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. Learn how to recognize causes of stress, such as difficult people, financial matters, noise, lack of time, or high pressure situations. Review your daily activities periodically in search of triggers you may not be aware of look for patterns in your symptoms and stress levels. You may want to discuss your stressors with your doctor or therapist.
Giving up the ciggies means a huge change in routine for most smokers. In the first few weeks, try to steer clear of alcohol and any other triggers. For many, cigarettes and alcohol go hand-in-hand. Avoid places where people smoke and try to keep busy. Do something else to unwind – listen to music, meditate , keep active , connect with other non-smokers or try a new hobby. Replace workplace cigarette breaks with a walk around the block, or ‘freshen up’ in the bathroom – brush your teeth, notice how much better your mouth feels since quitting. Be kind to yourself, take it one day at a time.
Heavy drinking during pregnancy can lead to foetal alcohol syndrome in babies – which can cause a life-long learning disability as well as physical problems. Smoking can also affect their development. Research also suggests a pregnant woman’s diet can increase her child’s risk of obesity by changing the unborn baby’s DNA.
Avoid trigger foods. Trigger foods make you go berserk and binge after you eat them. Everyone’s trigger foods are different (mine used to be doughnuts, pastries, and chips), but generally trigger foods are candy bars, chocolate, confectionery, chips, cookies, or anything with a high level of refined sugar, salt, or flour. These foods cause a blood sugar imbalance , hence triggering one to eat more. What are your trigger foods? Identify them and remove them from your diet.
Although females live longer than males, in 2013 to 2015 there was little difference in the level of healthy life expectancy and therefore females spent more years in poor health than males (19.0 years compared with 16.1 years for males) and the proportion of life spent in poor health was greater for females than males (22.9% compared with 20.3%) (table 1). This demonstrates that the majority of the extra years of life that females had over males were spent in poor health; females lived 3.6 years longer than males in 2013 to 2015, but had only 0.7 years longer in healthy life. Therefore 2.9 of these extra years were spent in poor health.