Big Risks to Your Health
The biggest risk to anyone’s health is largely poor lifestyle choices. The big diseases resulting from these are cardiovascular disease, various cancers, obesity, diabetes and chronic lung disease (COPD). All of the above diseases can significantly shorten your life or more significantly reduce the quality of your remaining years.
We are now seeing children and teenagers with diabetes due to obesity stemming from childhood. Traditionally, people would go to the doctor if they were sick but investing some time and energy in preventive health and check-ups can reap rewards. Having a check-up that involves being weighed and measured, having your blood pressure and urine checked and a basic medical exam along with possibly a few routine bloods can pick up lots of medical issues at the point they are treatable. Always attend when you are offered screening such as breast and bowel check or cervical check.
Reduce portion size at meals. Many people eat good food - just way too much of it - our plates and glasses are getting bigger.
Trying to exercise everyday will go a long way towards keeping you healthy. This doesn’t mean going to the gym. It just means moving for a half hour daily - this may be a simple walk, housework, sports or group exercise. Dance is an excellent way of exercising as it constantly challenges the muscles and joints in different ways. If you do exercise, mix it up walk fast and slow, change your route - it stops the body getting use to one thing and becoming lazy again.
Dr Nina Byrnes, GP, Columnist and Author, is in studio.