The idea of developing a chronic disease can be frightening. But did you know most are the result of specific risky behaviors? That means there are ways you can improve your health and quality of life while reducing your risk of chronic disease at the same time.
Dr. Terry L. Franklin knows that everyday life significantly affects your overall health. He also understands that making good choices for your physical and mental health can seem challenging, confusing, and even out of reach.
Fortunately, when you work with Dr. Franklin, you gain a partner in your health care who offers guidance and personalized strategies to ensure you have the tools you need to look and feel your best. And one of the services he offers is lifestyle education.
Lifestyle education can help identify the specific aspects of your life that could lead to health problems and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. These conditions are the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, and approximately 80% of them are the result of specific behaviors.
If you want to protect yourself from chronic illness, Dr. Franklin recommends adopting these seven daily habits.
1. Eat healthy
It’s hard to make nutritious food choices when you’re on the road or crunched for time. But making healthy food choices and following a balanced diet can prevent, delay, and even manage chronic diseases like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Plus, they can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Dr. Franklin can offer personalized dietary suggestions based on your health and wellness. But you should generally focus on eating whole grains, lean proteins, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products while limiting saturated fats, sugar, and sodium.
2. Move your body
How often do you exercise? At the minimum, you should aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. Whether you spend your time gardening, walking, bicycling, or at the track, regular physical activity keeps your system in peak health.
To get started, try taking a 10-minute walk a few times a day.
3. Watch your alcohol intake
Don’t worry; you don’t have to give up your daily cocktail. But consuming too much alcohol can increase your chances of such chronic conditions as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
To lower your risk of health problems, limit alcoholic beverages to one drink or less a day if you’re a woman and two or less a day if you’re a man.
4. Quit smoking
Research shows links between smoking to over 27 diseases, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions, diabetes, and cancer. In fact, more than 1 in 4 Americans aged 18-64 with chronic illnesses were current smokers in 2019.
Whether you’re a new smoker or have a lifelong habit, it’s never too late to ditch the habit and protect yourself from serious health complications. If you need help quitting, Dr. Franklin can help.
5. Get plenty of sleep
Do you skimp on sleep or struggle to get a full night of zzz’s? You could be jeopardizing your health.
Your body needs quality sleep to stay healthy, so try to get 7-9 hours each night. Set a consistent bedtime and wake time, and stick to it on the weekends, too. If you find yourself struggling to get the sleep you need, Dr. Franklin can offer personalized recommendations to get you on track.
6. Practice stress management
Stress may be a part of modern life, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for your immune system. Fortunately, practicing stress management techniques can help you cope. They’re also easy to incorporate into daily life. Such techniques include:
- Deep breathing
- Focusing on the present (mindfulness)
- Guided meditation
You can even try practicing gratitude by remembering three good things each day or writing gratitude letters. This stress management technique can help you focus more on positive moments instead of things that don’t seem to be going well.
7. Partner with an expert you trust
Finally, it’s crucial to find a doctor you can trust, like Dr. Franklin. He works with you to identify your risk factors, including a family history of chronic disease. This information helps him outline the best preventive screenings to catch chronic diseases early, as well as strategies to prevent them in the first place.
Are you curious to learn more ways to protect yourself from chronic illness? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Franklin by calling 831-647-3190 today.