Still pondering what you “should” be changing in the year 2020? It’s time to contemplate the reasons to make a lifestyle change. Diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers are some examples where preventative lifestyle habits can minimize the development of these conditions. Montana Public Health notes that about 35% of adults are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. The Center of Disease Control states that 75 million American adults have hypertension. A 2016 JAMA Oncology report reviewed that 20-40% of cancer cases could be prevented through lifestyle modification, specifically referencing weight management, exercise, moderation in alcohol, and smoking cessation.
There are a few things we do not have control over in our health such as our age or our genetics. We do, however, have the ability to increase our physical activity, make different food choices, or participate in regular physician checkups. Could you consider the idea of taking control of your choices?
What could you do to start making changes? Often times, seeing the root of our barrier to success can help us determine a strategy. If making time to exercise is an issue because you have extracurricular activities after work to attend, could you walk for 10 minutes before work, 10 minutes at lunch, and 10 minutes on break? If you have picky eaters at home that make it tough to have a balanced meal at home, could you designate healthy snacks in the kitchen? How could you work around the obstacles to help keep you focused on your goals of making positive changes? The power of positive choices could have endless benefits. Take a moment to reflect on what results could occur with a few tweaks to daily choices.
“I could reduce my risk of heart disease by choosing baked chicken over fried chicken.”
“I could improve my blood sugars by eating fruit instead of a candy as a snack.”
“I could improve my energy by walking for 10 minutes after supper instead of watching TV.”
Making changes doesn’t happen overnight. The story of the tortoise and the hare is near and dear to my heart for goal setting. It takes time, consistency, and tenacity. If you need a little more assurance to help you move toward what you “should do” to what you “could do,” having a support system is helpful for moving through obstacles. Healthy Lifestyles is our 12 month program that can offer support for positive lifestyle choices. Take time to think about where you are at on your path to prevention and reach out to our team at Holy Rosary when you’re ready to make the move.
Alta Peila, RD
Clinical Dietitian and Lifestyle Coach
Holy Rosary Healthcare