5 Tips to Improve Overall Health - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

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5 Tips to Improve Overall Health

 

Thanks to improvements in modern medicine and healthcare, people today are living longer than ever before. However, as advancements in medicine and treatment options make it easier to get a quick fix, many have become less inclined to make vital lifestyle changes to further improve their health.

A recent study found that baby boomers in particular have become too dependent on medication and surgery options. The result is they live longer, but not healthier. As a result, conditions such as hypertension and obesity remain prevalent among this age group. They’re even dealing with chronic diseases and more disability than their parents did at a similar age. Consider this - today, over three quarters of adults 50 and over have high blood pressure, whereas only 35 percent of the previous generation dealt with hypertension.

So what can you do to improve your health in addition to taking medicine? Make necessary lifestyle changes, which include:  

Exercise

Doctors have known for a long time that exercise is good for your mental and physical well being, so this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Physical activity helps you manage your weight (which is also important for your overall health), strengthen your bones and muscles, boost self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and even improve your mood. It can also help reduce your chances/symptoms of various diseases and conditions, such as diabetes and even cancer. While you can get your workout from a variety of activities - including walking, jogging, swimming, and even gardening - it’s important to do whatever you enjoy so you stay motivated. Aim for 30 minutes or more of exercise a day, three to five days a week. 

Eat healthy

It’s easy to start a healthy diet and then go back to your old eating habits. But eating healthy is something that must be done consistently, not only until you reach a certain weight loss goal, because when you eat well, you feel well. Stick to a diet that’s low in fats and sugar but high in fiber. The foods you eat should mainly consist of fruits, vegetables, low-fat or non-fat dairy, whole grains, lean fish, poultry, nuts, and beans. You also want to pay attention to the way in which your food is prepared. For example, avoid anything fried and opt for a dish that is broiled or grilled instead.

Practice relaxation techniques

Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are all ways in which you can reduce anxiety and stress and improve your overall mental health. And it’s not only important because it will make you less crabby; meditation can also help reduce symptoms of various health conditions, such as hypertension. Improving your mental health can also help you sleep better at night and even prevent weight gain.

Drink more water

Considering the body is 90 percent water, it’s no surprise that it’s needed for almost every function of the body. Instead of sugary sodas and juices, which can also negatively affect your health, drink water instead. Staying well hydrated throughout the day is vital for reducing aches and pains and maintaining your energy. One study even found that drinking water in the morning might also help you maintain a healthy weight. 

Quit bad habits

If you haven’t quit smoking yet, now’s the time. Smoking cigarettes greatly increases your chances for lung cancer, hypertension, diabetes and a plethora of other diseases and health conditions. Drinking too much alcohol is another factor that weighs down on your health. Stick to the recommended serving sizes of alcohol - two servings for men and one serving for women.

For more information about staying healthy or to find a physician who’s right for you, call 1-800-CK-HEALTH (1-800-254-3258) or visit www.crozerkeystone.org.

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