|Exercising 10 minutes a day boosts health.|
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Can you control your health destiny?
Good news: new research says you are in control of your own disease destiny. Your DNA determines what color eyes you have and how tall you are, but your family history doesn’t have to dictate whether or not you develop chronic conditions. Even making small lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on your health.
A new study analzyed the health habits of more than 200,000 Americans over 10 years. Researchers found that walking and eating more veggies can decrease a person’s risk for developing type II diabetes, even if the individual was overweight!
Based on study findings, a woman with a healthy BMI who exercises regularly, eats a healthy diet, doesn’t smoke, and drinks moderately is 84% less likely to develop diabetes than her less-than-healthy counterpart; a man following a similar healthy lifestyle is 72% less likely to develop diabetes than his unhealthy counterpart. Although following a healthy lifestyle helps decrease a person’s risk for developing diabetes, researchers point out the most important predictor for developing diabetes was weight.
Diabetes isn’t the only disease healthy living can protect against. A recent report issued by the World Cancer Research Fund stated that 2.8 million cases of cancer could be prevented each year if people followed a healthier lifestyle. Surprise, surprise: according to this report, increasing healthy behaviors (physical activity and diet) and decreasing unhealthy behaviors (smoking and alcohol consumption) could dramatically reduce cancer and death rates.
Many people focus on what the scale says as an indicator of health but it’s important to recognize your weight is just one piece of the puzzle. Behaviors you can control, such as exercising ten minutes every day and eating 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables, can improve your health and prevent disease.