Avoiding Chronic Disease through Lifestyle

Did you know that most, if not all diseases can be avoided or delayed with lifestyle? If you have chronic diseases in your genetic line you are at a higher risk BUT lifestyle can prevent bad genes from turning on.

Diabetes: Twin studies have proven that genetics are a big factor in developing diabetes. The estimated contribution is about 50/50 from genes and lifestyle. You have about a 50% chance of developing diabetes if you have a family member with diabetes, but a sedentary lifestyle with a diet composed of excess empty calories may push you over the edge.

Diabetes can cause serious complications, including heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness. If you are overweight, losing even 5% to 7% of your body weight can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

High blood pressure & high cholesterol: A risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. If you have one or more family members with high blood pressure before the age of 60, your risk goes up by 2 times.

Heart disease: Atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, strokes, etc. Family history risk is very similar to high blood pressure, with 1 family member having a heart attack before age 60 and your chances go up 2 times as high.

Regular physical activity can help you prevent, delay, or manage chronic diseases. Aim for moderate physical activity (like brisk walking or gardening) for at least 150 minutes a week. If you can’t fit that in aim for 10-20 minutes per day. That will at least keep your risk factors lower than doing nothing!

Click HERE for the CDC’s website on preventing chronic diseases or watch the video below where Rachel our Dietitian breaks it down for you

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