The most horrifying part of suffering from a lifestyle disease is that most of them are chronic. You may have just spent half a year getting rid of PCOS, and yet it can pop back into your life any day. It is easy to be dispirited by diseases like diabetes. But the good news is that these diseases are not enough to discourage you.
The best part of lifestyle diseases is that they are prompted and nourished by your habits. Hence, you hold immense power and control over their onset and progression.
Some of the most common lifestyle diseases are type 2 diabetes, PCOS, heart diseases, atherosclerosis, stroke, obesity, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and cervical disc degeneration. And all of them can be kept from threatening your life with a few changes in your routine.
♦ Throw Out the Cigarette Pack
There is no upside to smoking. You may think that one cigarette cannot harm your body, and you could not be more wrong. Even one cigarette is supplying enough nicotine into your bloodstream to clump platelets together. Every time you smoke, those platelets are becoming clots bigger in number and size.
While this immediate impact can slowly lead to a heart attack or stroke, you have bigger things to worry about. Platelets are responsible for carrying oxygen to every cell in the body. Without a steady supply of oxygen, your cells will struggle to do their job and stay alive. Whoever said smoking is a slow death was not joking. Smoking is pushing you towards every cell degeneration disease known to man including cancer.
Even if you are lucky to escape Alzheimer's and cancer, smoking will keep on hampering your immune system and cause inflammation which makes you prone to all sorts of pathogens and lifestyle diseases. You are also putting your liver and kidney through the mammoth task of breaking down nicotine.
The best time to quit smoking is today. While nicotine lasts in the bloodstream only for three to ten days, experts have found traces of nicotine in the body up to a year after last exposure. It depends on how frequently you ingested nicotine. The best way forward is to drink more water, eat foods rich in antioxidants, and exercise.
♦ Move Your Body!
A sedentary lifestyle has left you prone to everything from heart disease and diabetes to PCOS and hypertension. When you do not exercise, the muscles will weaken and blood circulation will not be as efficient as it should be. It also brings down your lung capacity.
That glow you see on the skin after a workout session is no myth. You must learn to listen to your body. However, the goal is not to work out for an hour a day every day or to do 100 pushups. The goal is to find a routine that your body loves. Exercise is meant to nourish you, not break you.
Fortunately, you are spoiled for choices. Some of the popular activities are walking, swimming, yoga, dancing, and HIIT cardio workout. But, no matter what you choose, do not forget to stretch. Even on days, you cannot make time for a workout session, stretch for five minutes three or four times a day.
Stretching has instant benefits like boosting blood flow to muscles, improving posture, and preventing back pain/body pain. This is one of the reasons yoga works great for your body and mind. It involves a lot of stretching. Being one of the best workouts, yoga benefits every organ in the body. You can design a routine by choosing which problem you want to address first.
There is a yoga asana for every problem. If you suspect the onset of diabetes, find a routine that will keep your body weight in check. If you sense the return of PCOS, find poses that will increase blood flow to the ovaries and keep abdominal fat in check. No matter which form of exercise you choose, they will help the body be in the best form it can be.
♦ Reinvent Your Pantry
There is nothing more important than your diet. The food you put in your body has a direct impact on how it functions. The first step to being healthy and keeping lifestyle diseases at bay is to stop eating junk food. They are full of trans fat, sugar, and salt. They also come with an unnecessary supply of unhealthy oils. Junk foods are the exact opposite of what your body needs.
If you are to make your pantry healthy, throw out as much as packaged foods you can and bring in wholesome foods rich in fibre. You can always find a way to give a healthy makeover to your guilty pleasures. Homemade beetroot chips and potato chips are always better than store-bought chips laden with preservatives and secret ingredients. Replace the tub of ice cream with yoghurt.
Fruits and vegetables are the best way to reclaim your body. They are rich in fibre, water, vitamins, and minerals. Include nuts and seeds in moderation too. If consumed in excess, they can lead to unnecessary fat deposits. Try to enjoy the process of shopping for groceries and cooking at home. Walk around the market and pick out colourful produce for they are rich in antioxidants that can repair the body.
♦ Learn to Love Detox
There is a new detox trend in the market at least twice a year. You do not need to keep up with them. The best practice is to keep listening to your body and find something that works for you.
Intermittent fasting is a fad that has made a lot of people happy. The key is to not force your body to work on digesting food all the time. Give it a break so that it can take some rest and work on repairing the cells. Although we are not as fast as animals, the human body can also heal itself. And a body with healed and new cells and tissues will not fall prey to diseases easily.
A weekly detox session is a good way to start. And drink ash gourd juice to remove waste build-up in the intestines. You will be surprised to know that a sedentary lifestyle and excess waste in the intestines increase the risk of colon cancer. Keeping your body clean will keep it calm and healthy.
♦ Keep Your Sleep Clean
Sleep hygiene is one of the best habits you can develop. While it may sound easy, bringing your phone to bed has not been helping. A lot of people suffer from insomnia and interrupted sleep. In an ideal situation, you are not supposed to wake up in the middle of the night.
Lack of proper sleep has an impact on the body. It messes with your blood pressure, the release of insulin, immune system, blood sugar levels, metabolism, and level of chemicals associated with inflammation. However, it has a more instant and serious impact on your hormones and mental health. Sleep deprivation can lead to stress, anxiety, and hypertension which are also chronic lifestyle problems.
You can deal with it by executing a healthy routine that gives you seven to eight hours of continuous sleep. Take help from essential oils and herbal teas. While there is not a lot of research on them, essential oils are known to calm your body and mind. They are also harmless as long as you use them externally.
Peppermint oil and lavender oil are known to help with stress, irritation, and anxiety. Herbal teas have been part of Asian cultures for centuries. While many of them contribute to your immunity and health, chamomile is the one you need to sleep. Chamomile tea is a muscle relaxant that can help you sleep in no time.