Around 1 in 3 adults in Singapore have a chronic disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. As most chronic conditions are not immediately life-threatening, we may underestimate the negative impact they have on our quality of life and life expectancy. Fortunately, it is easy to prevent chronic diseases, so long as we adopt healthy habits.
A healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent chronic diseases. Healthy lifestyle habits are also the first thing a doctor will advise you to adopt if you’re diagnosed with a chronic condition. Since prevention is always better than cure, get a head-start on reducing your risks. We share tips on how to prevent chronic diseases, so you stay healthy and well.
Healthy Habits to Avoid Chronic Diseases
Eat a healthy diet
Most of us probably shudder at the word “diet” but eating healthily doesn’t mean giving up on all our treats. The keyword is “moderation”.
On most days, we should adopt a balanced diet, that incorporates wholegrains, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats. Be mindful of appropriate portion sizes as well, to make sure you’re not over-eating.
It’s impossible to give up on snacks or junk food entirely, and we’re not asking you to do so. Indulging in treats once in a while is fine. For example, a pack of chips once a week while watching your favourite show is fine, but not if you’re doing this every day. Check out the wide-range of healthy snacks available on the DA Marketplace, for some guilt-free munching.
Keep physically active
Regular exercise is key in preventing and managing chronic diseases. Studies show that 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week has many health benefits, including keeping your heart strong. You’ll know if you’re exerting yourself hard enough if you’re able to talk but not sing the words of your favourite song!
- Brisk-walking or jogging outside;
- Exercising with a good friend for extra motivation; or
- Standing up every 1 hour at your desk to do some stretches
Another benefit of exercise: it can be a mood booster if you’re feeling down. Physical activity triggers endorphins in your brain, which are also known as the happy chemical. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, leaving you happier and feeling lighter for the rest of the day.
Go for routine health screening
Although we may feel perfectly well physically, chronic diseases often have symptoms that go unnoticed. Health screening detects any possible health conditions we may have early on, so that we can take the appropriate actions to control and manage them.
There are different types of health screening, depending on our age, gender and lifestyle, that we will need to go for. Doctor Anywhere offers home-based health screenings, so you won’t need to leave your house to check on your health.
On top of going for health screening, a home health monitoring device may come in handy too. With a health monitoring device at home, you’ll be able to keep on top of your health status daily. If you notice any changes in your health status, such as a higher blood pressure reading, you’ll know that you may need to make some healthier lifestyle changes or see a doctor to check up on your health.
Get enough quality sleep
Studies have linked insufficient sleep with the onset of chronic diseases. This is because quality sleep plays an important role in regulating many of our body functions, including controlling our appetite and metabolic rate, influencing our mood and stress levels, and impacting our blood glucose levels.
Try incorporating these sleep hygiene tips for a better snooze at night:
- Build a pre-sleep routine, including fixed times to sleep and rise every day
- Avoid caffeine in the day
- Put away electronics one hour before bedtime
For those looking for a quick fix, we’ll have to disappoint you. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the most effective way to prevent chronic diseases. We know it may be difficult to change your habits all at once, so start with the easiest first. Even a single healthy change is a step towards the right direction!
If you need more guidance on your health, speak to a doctor anytime on the DA app.