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Prevention – better than cure

Content

We all wish for a long and healthy life. But we often forget that we can actively contribute to our state of health. Did you know that one in three cases of cancer could only be prevented by a healthy lifestyle? The risk of many diseases depends to a large extent on our lifestyle. In this article you can find out what prevention is and what you can do for a long and healthy life.

What is prevention?

Prevention is better than cure, and this is especially true for one’s own health. In order to maintain well-being as long as possible and in a holistic manner, attention should be paid to a health-promoting lifestyle and preventive services should be taken advantage of.

In healthcare, prevention refers to targeted strategies and measures to reduce health risks, prevent diseases or delay their (re)occurrence. In particular, the widespread diseases in Germany such as diabetes mellitus type 2, obesity or cardiovascular diseases (heart attack, stroke, etc.) hold great potential for prevention, since their incidence is significantly influenced by lifestyle factors.

Prevention in everyday life

There are several areas of life in which a health-conscious behavior can significantly reduce your own risk of disease. In the following you will learn what the 4 most important levels of a preventive lifestyle are and what you can do for prevention.

Balanced diet

A balanced diet is the basis for physical and cognitive performance as well as for one’s own well-being. What you eat has a direct influence on processes in the body and can thus contribute to the development of diseases. For example, excessive consumption of trans fatty acids (as in French fries or chips) leads to an increase in LDL cholesterol, which can be deposited in the blood vessels and thus increase the risk of a heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases.

But what does it mean to eat a balanced diet? It implies consuming all the necessary macro-, micro- and mineral nutrients as well as trace elements in sufficient quantities. To ensure this, you should eat a varied diet and eat 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables a day. For cereal products, the whole grain variety is recommended, and for fats, vegetable and (poly)unsaturated oils should be used. Meat consumption should not exceed 600g per week. An excessive amount of red meat is strongly suspected of increasing the risk of colon cancer. Sugar and salt consumption should also be kept within limits, so it is advisable to consume tap water and unsweetened tea instead of soft drinks.

Physical activity

Physical activity promotes health in people of all ages. Both endurance-oriented and strength-intensive exercise have a preventive effect. For example, regular exercise increases the insulin sensitivity of the receptors, which counteracts the development of diabetes. Furthermore, exercise kneads important nutrients into the discs, as they have no blood vessels to supply them. The World Health Organization recommends adults get 2.5 hours of moderate or 1.25 hours of intense exercise per week, supplemented by at least 2 days of muscle strengthening exercises. In the Teamfit app, you can perform workouts of your choice or create a completely customized one with countless of our exercises.

Renunciation of nicotine & alcohol

It is impossible to imagine society without these popular drugs, but it is advisable to use them responsibly. As a cell poison, alcohol has a systemic effect, i.e. in the entire body. In small quantities, a relaxing as well as anxiety-relieving feeling is produced; too much alcohol in the blood has a numbing effect and must be laboriously broken down via the liver. For women, the low-risk (not risk-free!) amount of alcohol is 12 grams, for men 24 grams per day. Half a liter of beer contains 20 grams, a small beer of 330 ml contains 13 grams, and 100 ml of red wine contains 9 grams of alcohol. The consumption of alcohol often leads to the consumption of cigarettes.

Every day, more than 300 people die from the consequences of smoking, quitting pays off after only a short time. The carbon monoxide level normalizes after only 12 hours. After one year, the risk of cardiovascular disease is almost the same as that of a non-smoker and after 10 years, the risk of lung cancer is halved compared to a smoker.

Mental wellbeing

The dichotomy of body and mind has long been disproved, the mutual interaction in different contexts proven. Stress leads to the release of adrenaline and cortisol, which increases blood pressure and blood sugar. However, in the case of chronic stress, these parameters do not decrease to the initial level. In order to withstand the increased blood pressure, our vascular walls thicken and the risk of cardiovascular disease, such as a heart attack, increases. This is just one example of how psychological stress affects our bodily functions. 

Therefore, it is important to take care of yourself and your mental health and not to go beyond your capacity. Mindfulness training, meditation, exercise and many other interventions help to strengthen one’s well-being as well as resilience and find relaxation.

A health-conscious lifestyle and the use of early detection and preventive services offered by health insurance companies can reduce the risk of various diseases and strengthen health-promoting resources. In addition, preventive measures are generally less expensive than costly therapies. Those who take good care of their health have a good chance of a long and healthy life.

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