Did you know that out of the top 5 reasons people purchase medications, almost 100% of related diseases are preventable with healthier habits?  During the past 12 months, 41% purchased medicines for blood pressure; 30% for Allergies; 29% colds or flu; 29% cholesterol and 19% arthritis. These numbers are strikingly contradictory because the same poll declared that 55% of Americans 50+ believe they have complete control or are mostly in control of their health.

Could this mean that most believe that their control over their health comes from taking a pill instead of making healthy personal choices? Let’s hope not. While medicines have a time and place — and science has made phenomenal advances that have benefitted humankind — it is in our own personal best interest to do what we can do, right now, to limit the likelihood that we’ll ever have to take a medication.

Right now half of all Americans live with at least one chronic disease like heart disease, cancer, stroke or diabetes. These and other chronic diseases are the leading cause of premature death and disabilities. But as the US Center for Disease Control states: chronic diseases can be prevented by eating well—which means plenty of fruits and vegetables; being physically active, not smoking and avoiding excessive drinking.

Now here’s news…even if you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease — improving any of your daily health habits will most often improve the condition.

So, if you needed a reason to change out a bad habit for a good one— there you go! Today is a great day to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet; get up on your feet as often as possible; walk whenever and wherever you can— ideally 30 minutes or more a day; breathe deeply and practice other forms of stress management; get a good night’s sleep; don’t smoke and go easy on alcohol.

The best control you will ever have over health is from diet, exercise and stress management choices…not a pill.

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