Peter Elwood is a professor who has done extensive research on how a healthy lifestyle can greatly reduce ones risk of developing health issues such as cancer, dementia, and heart disease.
He was quoted as saying, “I’m always amazed at the fact that the best preventatives have no pills, no side-effects and no cost.”
So why is it then that so many people would prefer to take expensive pills or go on extreme diets? Its usually because people want quick fixes.
For most people, getting healthy the right way takes too long. Or at least that’s what they think. So instead of changing their habits they would rather buy expensive pills that can prove to be devastating to their health in the long run.
After being part of a study of half a million subjects between the ages of 40–69, Professor Elwood found that there are 5 healthy behaviors that are better than any pill.
These behaviors have been proven to reduce the risk of all cancers and they do so without any negative side effects.
The interesting thing is, even though these behaviors have science to back them up, far too many people still find it difficult to stick to them.
Even still Professor Elwood has literally dedicated his life to educating people on how their daily habits can affect their health.
While Professor Elwood’s study focused on 5 key behaviors, with this article we are only going to discuss 3.
So here are 3 healthy lifestyle habits that are better than any pill.
Maintaining a Healthy BMI
BMI stands for Body Mass Index and it is a measure of body fat based on your height and weight. And while this ratio is far from perfect, especially for those who do a lot of strength training, it does give you a great place to start when evaluating your health.
If you are 5 ft 5 and weigh 300 pounds your body mass index is much too high. To bring it down you should start eating better and exercising on a regular basis.
Maintaining a healthy body mass index will help you ward off issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
The great thing about smoking is that fewer people are doing it these days. Even still that number is in the millions.
Some researchers believe smoking is the number 1 cause of preventable deaths in the world. This is because when you smoke you put yourself at greater risk for things such as stroke, heart attack, cancer, heart disease, breathing problems, and a host of other health related issues.
If you have tried to quit smoking in the past you are fully aware of how difficult it can be. We recommend you create your own quit plan.
Doing so will greatly increase your chances of successfully quitting.
Limited Alcohol Consumption
Most people think as long as they are eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis then they are entitled to having a few glasses of wine for dinner. They look at it as an award for eating healthy throughout the day.
According to Professor Elwood, limiting alcohol consumption can reduce your risk of cancer by 8%.
Please note we aren’t recommending you completely eliminate alcohol from your life. But the less you drink of it, the better off you will be.
When it comes to your health there is always room for improvement. It doesn’t matter how healthy you think you are, there is always an area in which you can do better.
While you may not be a smoker, you may be an emotional eater who consumes far too many calories on a daily basis.
The key is to ask yourself in what area can you do better? Once you identify the area you can do better in, find resources that can help you in those areas.
It can be books, podcasts, YouTube channels, blogs, or anything that helps you start living a healthier life.
Please know that none of these habits are more important than the other. They all work together to help you live a healthy life
However, the habit that’s most important for you might not necessarily be important for someone else. For example, if have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or heart disease, the habit you need to focus on is getting your BMI to a healthy place.
This of course would be done by eating right and working out.
So the habit you focus on will depend on where you are in your journey.
The other two habits Professor Elwood outlined in his research are exercising on a regular basis and eating a healthy, well balanced diet.
Together the five habits, which are not smoking, exercising on a regular basis, limiting alcohol intake, eating healthy, and maintaining a healthy BMI, work to prevent disease and keep you living a long, healthy life.