The leading causes of death and disability in the United States — chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer — often occur in people because of unhealthy habits like poor nutrition, smoking, and physical inactivity.
While genetics may play a role in your risk of developing a chronic disease, your lifestyle habits have a major influence on your health and risk of disease. Recent studies suggest that creating healthy habits may help you live longer and evade serious diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
At East Side Primary Medical Care on New York City’s Upper East Side, our skilled primary care provider, Dr. Daniel Klein, takes a proactive approach to health and wellness through the practice of preventive health care. We understand the importance of lifestyle when it comes to preventing disease and boosting wellness.
Here, we want to share some lifestyle habits you can make now that can help you live longer and healthier.
Smoking is bad for your health. It damages almost every organ in your body, from your lungs to your joints. If you smoke, it’s time to quit.
Stopping smoking lowers your risk of developing long-term illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and chronic lung disease. Even chronic smokers can get these health benefits when they quit.
We know how hard it is to stop smoking and can talk to you about smoking cessation programs that can help.
Eat a balanced diet
Good nutrition is important for good health. A balanced diet provides your body with the right amount of energy and nutrients necessary to perform at its best. It’s a diet that emphasizes more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy sources of protein (poultry, fish), calcium (dairy products, leafy greens), and fats (nuts, seeds, and extra virgin olive oil).
You don’t have to stop eating french fries and fried chicken on a balanced diet, but these types of foods shouldn’t make up the bulk of what you eat.
Eating a balanced diet also makes it easier for you to stay at a healthy weight. Maintaining your weight also lowers your risk of chronic disease.
Find time for activity
Exercise is good for your heart, lungs, muscles, bones, and mind. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity most days. Walking, swimming, and biking are all good forms of aerobic activity.
If time is tight and planned exercise isn’t working for you, find other ways to add activity into your day. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the next subway or bus stop, or get up and walk around the office once every hour and take a 10-minute walk during your lunch break.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is as essential to health as water and food. While you sleep, your body is repairing itself from the wear and tear of the day and prepping for the next. Not getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night may increase your risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
When creating new lifestyle habits, be kind to yourself. Making new habits requires your active participation, and it takes time and effort. Small, manageable changes work better than a complete overhaul of your life.
And there's no need to go about creating a lifestyle to prevent disease on your own. Let us help you establish new habits. Schedule an appointment by calling our office today or clicking the book online button.
We have telemedicine appointments and offer concierge primary care, so we can provide the extra level of attention you need to improve your health.