Health is a dynamic process because it is always changing. We all have times of good health, times of sickness, and maybe even times of serious illness. As our lifestyles change, so does our level of health. Those of us who participate in regular physical activity do so partly to improve the current and future level of our health. We strive toward an optimal state of well-being. As our lifestyle improves, our health also improves and we experience less disease and sickness. When most people are asked what it means to be healthy, they normally respond with the four components of fitness mentioned earlier (cardiorespiratory ability, muscular ability, flexibility, and body composition). Although these components are a critical part of being healthy, they are not the only contributing factors. Physical health is only one aspect of our overall health.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 17 million people around the world die from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, every year. Around 1 million of these deaths occur in the US alone – the equivalent to one death every 33 seconds.
With figures like these, it is no surprise that heart disease is the main cause of death in the US.
But what is surprising is that many of these deaths could be prevented, simply by taking better care of our health.
Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new Vital Signs report revealing that in 2010, more than 200,000 deaths from heart disease and stroke could have been avoided in the US alone if more people had adopted healthy habits to reduce risk factors.
So why are so many of us putting our heart health at risk? And what can we do to improve heart health and reduce the risk of …
The risk factors for adult chronic diseases, like hypertension and type 2 diabetes, are increasingly seen in younger ages, often a result of unhealthy eating habits and increased weight gain. Dietary habits established in childhood often carry into adulthood, so teaching children how to eat healthy at a young age will help them stay healthy throughout their life. The link between good nutrition and healthy weight, reduced chronic disease risk, and overall health is too important to ignore. By taking steps to eat healthy, you'll be on your way to getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, active, and strong. As with physical activity, making small changes in your diet can go a long way, and it's easier than you think!