Creating Your Healthy Lifestyle

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					Creating Your Healthy Lifestyle
Creating your own health by adopting a healthy lifestyle is worth your
time and will lengthen your life. In fact, according to the Centers for
Disease Control, about half of all deaths in the United States are linked
to behaviors that can be changed. By making healthy choices, you will
live longer, enjoy a higher quality of life, feel better about yourself,
have more energy, look better, and reduce your risks of disease.
The Power to Create Health
You've learned about cholesterol. You've learned about the risk factors.
You've learned that you can take steps to improve your cholesterol levels
and accordingly improve your overall health. In this chapter, we examine
the importance of improving your health. This means understanding not
only the individual pieces of the puzzle-like eating more veggies or
walking daily-but also how to fit them all together over a lifetime. The
power of the whole, an integrated wellness lifestyle, is much greater
than the sum of the parts.
The purpose of this chapter, therefore, is to give you insight into what
it means to create a healthy standard of living. You may not realize how
easy it is, with our modern way of life, to experience an unhealthy
existence. Regardless of how difficult the challenge, however, the
rewards of healthy living are worth the commitment and effort.
Change never happens overnight. You will examine a psychological model of
the process of change and learn tips on how you can stay motivated. The
following chapters will provide more specific practical information on
what to eat, what to do, and how to implement other strategies that
enhance your wellness.
In today's environment, if you don't have an aggressive strategy for
eating whole foods and incorporating physical acti vities, it is easy to
gain weight. In other words, if you go through modern life passively and
do what is easiest and most convenient, your choices are likely to be
harmful to your long-term health.
What Science Can Teach Us
The great benefit of being alive today is that scientific research allows
us to have an almost complete picture of the mechanisms behind
cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and heart disease. Soon, researchers may
even be able to identify the genetic markers for heart disease, so that
testing can be done long before any symptoms ever manifest themselves. In
the process of unraveling how our physical system develops disease, we
also gain even more insight into how to prevent, or at least to deter,
the disease processes. People even one generation before us did not have
the depth of knowledge and understanding now available about the
relationships between what we do and how our actions affect our health
and longevity.
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