The continuing rise of lifestyle-related diseases and chronic disorders means that we need to take a fresh look at health and healthcare, and to remember that prevention is better than cure. Australians have access to a wide range of foods, but most of us need to choose foods and drinks more wisely to help protect our health. Eat a variety of foods daily to get the energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need. Include plenty of vegetables and fruits (preferably raw) and whole grains.
3 Eat mindfully In our fast-paced world, there can be a tendency to eat while distracted and shovel in more food than we need and, at the same time, miss out on culinary pleasure. Many of us will benefit from eating mindfully. Some things to think about here are avoiding eating when distracted, eating more slowly, and taking time to taste food properly. One particular thing to focus on is chewing your food thoroughly – not only does this help us savour food, it also assists the digestive process.
The most recent data from the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement shows that almost 40% of Arkansas youth are overweight or obese; Arkansas ranks 6th in the nation for childhood obesity indicating years of future chronic disease if no changes are made. For 10 months out of the year, Clarendon’s Elementary School serves 273 Arkansas youth. Many students live in town, less than a mile from the school. However, train tracks cross the main roads to access the school and pedestrian crossing areas are very narrow. Due to these safety concerns, most parents do not let their students walk to school. The Department of Education reported that 100% of the students in the school qualify for free or reduced meals. With no recreation facilities in town, low- or no-cost ways to keep youth active are critical to the youth in this town.
Data collected include health variables (e.g. self-reported health, physical functioning, cognitive functioning, health behaviour, use of health care facilities), psychological variables (e.g. psychological health, well-being, life satisfaction), economic variables (e.g. current work activity, job characteristics, opportunities to work past retirement age, sources and composition of current income, wealth and consumption, housing, education), and social support variables (e.g. assistance within families, transfers of income and assets, social networks, volunteer activities). Based on probability samples in all participating countries, SHARE represents the non-institutionalized population aged 50 and older.
6 Get enough sleep Sleep has the ability to optimise mental and physical energy, and optimal levels of sleep (about eight hours a night) are linked with reduced risk of chronic disease and improved longevity. One simple strategy that can help ensure you get optimal amounts of sleep is to go to bed earlier. Getting into bed by 10pm or 10.30pm is a potentially useful investment in terms of your short- and long-term health and wellbeing. Shutting down the computer or turning off the TV early in the evening is often all it takes to create the time and space for earlier sleep.