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Is Your Lifestyle Making You Sick?

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Make an Appointment for Healthy Living

Have you, like many people, been thinking about making positive lifestyle changes for a long time?  Would you love to lose some weight and to be one of those admirable souls who seem to somehow be able to fit daily exercise into their busy lives?  It's certainly easier for people who have the luxury of making their own schedules with plenty of leisure time to exercise and prepare healthy food.

What about the rest of us who work long hours, especially if we are also raising a family?  In this case, it is more challenging to live a healthy lifestyle, but also perhaps even more critical, because a healthy lifestyle will help us combat stress and be there for our loved ones. 

Whatever your particular circumstances are, it's still up to you to determine how to find the time to do things that are in your long-term interest.

To make sure you get regular exercise, try making it a priority and scheduling your workout first thing in the morning.  You may even have to get up a little bit earlier, but the pay-off will be a greater sense of well being and increased energy in the short-term, and knowing that you are doing something very positive for your long-term health and well-being. It gets much easier once it becomes an established habit, and you will eventually feel so much better that you won't want to miss a morning workout.

Does your overall lifestyle promote good health and wellness?  Are the choices you make helping to keep you and your family well and healthy over the long term?

Many people think that some of the most common causes of sickness and death, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, are all strongly determined by either genetics or just plain luck of the draw.  That's not really the case, however.  

For example, only about 10% of cancers are determined by a person's genetics.  Most of the time, cancer is linked to the way we live our lives - from the food we eat, the exercise we get or fail to get, our environment including exposure to toxins, and whether or not we have positive, loving and supportive relationships. 

In recent years, research studies have shown a significant correlation between overweight/obesity and a person's likelihood of developing cancer.  The evidence seems to suggest that fat cells are not simply passive storehouses of excess energy in the form of fat. Instead, it appears that fat cells are more like tiny metabolic furnaces that spew out a wide range of chemicals, including various hormones and inflammatory agents that may cause normal cells and tissues to become cancerous.1 The majority of people and even many physicians are completely unaware of this.

The connection between lifestyle and both type 2 diabetes and heart disease, on the other hand, tends to be much more obvious to many people.2,3  But cancer, we now know, is also often the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. The great news is that by being willing to make health-enhancing lifestyle choices, we can stack the deck in our favor and create more positive long-term changes in our health and well-being.

The best news is that these choices are in your hands. Every day you get to decide for yourself whether or not to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Of course, it can be easier some days than others to consistently make those healthy choices.  If you travel a lot for work, it may be extra challenging to find good, healthy food and to fit exercise into your daily routine.  If that's the case, just do the best you can and remember that living a healthy lifestyle is a lifetime endeavor.  If you manage to eat a nutritious and healthy diet and get regular exercise most of the time, you can take a short break here and there without noticing too much of a negative effect, as long as you get back to your positive, healthy habits as soon as possible.  Thinking long term and making sure you choose a healthy lifestyle most of the time, will usually allow you to get back on track quickly.

Chiropractic care is another very important aspect of healthy living. Chiropractic care helps to make sure that your body is functioning optimally.  It also helps you to get the most benefit from the healthy food you're choosing and the regular, vigorous exercise you're getting. Your Millar chiropractor will be happy to assist you in creating an exercise and nutritional program designed to address your particular needs and concerns.

1Chan AT, Giovannucci EL: Primary prevention of colorectal cancer. Gastroenterology 138(6):2029-2043, 2010
2Shi Y, et al: Cardiovascular determinants of life span. Pflugers Arch 459(2):315-324, 2010
3Ma J, et al: Evaluation of lifestyle interventions to treat elevated cardiometabolic risk in primary care (E-LITE): a randomized controlled trial. BMC Fam Pract 10:71, 2009