Your genes might dictate the diseases you’re prone to, but the most important contributor to your health is something over which you have much more control: your lifestyle. A good lifestyle is vital to good health, and for a good reason – most medical professionals agree that no matter what diseases or disorders you are prone to, they are only a pre-disposition; environmental changes like lifestyle contribute to the many different ways that these pre-dispositions can become problematic to one’s health. There are many small habits that you can have, which can add up and impact your health in different ways. There are obvious changes you can make – it’s wise to avoid smoking and drinking too much, but besides those, here are the big lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health.
Deal with Your Debt
Debts can be one of the worst things for your mental and physical health. To quote debt expert Gregory Fishman: ‘debt can be a disease that breaks families apart and doses the spirit of those just trying to earn an honest living’. That’s why he has dedicated himself to teach people how to overcome debt lawsuits, which are a particularly stressful element of the debt experience.
Some of the profound impacts that debt can have on your physical and mental health are as follows:
Stress can lead to higher blood pressure. Some studies have directly linked having a high debt low asset ratio with having high blood pressure. This is easy to explain from a scientific perspective: stress causes hormones’ release into the body. These hormones are called corticosteroids, and they’re designed to help your body cope with stressful factors in the era of evolutionary adaptation (effectively caveman times). They’re not effective at assisting people in dealing with debts and having an almost corrosive impact on the heart and other organs. These corticosteroids can also lead to lower immunity (stressed people have a lower white blood cell count) and neck pain.
More on Stress
Stress can also lead to debilitating mental health problems. It’s easy to see how stress can lead to anxiety, but anxiety often brings with it depression, which can spiral into feelings of worthlessness and suicidal tendencies. These mental health issues can also impact social functioning stress leads to increased relationship issues. Newly-weds with money issues are more likely to divorce within five years.
Prolonged stress has many other impacts too:
- Over time, stress weakens the immune system, possibly doing irreversible damage as free radicals destroy important organs.
- Stress can also impact the digestive system. There are pronounced links between the stomach and brain, and stress can increase your risk of diabetes, heartburn, acid reflux, and other digestive problems
- Sexual health and reproductive systems can be impacted too. For men, prolonged stress can cause testosterone levels to drop and contribute to erectile dysfunction and even a low sperm count. For women, it can impact the reproductive and menstrual system and can be very problematic when trying for a baby.
- All the tension of stress can impact muscles leading to tension headaches and muscle strains.
There are many ways to deal with stress: exercise, meditation, and just talking to people all help, but it’s important to try to get to the root of the problem.
Get More Sleep
Poor sleep is linked to a range of problems:
- It’s correlated with people having weight issues. Adults studied in sleep trials and found to have a poor sleep duration have been 55% more likely to develop obesity. This is likely because sleep regulates many functions around the body, including metabolism.
- Sleep is linked to better brain functioning – when you sleep, proteins and enzymes flood your brain, cleaning it of dangerous expired neurons.
- Less sleep has been firmly linked to greater risks of stroke, heart disease and other chronic illnesses. This is again linked to sleep’s brilliant ability to give the body a health check and eliminate damaging chemicals.
- Poor sleep has also been linked to depression, though scientists aren’t sure if depression causes poor sleep or poor sleep causes depression
The ideal amount of sleep is between 7 to 8 hours a night, but this depends on the individual. If your sleep isn’t great, there are things you can do to improve it. Sleep hygiene is an important thing to know about – good sleep hygiene includes many factors like winding down before bed, not having screens in the bedroom, not consuming sugar late at night or eating anything in bed, not staying in bed when you can’t sleep and having regular sleeping hours.
Move Your Body Regularly
Most people spend their day sitting down. There have been many studies about how dangerous that is. Humans weren’t meant to spend their days sitting working at a computer. The body needs to be moved regularly. It’s not enough to do a couple hours of exercise a week. If you sit for too long, the benefits of exercise are even negated. If you do most of your work at computers, try to take regular walking breaks to move your body. You can also consider getting a standing desk. Keep in mind that the average American walks between 3000 to 4000 metres a day only. It can help keep track of how much you walk with a smart device like a Fitbit or even a plain old pedometer, as this will make you conscious of how well you’re moving your body. It would help if you aimed to walk 10,000 steps a day (about 500 an hour).
Eat a Regular and Balanced Diet
Your diet provides you with energy. Having a healthy and balanced diet provides you with many benefits, including a lower risk of suffering from chronic diseases like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancer. It’s also very important when you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight and not put too much pressure on your body.
Making sure you eat regularly at regular times is surprisingly important – it can reduce the digestive issues you experience and keeps your metabolism ticking over healthily.