The Rule of Four is the Key to a Long, Healthy Life

The Rule of Four is the Key to a Long, Healthy Life
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The Centers for Disease Control reports that seven out of ten Americans die each year due to chronic diseases, but there are 4 steps that you can take to help avoid illness and keep your body strong and living long.

People who engage in all four of these healthy behaviors are 66 percent less likely to die early from cancer, 65 percent less likely to die early from cardiovascular disease, and 57 percent less likely to die early from other causes, compared to people who did not engage in any of the healthy behaviors.

(1) Diet/Nutrition: Having a healthy diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat foods can help keep the pounds at bay, as well as help your cholesterol levels and fend off diabetes. More 33 percent of adults and 17 of America’s children are now considered obese. The related costs of that obesity—in the rise in insurance, health care costs, loss of work, disability payments—has risen to $270 billion annually. The USDA debuted its new MyPlate dietary guidelines in June, featuring an easy-to-understand plate graphic, as well as a brand new website chockfull of information, helpful hints, and interactive tools.

In addition to using the MyPlate symbol to help you with food choices, you can visit the HealthNews diet pages to find a weight loss program that will fit your budget and lifestyle. Over twenty of today’s top-rated diets have been independently reviewed and can provide you with the information you need to make the right choice.

(2) Exercise/Fitness: Participating in some sort of ongoing fitness regime really can keep you healthier and extend your life span. Some studies say it takes just 15 minutes a day, although President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports recommends 30 minutes of physical activity on five or more days a week to be healthy. In addition to increasing longevity, daily physical activity can substantially reduce the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Daily physical activity helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, helps prevent or retard osteoporosis, and helps reduce obesity, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and symptoms of arthritis.

For suggestions on how to get your fitness routine going, you might want to read
Learning to Love Exercise: Find Your Exercise Personality
or check out
Finding the Best iPhone Apps for Fitness
Top 10 Reasons to Try Group Fitness
Fitness Fridays: New Products to Try

(3) Smoking: Avoid cancer sticks altogether, and maintain a smoke-free home and workplace. With 6 million people dying globally each year from smoking or secondhand smoke, tobacco is a major killer. If you are already hooked, there are a variety of ways to stop the habit, both natural and pharmaceutically-based. If you need help or guidance, there is a tol-free service available at 1-800-Quit-Now.

(4) Alcohol: The key to most things in life is moderation, and alcohol is definitely one that fits that motto. Binge drinking, popular amongst teens and twenty-somethings can cause serious brain damage, and drinking and driving is responsible for one death every thirty minutes ,and causes non-fatal injuries every two minutes. It is recommended that men have no more than two drinks per day; women just one per day.Drinking regularly and heavily, or binging on a regular basis, are signs of addiction and alcohol abuse and require intervention and treatment, either through a self-help program such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or an in-patient treatment program.

Chronic disease not only affects Americans, but is a worldwide health issue. The World Health Organization warned earlier this year that chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes have reached global epidemic proportions and kill more people than all other diseases combined.

"The rise of chronic noncommunicable diseases presents an enormous challenge," WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, said in a statement. "For some countries, it is no exaggeration to describe the situation as an impending disaster; a disaster for health, for society, and most of all for national economies.”

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