Poor health is now at almost epidemic proportions – even in first-world countries, which are supposed to be advanced enough to know better. The problem may be, in fact, that we're too advanced in some ways, and the food we're eating and water we're drinking is either too processed or has too high a value for acidity.

The Importance of Lifestyle Changes Consider the number one killer of adults in America – heart disease. Although you can be born with it; the overwhelming majority of cases derive from a combination of genetics, stress and poor lifestyle choices. The food we eat causes plaque to build up in our arteries, restricting blood flow over the years, and finally leading to heart attacks. According the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 600,000 people die from complications cause by heart disease every single year, and the medical costs are a whopping $110 billion.

The real question, then, is what can you do about it? Heart disease, in general, falls directly in the lifestyle category. Doctors stress that the simple change of walking – at a pace fast enough to elevate your heart rate – for 10 minutes, 5 days a week, could lead to significant improvements for those at risk of heart disease because of diets laden with high cholesterol, high saturated fats and too much salt. One thing is for certain: changing your diet to eliminate these things represents a two-pronged attack on the problem.

Water – The Liquid of Life Americans drink – a lot. The problem is the latest Gallup Poll (as reported by the Huffinton Post) pegs soda consumption at over 2.6 cups per day on average. The daily recommended value for sugar, as suggested by the FDA, is 40 grams. A single cup of soda can have up to 44 grams of processed sugar. Right away, it's easy to see that the average American may easily be consuming 3 or 4 times the amount of sugar the FDA deems roughly safe each day. Given that sugar is one of the main causes of Type 2 diabetes, this is a serious problem.

The old saying that you should try for eight glasses of water per day still rings true; but it will be hard to get that many if soda accounts for nearly three glasses all by itself. Water has a wonderful balancing effect on the human body; in addition to being completely calorie-free, it regulates many processes and carries out toxins.

However, even water has started to be a problem in America today, because of the high acid content of so many drinking sources. This has led to researchers asking themselves, "do over acidic American diets lead to disease?" The remedy is rather simple: drink alkaline water and consumer more fruits and vegetables, because the latter are naturally alkaline. Drinking alkaline water has shown to help restore the balance, especially for those who can't readily get it from food – although a combination of the two sources would work wonders.

Exercise and Rest for Better Health Combining all of the above with adequate exercise and sleep will make wholesale changes in anyone's life. Exercise gets your blood pumping, which helps drive out any buildup of plaque in the arteries. Additionally, vigorous exercise burns fat, which promotes overall bodily health. The most important thing to remember is to start out gradually, because immediate, large-scale attempts at change rarely persist. Consult a doctor before beginning any vigorous exercise program for extra safety measures.

Topic Health