How To Take Control Of Your Long-Term Health

This post is sponsored by Humana.

Wouldn’t it be better to prevent chronic medical conditions than spending decades treating them?

Maintaining your health is the most important gift you can give yourself, and it’s never too late to begin. Making smart lifestyle choices today, whether you’re 35 or 65, will surely contribute to your health and well being in the decades to come.

vertical-leadThat’s why FabOverFifty is honored to partner with Humana health insurance to promote its #StartWithHealthy initiative. What better time than during the crisp fall to start your program to stay in tip-top shape. When you look at statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you’ll grasp right away how many millions of Americans are affected by long-term conditions, and how critical it is that each and every one of us take steps to reduce that number in the future. Take a look at these four common conditions, and what you can do to make sure you’re supporting your health from this day forward.

“Our parents didn’t have the health knowledge we have today, or the tools to keep themselves in the best shape possible. But we do, and there is no excuse for not taking full charge of your mind and your body, so you can spend every day with joy,” said Geri Brin, founder of FabOverFifty.com.

Staggering health facts and starter steps you can take to avoid becoming a statistic

Arthritis: 53.8 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected1

weight-lossWhile family history and genetics play a major role in the development of arthritis, being overweight or obese puts “stress on joints, particularly your knees, hips and spine,” reports the Mayo Clinic. That’s why It’s imperative to drop those extra pounds! Instead of opting for a fad diet, find a program that makes sense for your lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be complicated–you just have to get started.

Osteoporosis: 16% of American women have it2

Osteoporosis can be triggered by a number of factors, and women over 50 are at the greatest risk of developing the disease. Women experience “rapid bone loss in the first 10 years after menopause,” reports the Cleveland Clinic, due to the decline in estrogen levels, a hormone that protects your bones by keeping them dense and strong. Deficiencies in Vitamin D and calcium can also increase your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Get away from your desk for 15-minute breaks throughout the workday. Take a walk outside, or find a spot to run in place. And, get to the gym, for goodness sakes. Start a cardio and weight-lifting program; 30 minutes of exercise, four times a week will help strengthen your bones and heart, and make you feel fab. A sedentary lifestyle puts you at a greater risk for developing osteoporosis, according to the Mayo Clinic.  And, stay away from excessive alcohol (more than two drinks a day) and smoking.

High Blood Pressure: About 29% of American adults, that’s 70 million people, have high blood pressure.3

That’s almost 1 in every 3 adults. And, about 1 in 3 American adults have prehypertension.4 Their blood pressure number are higher than normal, but haven’t entered the high blood pressure range.

Certain medical conditions, including diabetes and prehypertension, can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure. Unhealthy behaviors can also increase your risk for high blood pressure, especially for people who have one of the two conditions mentioned above. Unhealthy behaviors include smoking tobacco, eating foods high in sodium and low in potassium, lack of physical activity or not getting enough physical activity, obesity, and drinking too much alcohol.

Keeping your blood pressure levels in a healthy range usually involves reducing sodium in the diet, getting daily physical activity, and quitting smoking, according to the CDC.

Diabetes: 25.9% or 11.8 million of Americans over 65, have diabetes5

Type 1 diabetes is a result of the body failing to produce insulin, and is generally diagnosed in children and young adults. It accounts for about 5% of all diabetes cases. Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for the majority of cases, occurs when your body fails to use insulin properly, which is called insulin resistance. Initially, your pancreas produces extra insulin to compensate for it. But, over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels, according to www.diabetes.org.

eatingThose who are over 45, as well as overweight, are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. Genetics also increases one’s risk, as do years of heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, abnormal cholesterol levels and a history of hypertension, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Besides starting, and maintaining, a sensible diet, it’s important to develop an impactful exercise routine.   

While consistent exercise and a healthy diet are essential to maintaining your long-term health, you also must make sure to get the proper screenings, from yearly skin checks and mammograms, to blood workups and colonoscopies (which your doctor can require yearly to every 10 years). Early detection is critical when it comes to treating many diseases.

As part of their #StartWithHealthy campaign, Humana is offering a giveaway of $5,000. To enter to win, post a photo with #BHGHealthy on Instagram or Twitter.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Entrant must be a legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who is age 21 or older. Promotion ends December 31, 2016. For official rules, visit www.BHGHealthyContest.com. Sweepstakes is sponsored by Meredith Corporation.

Don’t forget to follow Humana on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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1Fast Stats: Arthritis. (2015, July 15). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/arthritis.htm
2Fast Stats: Osteoporosis. (2016, August 17). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/osteoporosis.htm
3High Blood Pressure Facts. (2015, February 19). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm
4High Blood Pressure Facts. (2015, February 19). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm
5Fast Stats: Diabetes. (2016, July 6). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/diabetes.htm