• PublishedNovember 30, 2016

Nobody wants to die young. We all wish to see our sunset years and get the chance to watch our grandchildren mature into adults. However, with the kind of lifestyles we lead today, it is nearly impossible to keep death at bay. Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make today that will add quality to your life as well as boost your longevity.

Cut down on red meat: Eat less red meat and choose leaner protein sources such as fish, turkey, chicken breast or pork chops. According to experts, red meat is high in saturated fat, which raises blood cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease.

Go easy on alcohol: Too much alcohol consumption is a serious health risk. Men who drink heavily have increased risk of developing hepatitis, cirrhosis, high blood pressure, and sexual difficulties such as impotence among other diseases. If you must drink daily, don’t do more than two bottles a day. Alcohol misuse not only harms the individual, but also damages relationships and society in general in terms of violence, absenteeism from work and family, and accidents from drink driving.

Avoid cigarettes and marijuana: There are a lot of diseases linked to cigarette smoking, which include throat cancer, mouth cancer, bladder cancer, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and heart diseases. The nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive and poisonous. Tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that form a sticky tar when combined. Tar poses danger to the lungs. Marijuana, on the other hand, can also mess with your memory and emotions when overused or abused.

Keep a healthy weight: It is no secret that obesity is bad for one’s health. Apart from raising the levels of bad cholesterol as well as increasing the risk of prostate cancer, obesity can also lead to fertility problems by creating hormonal disturbances. Eat right and balance calorie intake with exercise. By eating fewer processed foods and more whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins, there’s less room for mindless eating and empty calorie consumption. On the flip side, being underweight can damage one’s health as it contributes to a weakened immune system.

Exercise: Exercise helps people lose weight and lowers the risk of some diseases. This helps one to work without struggles. Your heart, brain and generally the entire body benefit from exercise. Being fit, even a little bit, helps to improve your health. Fitness means being in a state of good health as a result of exercise and nutrition. It also means having the energy and strength to feel as good as possible.

Develop strong social networks: Friends make the best medicine; people with strong social connections have a 50 per cent lower chance of dying than those with few social ties, according to a 2010 study at Brigham Young University in the US. The one exception is for married men who are likely to be healthier and live longer. Most men tend to hold their stress and worries close to their chest, while women tend to reach out and talk to others, which works to their advantage.

Eat nyama choma in moderation: Men, and mostly Kenyan men, like nyama choma but the love of this delicacy is putting them at serious health risks. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organisation (WHO), consumption of red meat and processed meat may cause cancer. Instead of roasted meat try vegetables, yoghurt, and dry foods such as crackers and nuts.

Eat more fruits and vegetables: Most men will rather take meat than fruits but you need to know that vegetables are very important in one’s diet. Make it your habit to at least eat a fruit on a daily basis. The saying, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ is not vain talk. Eating plenty of fruits and veggies may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

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