Everyone might not want a 6 pack, but it’s safe to say most people would like to prevent an early death. In the interest of the preservation of my blog readers, here are 4 ways to fend off the grim reaper from an early visit.
4 actions to take to prevent disease and mortality
- Eat your greens and fibrous vegetables (5+ serves). Working in the health industry for many years I rarely find anyone eats more than enough greens. It would be unusual to have a client recovering after a big weekend from binging on kale, spinach, cucumber and Brussels sprouts. The higher the daily average consumption of vegetables, especially greens, has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 30%. (1) Studies have also shown that eating the above-mentioned vegetables reduces the chance of colon cancer. (2)
- It hurts me to say, but stay away from processed meats like the plague. Ensuring that you keep walking past the deli section in the supermarket will help reduce your chances of colorectal cancer by 18%. Unfortunately bacon falls into the processed meat category (I cried when I first learnt this), however if you have a love for bacon like me, there are butchers that sell unprocessed bacon.
- Lift weights. I’m aware you might be thinking I’m just another strength coach telling you to lift weights. It kind of sounds like a podiatrist telling you that feet are the most important part of the body or a dentist telling you that healthy teeth are the windows to your health. Either way I’m telling you to lift weights for a longer, healthier life. It has been shown to reduce risks of a whole number of diseases for example type 2 diabetes, obesity, sarcopenia (muscle loss), osteoporosis etc. As a side note, strength training can also improve energy levels and increase libido. (3) Need I say anymore?
- Make sure you get quality sleep. Research has shown that people who regularly fail to get enough sleep are at increased risk of chronic diseases and weight gain. Put down that iPhone or any other light emitting device two hours before bed (unless you are reading a HH article) and dimming the lights each night will help your body relax to ensure better sleep.
In summary, eat greens by the bucket load, say no to the salami stick, lift something heavy and sleep like a baby.
- Hung H-C, Joshipura KJ, Jiang R, Hu FB, Hunter D, Smith-Warner SA, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Spiegelman D, and Willett WC. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of major chronic disease. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 96: 1577-1584, 2004.
- Voorrips L, Goldbohm R, van Poppel G, Sturmans F, Hermus R, and Van Den Brandt P. Vegetable and fruit consumption and risks of colon and rectal cancer in a prospective cohort study The Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer. American Journal of Epidemiology 152: 1081-1092, 2000.
- Zitzmann M, and Nieschlag E. Testosterone levels in healthy men and the relation to behavioural and physical characteristics: facts and constructs. European Journal of Endocrinology 144: 183-197, 2001.
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