Leading an Unhealthy Life? Change Your Lifestyle!
Sometimes it takes more than just a wake-up call, even a lethal one, to get obese people, diabetics and smokers to kick their bad and unhealthy ways. Remember, nobody’s perfect in this world! All of us have certain bad habits which we can’t break and move on. Smoking has a strong hold over a few; others simply can’t say no to a life slouching on the couch watching TV, sweets or alcohol. So, don’t be hard on yourself if you are leading an unhealthy life! Read on to know why people who are unhealthy are so reluctant to change their habits and more importantly, their complete lifestyle!
As much as most of us wish to make more positive and healthy choices in our daily life, change (any kind) is extremely difficult! Even the mere thought that our behaviors can badly affect us probably is not enough to make us change and mend our ways!
Reluctant to Change Your Habits?
Most surprisingly, people who already experienced diabetes, heart diseases or any other lifestyle-induced health complications – those who closely know the consequences of their bad behaviors – usually have a difficult time mending their ways and turning things around! It takes more than a mere shock to get people realize about their unhealthy lifestyle.
Here are the shocking facts! Nearly 40% of smokers who experienced and survived a heart attack are still happily smoking after a year. And one might think that an obese person would try to slim down after experiencing a heart attack. But surprisingly, not so!
Scientists at Washington University observed a group of 1,200 overweight women and men for a year after they suffered a heart attack. The study was published in ‘the American Heart Journal’, revealed that participants lost just 0.2% of their body weight. For example, a 220-pound woman lost less than one pound of body weight.
If a heart attack or stroke is not enough to grab your attention, then what about the deadly cancer? Now, you can easily guess! According to a 2008 Canadian study published in the “Journal of Clinical Oncology”, researchers followed the lifestyles of nearly 9,000 cancer survivors. They later found out that only a few actually switched to a healthier lifestyle successfully.
Even though most participants had quit smoking for good, less than 20% were really eating 5 servings of vegetables and fruits daily. Also, less than half of the participants were actually engaged in daily physical activity. Most shockingly, only one out of every twenty survivors was really implementing all the three principles of healthy living.
Lifestyle Revolution – Need of the Hour!
After a serious ailment, changes in habits and lifestyle often have the potential to dramatically improve an individual’s overall health and even the quality of life! In reality, important lifestyle factors like physical activity, diet and smoking strongly influence how swiftly several illnesses will progress.
Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston observed the effect of quit smoking on the potential risk of dying suffering a stroke or heart attack. The study, published in the ‘Journal of the American College of Cardiology’ last year, discovered that smoking drastically reduces life expectancy after a stroke or heart attack. Also, the smoker’s health prospects dramatically improve if they stop smoking for good! People who stop smoking after suffering their first heart attack were 37% less susceptible to die due to another heart attack compared with people who still continued with smoking.
Various other studies have revealed that heart attack and stroke patients who underwent exercise-based rehabilitation and support minimized their risk of dying nearly by 30%!
Power of Lifestyle Changes – Help in all Health Avenues!
Don’t think that changing lifestyle trends will benefit those who face heart trouble. Stopping smoking enhances the outcome of illnesses like emphysema and diabetes, while weight loss helps in improving sleep apnea, asthma and several other conditions.
The health benefits of regular physical activity also extend well beyond the heart too! Regular exercise can help one to control high blood pressure and combat depression and mood swings. Also, there is evidence that exercise provides protection against certain types of cancer.
Many studies have successfully demonstrated that breast cancer patients who participated in daily physical activity minimized their risk of dying from breast cancer by 50% or more when compared to women who remain lead a sedentary lifestyle and remain physically inactive.
The Pitfall – Ignorance is Bliss!
Although, not all patients get the message of power of lifestyle changes, as their doctors fall short when it comes to providing appropriate counseling and guidance. Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked nearly 1,600 cancer survivors whether their doctors had discussed any lifestyle issues with them after their diagnosis. Surprisingly, only 30% had actually received guidance about diet and one in four was recommended exercises. Also, few less than half were asked regarding their smoking habits.
Even survivors who are aware of the fact that they must adopt healthy lifestyle habits face trouble. Many such individuals can’t change their habits as they don’t know how to change. It is extraordinarily difficult to get people to change their habits.
Remember, change is hard, but it not impossible! You must recognize first that the benefits and perks of changing lifestyle will significantly outweigh the investment of energy and time it is going to take to implement! It might be strange to think of a disease as an opportunity, although for many individuals it is! It is the perfect opportunity to realize that our unhealthy habits don’t affect us and to take the first step to make healthful change. Stay positive and healthy!