The Healthy Lifestyle Course (HLTH1010) is a compulsory, one-year course for undergraduates to learn how to maintain a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle that will help them to effectively manage their life, learning and work. But overall, meeting more of these qualifications was associated with having fewer risk factors for cardiovascular disease—things like high cholesterol, high white blood cell counts, and high blood pressure. The researchers looked at 13 such biomarkers in total. Being active and having a healthy body-fat percentage were associated with favorable outcomes in nine and 10 of the biomarkers, respectively, while not smoking and eating well were associated with just two and one.
Your cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, immune and other body systems depend on a continual supply of nutrients to feed cell growth and metabolism. To get the dozens of essential forms of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals and fats, you need to eat a varied diet. According to the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, your diet should contain mostly whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Consume lean meats such as chicken and turkey, along with legumes, eggs and healthy nuts. Limit your portion sizes at meals to control your weight and your risk for cardiovascular and other diseases through your lifestyle.
Kate Lorig, RN, DrPH, is a director and associate professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Patient Education Research Center. She lives in Mountain View, California. Halsted Holman, MD, is professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. He lives in Stanford, California. David Sobel, MD, is the director of patient education and health promotion at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Northern California. He lives in San Jose, California. Diana Laurent, MPH, is a health educator at the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Patient Education Research Center. She lives in Palo Alto, California. Virginia Gonzalez, MPH, is a health educator at the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Patient Education Research Center. She lives in San Jose, California. Marion Minor, PT, PhD, is an assistant professor at the University of Missouri in the department of physical therapy. She lives in Columbia, Missouri.
Our busy lifestyles can be hard on our family’s health. Rushing to and from school and work can make it hard to find time to be physically active. We can also slip into the habit of choosing unhealthy snacks and take-away foods or spending our free time watching TV or in front of the computer. Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. In fact, research shows that people who regularly eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight.
Average life expectancy has increased steadily in England in recent decades (figure 1). Less than a century ago, deaths from infectious diseases were common 1 and often death would follow a relatively short period of illness. However, chronic non-communicable diseases are now the leading causes of death (chapter 2) and long periods of moderate and severe ill health often precede death.