Keep Your Health! Disease prevention

Keep Your Health!

by Dr Vladimir Gurevich
Senior Clinical Advisor

Prevention of diseases is one of the most significant aspects of general wellbeing. It is important to realise that this is a multifactorial process. These include appropriate diet, regular exercise, getting enough sunlight, adequate amount of sleep and many other factors contributing to healthy lifestyle. It is difficult to get good results by relying on some of the factors and neglecting the others. You really need to implement as many as possible to achieve the success.

When you try to modify your lifestyle to succeed in the aim of disease prevention you would come across with various questions. For example the issue about regular exercise is one of the main ones. Exercises enhance the metabolic processes helping to prevent obesity which is one of the major causes of different diseases. They activate immune responses, stimulate local and systemic blood flow, improve lymphatic circulation, reduce stress, and promote respiratory function and physical endurance assisting in prevention of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary and other problems. However these benefits could be attained only if the exercise program is appropriate for you. General recommendations about moderate exercising 3-4 hours a week are not sufficient for that purpose. How often you should exercise, how long each time, what kind of exercise and what techniques and levels of intensity would be most suitable for you, how you progress and is there a need to amend your exercise program, what changes are needed, is the physical activity adequate, does it not aggravate your problems? You need to know that.

The same would apply to all other areas. It is well established that sufficient sun exposure is imperative for the biosynthesis of vitamin D which availability from dietary sources is limited. The modern research indicates that vitamin D is necessary for prevention of osteoporosis, diabetes and many other organic, systemic and metabolic diseases. How much solar insolation you need at different seasons to maintain normal vitamin D levels and how to sunbath appropriately to get the best results and avoid overexposure? The advice would depend on your skin type, work and leisure activities, health, and other conditions.

You should know in details what food to include or exclude from your diet to make it healthy and satisfy your needs. It is highly important to ensure that your daily ration is balanced for main nutrients such as protein, lipids and carbohydrates but it is also necessary to maintain appropriate protein/carbohydrates, calcium/phosphorous, sodium/potassium ratios, vitamin and mineral content and carefully monitor other nutritional parameters of your diet. There are many factors you should take into consideration when you plan your diet. These factors include your age, gender, level of physical activity, physiological conditions such as pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, health status and many others. Does your diet provide sufficient amount of phytonutrients such as carotenoids, polyphenols, and others? How often should you have your health check-ups to maintain good physical status? To answer correctly these and other questions regarding healthy lifestyle modifications you need to consult your physiotherapist. Most of the recommendations you would be able to get following the full body assessment process.