Thursday, February 12, 2009

How Much Is Our Health Affected by Family Genetics?

Do you have diseases or health weaknesses that run in your family? If so, don't despair. Your family may have a health history of heart disease, cancer, or Diabetes, but the most important factor that affects your health is the lifestyle habits you choose. It is quite possible that some of the problems experienced by people in your family were exacerbated by those individual's lifestyle choices and not genetics alone. Doctors often tell patients that a family history can put you at greater risk for certain diseases, but that really only amounts to 10 - 20 percent of those instances. Your lifestyle choices are what really matters. If your body is not properly cared for or deficient, it cannot overcome any predispositions it may have to specific problems. And it certainly cannot maintain itself at optimal levels for good health, let alone family history.

Start making lasting changes today. Make a commitment - one of the most important choices you will make in your life. Don't just accept health problems you've lived with for years and attribute it to family history, lack of motivation or time to deal with the problem, or to "getting older". Take control of your own health by doing something different than you've done in the past by doing the following:
  • Eat whole foods.
  • Eat plenty of organic fruits and vegetables (7-9 servings a day for adults, 5 for children)
  • Eat foods with healthy fat, calories, and proteins such as naturally raised, grass-fed meats and poultry, raw dairy, safe choice fish, and pasture-raised eggs.
  • Engage in a stress reduction activity that's right for you - yoga, meditation, prayer, Pilates, martial arts, massage or something similar.
  • Get regular, moderate exercise. A brisk walk for 30 minutes 4 times a week is a good place to start. You don't have to be a super athlete to get benefit from regular exercise. Stretching and yoga are beneficial as well.
  • Eliminate processed foods and refined sugars.
  • Drink plenty of purified water daily.
  • Find out about vitamin and mineral supplements that are right for your individual needs.
  • Take fiber, probiotics, essential fatty acids.
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour nightly - around 10 p.m. Engage in relaxing activities before bed.
  • Know your limits. You don't need to be a superhuman. Don't overload yourself with too many tasks or activities. These cause stress which contributes to disease.
  • Spend time with those you love often and discard relationships with people that are unproductive or damaging.
Remember, if you don't have your health, you don't have anything.

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