Heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes are among the leading causes of death in the United States today. About two thirds of all heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes are among the leading causes of death in the United States today. About two thirds of all deaths occur each year. All of these diseases are related to diet and lifestyle.
A person’s genetic makeup is an important factor in determining his risk of these diseases, but lifestyle choices — such as poor diet, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol abuse — also play an important role. Humans cannot control the genes that they inherit, but they can control the food they eat and how much exercise they have. A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of infection, and it may delay the progression of any condition that people have.
A regular exercise program increases strength levels and helps keep weight within a healthy range. It also reduces the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis. In addition, exercise improves mental well-being, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves mood, sleep patterns, and overall outlook on life. It promotes the release of endorphins, which are thought to be natural doses that play a role in stimulating what athletes describe as “high-level exercise.” In addition to stimulating exercise, endorphins are believed to reduce anxiety, help relax, and improve mood, pain tolerance, and diet control.
Healthy weight is associated with good health and longevity. Carrying too much body fat increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, gallstones, sleep disorders, respiratory problems, and other types of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of these diseases. For athletes, a healthy weight may improve performance. Body mass index (BMI) calculations can be used to determine if the weight is at a healthy range. Because BMI considers total body weight, rather than the amount of body weight that comes from muscle versus fat, athletes with high muscle mass may have a BMI in the category of obesity or obesity. This does not mean that their weight is harmful to their health. Only excess weight from fat is considered unhealthy.
Eating and exercising are both important for maintaining weight. When people eat the same amount of calories as they use it, the weight remains stable. Regular exercise increases energy expenditure and thus allows the bodybuilder to eat more food without gaining weight. For example, a working 20-year-old woman needs to eat about 500 calories more a day to maintain weight than an inactive woman of the same age, height, and weight. Choosing foods rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and moderate fats enhances nutrition without providing too many calories.
Often, when we use the word heart disease, we are referring to atherosclerosis. This is a condition in which fatty substances adhere to the walls of the arteries. This causes the arteries to become narrower and less flexible. People who are overweight, have high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, or have diabetes are more likely to develop coronary heart disease. The risk of developing cardiovascular disease increases with lifestyle choices, such as smoking, lack of exercise, and a diet high in fat, cholesterol, and Tran fat. Foods high in fiber, antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E), and fish oil and vegetable oils, which are high in saturated fats, can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Adding exercise to this healthy mix reduces risk.
Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of atherosclerosis by lowering blood pressure and increasing the levels of a healthy type of blood cholesterol called HDL cholesterol. Exercise strengthens the heart muscle, thereby reducing heart rate and resting heart rate.