Are Your Lifestyle Habits Killing You?

Are you one of the many Americans in life-threatening DANGER?!! Are harmful forces insidiously destroying the quality and length of your life? Do you even know whether your life is at risk?

Scientific and technological advances have greatly increased the average lifespan. With youth no longer short-lived, adults can now look and feel like they’re twenty, thirty years younger. Regardless, multitudes of Americans are excluding themselves from such opportunities. Fortitude: Health and Wellness Inc. reported that about 129 million people are overweight or obese. In 2000 17 million people had diabetes, and in 2003, only one year, 1.1 million people suffered from heart attacks. Heart disease is the first leading cause of death in the United States, and strokes are the third leading cause. It is time to become informed; often, these and many other ailments can be avoided. The fountain of youth may be only a myth. But with the right choices, you can come close to it.

An American Psychological Association (APA) survey found stress to have a direct relationship with the health problems in the country’s health concerns. Stress has the potential to impair health directly. However, as Americans handle stress with dangerous behaviors, stress indirectly becomes a major cause of unnecessary deaths. According to the American Psychological Association Practice Directorate, money, work, children, and the health problems of loved ones are the greatest causes of stress. Ironically, personal health was also included on this list. As many people worry about their own health, they in effect, increase problems and possibly shorten it. Tension and anxiety are often difficult to prevent, especially in today’s society. However, by not using the following coping strategies as stress “solutions,” Americans can greatly increase their chances of a long youthful life.

Perilous Lifestyles:

As stressful lives lead to poor nutrition, people entrap themselves within a vicious cycle. With so many people constantly on the go, eating a healthy, balanced diet has become more difficult than ever. The American Psychological Association found a direct correlation between eating fast food and levels of stress. Fast food, detrimentally high in calories, high in saturated fats, high in sugar, and low in whole grains, frequently becomes the norm. Proclaiming solutions to this nutrition deficient, too many fad diets focus on weight loss at the expense of nutrient assurance. According to the APA survey participants, one out of every four people relied on “comfort foods” when feeling stressed. Prolonged periods of anxiety cause the body to feel tired. Popular “comfort foods”, such as chips and ice cream, which contain un-complexed carbohydrates and high levels of fat, fail to serve as good energy-sources. The mere short boosts of energy caused from high sugar contents only leaves the body with greater feelings of exhaustion. Insomnia, mood swings, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and weakened immune systems have a tendency to result from the combination of stress’s negative blood-sugar affects and the addition of a high-sugar diet. Needless to say, further complications, such as depression, diabetes, and obesity, often develop. Within an environment of such poor health, chances of congested heart failure greatly increase. The APA survey found that sixty-five percent of people whom relied on “comfort foods” were overweight and had twice the chance of potential obesity. Obesity, America’s severe growing epidemic, continues the negative chain by exposing the body to even further health complications.

Nevertheless, healthy, low-risk lifestyles need more than nutritious food in the diet; vitamins and supplements are essential. Today’s society makes it virtually impossible for even the most dedicated health food loyalist to receive all proper nutrients from food alone. For one it becomes more and more difficult to find healthy quick, dining-out food, but the hectic schedules of personal and professional life greatly decrease consistent home-cooked menus. Secondly, popular un-organic methods of growing, raising, and processing inevitably lose some of the natural nutrients. While compensating for nutrients lost and ignored in meal plans, vitamins also serve as natural and holistic alternatives to medications and offer solutions to medication shortcomings. There are many naturopathically trained physicians that can construct vitamin programs suited for individual needs.

Drastically causing health complications and premature deaths, cigarettes continue to bring a great threat to society. Even with all the research proving their dangers, cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are still used by a large percentage of Americans. Often attracting people bothered by stress, cigarettes too can actually increase feelings of anxiety. Including problems such as depleted bone density, emphysema, lung cancer, and heart disease, the risks of tobacco are innumerable. Until the elimination of tobacco, Americans will never achieve the possibility of a long healthy life.

Sedentary jobs and interests focused around televisions, video games, and computers continue to decrease activity levels. Public and personal transportation enables greater distances to be covered, and the transportation modes of walking and bicycles become less frequent. However, although societal changes largely reduce exercise opportunities, Americans must find ways to remain active. The lack of exercise is greatly responsible for the rapidly increasing rates of American obesity. Further, without activity people will not have the strength or endurance to maintain youth or longevity. Walking wherever possible and exercising at a gym serve as alternatives. Not only offering countless health benefits, but exercise also provides positive outlets to diminish stress. Activities such as yoga offer exercise while directly aiming at stress reduction.

Stress may be overwhelming, but the health problems caused from unhealthy reactions may be deadly. Modern society may pose an increasing number of obstacles, but you do not have to become a victim. By choosing nutritious foods, vitamins and supplements, and exercise and by avoiding tobacco, a long life of youth is more possible than ever. Start avoiding or reversing the danger in your life today.

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