Am I dreaming? What if 70-90 percent of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke were prevented? Think of the impact.
We would see people actively enjoying life long into their golden years. We wouldn’t stress about the escalating costs of health insurance. We could imagine a longer and healthier life.
Well, maybe it isn’t just a dream. I ran across this article on Forbes sites about 89 year old Alice.
“we can prevent about 80 percent of heart disease, about 90 percent of diabetes, and about 70 percent of stroke if we make the right food choices, get physical activity and don’t smoke.”
The quote is from An Interview with Walter Willet. He is the chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. In that interview he answers 21 health questions that address exactly how 70-90 percent of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke can be prevented.
Alice Made the Choice
What makes Alice different? Why is she part of the solution to prevent 70-90 percent of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke?
As you read the article on Forbes, we get a glimpse into the lifestyle changes that Alice deliberately makes.
- Take Meds – If your doctor prescribes medications, keep track and take them. It sounds simple, but often the simple things get skipped. Alice just does it.
- Get Exercise – get regular exercise. Alice does. Even at 89, she gets 25 minutes every day on the treadmill. She also does exercise in the pool. Find something that will work and stick to it.
- Eat Right – Take time to track what you eat, then make changes to eat what is good for you. Alice does, join her.
- Watch Your Weight – Check your body composition and keep your weight in check.
- Extinguish It – Don’t start smoking and if you do, stop. I know easier said than done, but the health impact is huge.
- Drink in Moderation – Don’t over do it, Alice doesn’t and at 89 she’s still going strong.
- Ask and Listen – If something isn’t right, ask for a diagnosis, then listen and do. Alice did with her leg pain, then immediately started putting the recommendations into action. Shock your doctors by actually listening to them and taking action.
- Get Social – Don’t isolate yourself. We need friends to laugh, love, and live with. Find others while will share the ups and downs of life.
- Keep Learning – Explore new ideas, new technologies (yes, I’m a techno-geek), and just keep learning. It keeps your mind engaged and growing. Never stop.
Why it Won’t Happen!
I like the dream. I even understand why it would be possible, but I am also willing to be it just won’t happen. I don’t happen, because it takes work.
Think of Alice. She is willing to work through her pain. Willing to make changes in her life. Those changes aren’t easy for anyone. But she chose to make the decision to make a difference in her life.
But … how many of us will follow her example?
Will you? Will I?
Will you listen to sound advice on what to eat, or what not to eat?
Will you listen to sound advice on getting regular exercise?
Will you listen to sound advice on healthy body composition?
There aren’t many who will.
Decide and Be Different
Perhaps you’ve seen the statistics and can accept that overall we are not in shape, we are not healthy. Don’t fit in. Decide to be different.
Follow Alice’s example and made the hard choices to live longer. In doing so you can help prevent 70-90 percent of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Just imagine it.
Let’s hear how what decisions you have decided to make.