Other Risk Factors

Other risk factors that your HRA covers include stress and nutrition, which both play major roles in your overall health. The sections below will detail general guidelines to reduce stress and better your nutrition.

Stress

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.

Nutrition

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
Whole Grains 4 servings
Vegetables 3 cups
Fruits 2 cups
Proteins 3 servings
Water 5 or more cups
Alcohol 0-2 servings
Source: USDA ChooseMyPlate

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 choosemyplate.gov.

See also: Weight Management, Clinical Test Results, Overall Wellness