Healthy lifestyles don’t happen by accident, nor is it particularly complicated. You might think that to reach optimum health, one has to eat tofu on Tuesday, wilted greens on Wednesday and work out like an Olympic athlete on Saturday. Not true, the basics are simple: eat healthy and get moving. The self-managed, preventive, health care campaign "Health Odds" will cut through the clutter and offer no nonsense tips for better health, without breaking your back or your budget. The "Healthy Odds" Campaign for Better Health is based on three basic principles: Eat Healthy, Keep Moving, and Stay Informed.
When dollars are short and the future is uncertain, our automatic inclination is to reach for the remote, a bag of Ruffles, a soft drink or a beer and perhaps a cigarette. While these couch potato vacations may offer some immediate gratification, they are ultimately costly for one’s health. Perhaps the most common reason people ignore healthy lifestyle advice is that it’s simply easier not to do anything. But when it comes to health, cost of doing nothing is very high.
It is relatively well known that poor eating habits, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to heart disease and/or diabetes, leading causes of illness in the United States, but they also play a significant role in the development of cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer predicts that by 2010, cancer will be the leading cause of death across the globe and for the very same reasons heart and metabolic disorders are becoming so common. read more...
Why are the three leading causes of illness and early death so intricately intertwined? The answer may lie in our DNA. Research conducted by Dean Ornish, MD and Elizabeth Blackburn MD showed that when study subjects stayed committed to a healthy lifestyle not only did harmful cholesterol and stress related hormone levels decrease, but also cancer risk declined. Why? Changes in lifestyle increased levels of the enzyme telomerase. Telomerase plays a unique role by repairing and lengthening telomeres, miniscule proteins that live on the end of chromosomes. These long proteins keep the immune system strong, thus increasing longevity.
So what does it take to lengthen telomeres? Relatively easy changes like eating vegetarian whole foods (10% of calories from fat), walking 6 times a week for 30 minutes, practicing stress management techniques and attending weekly support groups. These simple changes in lifestyle reduce LDL cholesterol and stress levels and cancer risk. In other words, long telomeres mean long life and short proteins indicate a strong link to heart disease and cancer.
It is difficult to say which of the factors—diet, exercise, stress management or support—trumps the other for longevity. Most likely it is an “all of the above” answer. But if there are three changes that are musts for better health it is to stop smoking, control your weight and to get moving. For more...
Kelly Hayford, M.A., C.N.C. is a former junk-food junkie turned nutrition and health coach. She is the award-winning author of the bestselling book, If It's Not Food, Don't Eat It! and one of the world’s foremost experts on making the transition to a natural foods diet.
As a recovered junk-food junkie formerly in a state of chronic disease, Kelly knows what it takes to get from where you are to where you want to be when it comes to diet and health issues. Kelly is committed to helping others achieve optimal health and well-being so that they too, can experience a second chance at life. Inspired by the successful navigation of her own healing journey, she has helped thousands of people of all ages regain their health, energy, and natural weight.
Her new book and companion CD, No-Nonsense Nutrition in Bite-Sized Portions: Over 50 Articles to Help Anyone Create an Eating-for-Health Lifestyle, were specifically designed as a convenient, educational tool to help anyone adopt a healthy, natural foods lifestyle. Kelly is also a sought-after keynote speaker and has recently produced a series of workshops and educational slide shows for chiropractors and other natural healthcare practitioners.