Our acupuncture patients are constantly asking us for lifestyle advice to stay healthy. This is proper, as it is a fundamental principle of Chinese Medicine that its always better to prevent a disease than to treat one that has already developed.
A colleague recently forwarded me a copy of an article which was published in last years Archives of Internal Medicine that very clearly outlines four simple things that anybody can do to decrease their risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
In this study, investigators analyzed lifestyle factors of 25,153 German adults, and then checked checked to see how many of them developed one of these chronic problems when they were followed up with almost 8 years later. They found that people who didn’t smoke, had a BMI (Body Mass Index) under 30, were physically active for at least 3.5 hours a week, and who had a healthy diet had a 78% lower risk of developing a chronic disease than those who had none of these healthy factors in their life.
The researchers concluded, ” “The message from our analysis . . . is clear…adopting a few healthy lifestyle factors can have a major impact on the risk of morbidity.”
Like most people, I had already heard (many, many times) that its a good idea to eat well, not to smoke, and to exercise. Seeing the strength of the results of this study, really brought home for me, in a very practical simple way, just how large an effect that adopting these measures actually can have. It also gave me hard targets (i.e. BMI under 30) that I can use when developing a plan to enhance wellness and longevity for my patients.
Ford ES, et al “Healthy living is the best revenge: Findings from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition — Potsdam Study”, Arch Intern Med 2009; 169(15): 1355-62.