Common Risk Factors
A risk factor is a variable that could increase your risk for a disease or infection. Physical activity, stress, and nutrition could all potentially play a role in your risk for developing certain diseases. Read below for more explanation.
Importance of Exercise
A significant factor in maintaining a healthy weight is exercise. Many health risks can be greatly reduced just by following exercise recommendations. Current recommendations say that adults should get the following levels of exercise:
- 2.5 hours / week (moderate intensity)
- 75 minutes / week (vigorous intensity)
Nutrition is a very significant part of your overall health. Unhealthy eating habits and poor nutrition contribute to a variety of different chronic conditions. In order to reduce your risk, eat everything in moderation. The following are the daily recommendations for food groups.
Daily Nutrition Recommendations
|Food / Drink
|5 or More Cups
To start making healthier choices, try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, include low-fat protein foods (such as lean meat and fish), limit your access to junk foods, and don't skip meals. For more information on nutrition recommendations visit Choose My Plate.
Your body's stress response, while beneficial in some situations, can negatively effect your health if the stressor in your life is not resolved. Under stress, according to the Mayo Clinic, your body releases hormones such as adrenalin (which elevates blood pressure) and cortisol (which increases blood sugar). Chronic stress can harm your body by putting you at an increased risk for anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory/concentration impairment.
Some common tips to reduce stress include exercise, yoga, meditation, talking to a friend, or listening to music. If you feel like your stress levels are not manageable or controllable, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor. You can evaluate your stress online, or visit the Mayo Clinic for more information.