What we can do to stay healthy and liver longer

Posted by: on Jul 10, 2018 | No Comments

Since all of us at Diaverum are focusing on the wellbeing of our close to 35 000 patients around the world, it is sometimes worthwhile to stop and think about how we can stay healthy. Life is short and we all want to have as long and healthy a life as possible. Wherever I travel in the world I see a lot of people who are out of shape, weigh far too much and have little energy.

The question is what we can do ourselves to stay healthy and thereby live longer.

As always there is no single factor but rather a combination of factors which contribute to increasing the likelihood of staying healthy. When it comes to eating, we all know that obesity is an enormous problem in many countries around the world. Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

According to WHO, the prevalence of obesity among adults (obesity defined as BMI of 30 or higher) has increased globally from 10.7% in 2008 to 13.1% in 2016. There are today a number of countries with a prevalence of more than 30%: USA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, New Zealand and Israel. A large number of countries are very close to the 30% mark.

When it comes to eating, volumes of books have been written about diets. Seemingly, just after everyone rushes to try these diets, someone issues a study saying that the diet does not work or is not very healthy. Very frustrating indeed.

I believe in “moderation”. Not to “over-eat” and to eat a variety of foods. The only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than one burns. There is no miracle cure! Every time I need to lose a few kilos, I start eating less. That is normally enough to lose some weight.

As regards exercising, volumes of books have also been written about various exercise regimes. The key thing is to move. Walking, as an example, strengthens our hearts, increases bone density and builds endurance.

Taking 10,000 daily steps means one has walked about five miles or 9 kilometers. Many people do not get close to reaching this goal, which is why fitness trackers can be so useful. According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), the average person only walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day.

Sleep is also important. Sleep is the time when our body recovers and when our immune systems are improved. A study conducted by the American Cancer Society concluded that people who sleep less than 6 or more than 9 hours per night had a death rate 30% higher than those who regularly slept 7 to 8 hours.

So, the conclusion is: we all need to eat sensibly, exercise regularly and sleep 7 to 9 hours per night. This will increase the likelihood of living a healthier life.

Dag

Foto på Dag Andersson