Another reason to THINK....Cheadle for Congress!!!
National healthcare is unsustainable in this country largely because we have become a nation void of discipline. This lack of discipline has left us as a nation filled with gluttons, alcoholics, drug addicts (legal and illegal), (smokers and drinkers), many of whom are uninsured and/or unable or unwilling to pay for any of the healthcare they receive. The diseases that are plaguing us as a nation are diseases of luxury and are largely self-induced.
What can we do? Let me start with a common sense approach first, then address our national healthcare problem.
What can we do? In this area the role of government should be strictly limited to teaching physiology beginning in grade school along with bringing back physical education classes. On an individual leveel, we can do the following:
Nutrition – Watch what you eat!
Americans have given become gluttonous as evidenced by the ever present “Supersize” servings of food and beverages. Gluttony is not without effect. Gluttony leads to obesity, and obesity leads to diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control nearly 60 million or 1 out of every 3 Americans is obese and 130 million or 65 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. Those who are overweight and obese are at an alarmingly increased risk for major illnesses ranging from developing diabetes to hypertension and heart disease. There are more than 20 million Americans that have Type 2 diabetes in addition to more than 80 million with hypertension. Increasingly, these conditions are being found together in people who are overweight.
A recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health in conjunction with Georgetown University, the University of Toronto, and researchers from Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine set out to examine the effect of diet on diabetes. The two diets they used were a vegan diet that was low fat and high fiber and the American Diabetes Association diet.
The fasting blood sugars of those on the vegan diet decreased 59 percent more than those on the ADA diet. The vegan group did not need as much medication as before the study. However, those on the ADA diet needed the same amount of medication as the were prior to beginning the study. Those on the vegan diet lost an average of close to 16 pounds while those on the ADA diet lost only an average of 8 pounds. Moreover, the cholesterol levels of the vegan group dropped more than those in the ADA group. Protein loss due to kidney damage decreased in the vegan group but increased in the ADA group. Hence, a vegan diet can be and is instrumental in reversing diabetes.
In both diabetics and non-diabetics, the risk of heart disease increases with age, but for men and women with diabetes the transition from moderate to high risk occurred at about age 48 for men and 54 for women, which was 14.6 years earlier than transition in non-diabetics.
Exercise those thighs - Get Moving!
Exercise is without a doubt an indispensable component for being healthy. Exercise impacts the entire body, from head to toe. During exercise the muscles contract and relax, the heart beats faster with stronger contraction, and the lungs take in more oxygen, which then passes to the tissues of the body. The combined effect of all of the actions that occur during exercise results in:
Exercise is good for the heart!
A study by Harvard researches published in the October 2002 Journal of the American Medical Association, assessed the impact of different forms of exercise on a pool of 44,452 healthy men and found that men who weight-train, run or walk briskly exhibit a significantly reduced risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who don’t. The researchers determined that men who ran for an hour or more per week reduced their risk by 42 percent, while those who walked briskly for 30 minutes or more lowered their potential risks by 18 percent.
Exercise is good for the brain!
A study of 1130 alumni of an Ivy League university showed that those who burned between 2000 – 3000 calories per week had a 46 percent reduction in stroke risk. The researchers showed that walking in excess of 12 miles per week decreased the risk of stroke by 29 percent.
Exercise has a positive effect on blood flow to the brain thereby improving mental health by increasing the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which affect mood positively.
Given the sedentary lifestyle of many Americans today, if you are one of them, it is advisable to check with your doctor prior to beginning an exercise routine. As you begin to exercise any increase in intensity should be gradual. To make the leap from couch potato to marathon runner overnight can effectively shock the body and cause a heart attack and even death! So make certain that you keep in touch with your doctor as you attempt to make the transition from couch potato to hardbody!