker.
- Weight loss – short and long term
- Small weight loss can have big advantages.
- If you lose 5-10% of your body weight, your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol all improve.
- Your risk of heart disease goes down.
- It gets easier to breathe.
- Sleep apnea can improve helping you sleep better and be less sleepy during the day.
- Your sex drive
- Joint pain
- Diet changes –
- Decreasing your daily calories by 500-1,000 per day will decrease weight 1-2 pounds per week. [Faster weight loss is not as healthy and hard to sustain.]
- Gradually add more interesting fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- Sudden, drastic changes are not necessary and are hard to do.
- More variety in fruits and vegetables will increase the types of vitamins and nutrients you get.
- Change up your fat
- Exchange some of your red meat meals for fish (your grocery store meat section will likely have instructions on how to prepare whatever is on sale or available in the meat section).
- Try nuts for snacks over sugary snacks.
- Drink more water or unsweetened beverages in place of sugary soda or fruit juice.
- Eat smaller portions of your dessert, as a starting point to cut back.
- Get moving – it helps with more than just weight control.
- Decrease joint pain and strain, especially your lower back.
- Get stronger and be more resilient against small strains and sprains.
- Be more flexible.
- Decrease your risk of a fall that could injure you.
- Stay healthy and independent longer through fitness.
- Have more energy and stamina.
- Exercise doesn’t have to mean joining a gym or playing a sport.
- Get up and move around during commercial breaks on TV.
- Park farther from the front door.
- Go for a walk with a friend.
- Window shop in all of the stores at the mall before making a purchase.
U-turns are allowed in your life. No matter your age and for how long you have been doing things a certain way, make a change. Turn your health around. See how much better you can feel with very small changes starting today.
For more information about healthy choices and making a U-turn, contact us at www.medsmash.com.
For further application, check out my personal blog.