A Healthier Lifestyle Can Help You to Live Longer

In health, as in so many things, the best offense is a good defense. One of the best ways to “defend” yourself from health problems such as cancer and heart disease is to maintain a desirable weight. Being overweight has long been considered a health hazard, a fact that is backed up by scientific research.

Being overweight seems to play a role in cancers of the breast, colon and endometrium (the lining of the uterus). Cancers of the prostate and rectum occur more often in obese men and cancers of the gall bladder, bile passages and ovaries occur more often in obese women.

Being overweight is also known to play a strong role in the development of hear disease, diabetes, gall bladder disease, high blood pressure and weakened immune response.

And now the definition of who exactly is “overweight’ is changing. According to government guidelines released in 1998, more than half of all Americans are overweight.

How can you tell if you’re at a healthy weight? Find you height and weight on the chart of “body mass index” or BMI on the back. The chart is designed to show who I at minimal risk of health problems (based solely on BMI), at low or moderate risk, and at high risk.

If you’re too heavy or just want to maintain a healthy weight, hre are some recommendations from the experts.

EAT MORE vegetables, fruit, fish, grains, legumes, lean meat, poultry (without skin), and low-fat or nonfat dairy products.
DRINK MORE water, skim milk, unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices.
EAT LESS fatty meats, candy, fried foods, pies, cookies and other baked goods, ice cream, cheese, high-fat dairy products.
DRINK LESS alcohol, sweetened soft drinks.
EXERCISE To lose weight, try to exercise 35-45 minutes, five times a week. To maintain your weight, 30 minutes, preferably every day, is recommended. But, if you can’t find a half-hour chunk of time daily, don’t despair. Breaking up the half-hour into smaller segments (two 15-minute blocks or even three 10-minute blocks) works.