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Plant City Observer Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 2 months ago

Focus on Fitness: The ‘Big Four’ wellness concerns and what you can do about them

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Genetics establish about 25% of our health factors. Lifestyle choices determine the rest.
by: Columnist Columnist

Wellness, longevity and quality of life are our top health concerns in life. In particular, there are four major disease issues that it is never too late to start working against. Train young family members now about smart lifestyle choices to stay healthy for life.

 

Heart health matters

Cardiovascular disease is America’s top killer, accounting for one of every four deaths. The American Heart Association affirms lifestyle choices make all the difference.

Get moving. Exercise is the secret to good heart health. Regular physical activity plays an even bigger role than diet for cardiovascular disease. Aim for 30 minutes five times a week as a minimum. Find activities you enjoy, whether it be tennis, walking, swimming or hiking outdoors with the family. Start now and stick with it.

 

Stick it to cancer

The American Cancer Society lists over 200 types of cancers, so it’s important to make lifestyle choices that can make a difference early.

Eat lots of vegetables and fruits. Consume five to seven servings of veggies a day and two to three servings of fruit. Select foods with bright colors. Fruits and veggies with deep green, purple, red, orange and yellow colors are full of natural phytonutrients. Eat your veggies first, for your health’s sake.

Don’t use tobacco. The toxins in tobacco can trigger the overgrowth of cells into cancer. It is never too late to stop smoking. The South Florida Baptist Hospital offers a free smoking cessation class. Medicare will pay for some of these sessions as will some insurance policies and employers. Sign up today.

 

Take care of your lungs

The third leading cause of death in America is chronic lung disease. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are made worse by smoking.

Keep the air moist inside your home. Use a humidifier if necessary to keep the humidity levels between 40 and 50%.

Try breathing exercises. Alternate nostril breathing at a slow, steady rate clears the mind and opens air passages. The ideal pace for deep breathing is between four and six breaths per minute. Ask your local yoga instructor for more breathing exercises suitable for you.

 

Reduce strokes by controlling hay fever

High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are some leading causes of stroke. Furthermore, a new study from Taipei Medical University says the inflammation that causes the pain and pressure of a sinus infection also increases the odds of suffering a stroke. People with chronic sinusitis are increased by 34%. Those with occasional acute infections have increased strokes by 39%. A recent study by the University of South Carolina of about 10,000 participants backs up a link between hay fever and increased strokes.

Tame inflammation in the sinus areas with over-the-counter saline or saltwater sprays. Reduce exposure to allergens including pollen, mold, animal dander and dust. 

Sinus health matters. Located close to the brain, sinus infections and inflammation can be a gateway to compromised health. Work with your primary care physician, otolaryngologist or allergist to find the best solutions for you.

Jennifer E. Closshey, Ph.D., is a doctor of integrative health based out of Plant City. Contact her at [email protected].

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