REPAIRING THE DAMAGE .
Ready to turn your life around? It's simple. Eat right. Quit smoking. Get fit. Watch your weight. Drink less. And take it easy. Think it's too late to reverse a lifetime of bad habits? The latest research will surprise you.
Besides most of the bad things we do to our bodies when young and vibrant, we eat too much, drink too much, and fret too much. On one hand, we think we are indestructible. And on the other, we think that any damage we inflict on our delicate biological systems can be undone later.
But what if you eat right, get into shape, drop all your bad habits and start treating your body like you care? Is it too late? If you start today, can you repair the damage?
The answer is yes. Over the past five years, scientists have accumulated a wealth of data about what happens when aging people decide to turn their lives around. The heartening conclusion: the body has an amazing ability to heal itself, provided the underlying damage is not too advanced.
The effects of some bad habits – smoking, in particular – can haunt you for decades. But the damage from other habits – especially those that affect the circulatory system – can be largely offset. At any time you decide to improve your behavior and make lifestyle changes, they make a difference from that point on, right away. It is like slamming on the brakes. You do need a certain skid distance.
But the skid distance can be remarkably short. Consider these recent dispatches from the front lines of research:
Laboratory measurements show that eating more fruits, vegetables and fiber changes the blood's sensitivity to insulin within two weeks, helping decrease the risk of diabetes almost immediately.
Scientists have found that hitherto sedentary 40-year old women, who start walking briskly for half an hour a day, four days a week, enjoy almost the same low risk of heart attack as women who have exercised conscientiously their entire lives.
The day you quit smoking, the carbon monoxide levels in our body drop dramatically. Within a week, your blood becomes less sticky and your risk of dying suddenly from a heart attack starts to decline. Four to five years later, the chance you will have a heart attack falls to nearly that of someone who has never smoked.
Adopting healthy habits will not cure all that ails you, of course. But doctors believe that as much as 70% of all chronic diseases from diabetes and high blood pressure to heart disease and even some cancers – can be warded off with some timely, sensible changes in lifestyle.
Wouldn't it be great if there were a vitamin or a drug or a fad diet that would protect you? Unfortunately, undoing the damage from a lifetime of bad habits means learning and sticking with a whole new set of behaviours. After all, anybody can lose 5kg or 10kg, and many of us have over and over again. It is only by maintaining that weight loss, however, that you derive real, lasting benefits.
That's the bad news. The good news is that even small changes can lead to big improvements. For example, doctors for years thought that lowering cholesterol levels does not change the size of the plaques very much. But it makes them less reactive, thereby lowering the chances that they will rupture. Similarly, even a modest reduction in blood pressure decreases the likelihood that a plaque will burst, reducing the risk of both heart attack and stroke. The payoff can be huge. It isn't just a matter of living an extra day. Avoiding strokes and heart attacks add quality to your life.
Not sure where to start?
Surprisingly, it does not really matter, since one positive change usually leads to another. Becoming more active physically, for example, inspires many people to eat a healthier diet. Make enough changes, and eventually you will discover you have adopted a new way of life.
It won't make you invincible or doctors unnecessary and you can not live forever. But you will never know just how much damage you can undo if you don't try.
Eat Right, Stop Smoking, Get Fit, Watch your Weight, drink less alcohol and take it easy!
.How to Get Back Into Shape !!!