START SOMEWHERE today with intentional, progressive lifestyle modifications to increase your joy and vitality in life! Simple, low-cost, daily changes can significantly reduce pain, suffering and death from the top five causes of death and disability. Nearly 75 percent of all deaths in the United States are attributed to just ten culprits, with the top five accounting for over 63 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that lifestyle modifications such as eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and avoiding tobacco can significantly lower:
- Heart Disease
- Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
- Unintentional Injuries
According to the CDC, 20 to 40 percent of deaths from these five causes could be prevented. While the scientific literature talks much about “death,” I believe that it is equally important to address the loss of enthusiasm, creativity, and relationship activity that these illnesses bring with them. If you don’t feel good, it’s a lot tougher to have that extra spark to get together with your friends or plan activities. We do know from excellent research that social connection is a key to vital longevity, or healthspan, and that chronic diseases hamper your ability and desire to be socially active. Here’s an interesting paper from Stanford Medicine researching this area.
You already know this information! The difficult part is getting started. When you read that “adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity – equal to a brisk walk – exercise each week,” it can be overwhelming if you’re not doing anything. That is where I have seen the START SOMEWHERE attitude work well for people. Give yourself grace and begin parking farther in the parking lot or walking around the block when you get home from work. When this becomes routine, walk further. We often feel the need to spend money to solve problems. It’s not typically necessary to join a gym to get started. If that were a definitive solution then gyms would be busy all year long!
Eating more real food is another well-proven strategy to minimize these chronic lifestyle maladies. Our bodies are designed with certain fuel requirements. The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables each day. I would recommend that these be raw in order to get the benefit of the heat-fragile nutrients from them. If you are at virtually zero in this category, which is an easy place to be, then start with just one-half cup and work up slowly from there. When you “start low and go slow,” it’s easier on your digestive system too!
The stress of too many changes at once has a negative impact on your vitality. Let yourself slowly move from “I need to” to the point where “I want to” is your knee-jerk, inside-out response!
Intentional, progressive lifestyle modifications are the very best way to increase your zest for life.
START SOMEWHERE today! You can do it. I will help you.