Strategies To Help Prevent Chronic Disease In 2021

It’s a sad fact. Chronic disease is THE LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH AND DISABILITY and the Leading Drivers of the Nation’s $3.5 Trillion in Annual Health Care Costs.

  • 6 IN 10 Adults in the US have a chronic disease
  • 4 IN 10 Adults in the US have two or more

In 2021, consider these strategies to help prevent chronic disease.

#1 Get Your Flu Shot
There’s still time to get your annual flu vaccine, the best way to help protect against flu.

By increasing the number of people vaccinated, we can reduce the number of flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths this fall and winter, which can in turn help reduce the burden on our medical system and save medical resources for the care of COVID-19 patients.

#2 Sleep
Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

DID YOU KNOW?

For a healthier sleep, be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.

Lack of sleep is linked to several chronic diseases and conditions, including:

TYPE 2 DIABETES
HEART DISEASE
OBESITY
DEPRESSION

#3 Eat Healthy
Reach for healthy options like fruits and vegetables instead of salty or sugary treats.

Aim for a variety of colors on your plate.

Foods like dark, leafy greens, oranges, and tomatoes—even fresh herbs—are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and minerals.

Try this:

  • Sprinkle fresh herbs over a salad or whole wheat pasta.
  • Make a red sauce using canned tomatoes (look for “low sodium” or “no salt added”), fresh herbs, and spices.
  • Add diced veggies like peppers, broccoli, or onions to stews and omelets to give them a boost of color and nutrients.

#4 Move More, Sit Less
Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, plus muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week.

Some Activity is Better than None

We know 150 minutes each week sounds like a lot of time, but it’s not. That could be 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The good news is that you can spread your activity out during the week, so you don’t have to do it all at once. You can even break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. Learn more about finding a balance that works for you.

#3 Rethink Your Drink
Substitute water for sugary or alcoholic drinks to reduce calories and stay safe.

Limiting sugary drinks can help you maintain a healthy weight and have a healthy diet. Many people don’t realize just how much sugar and how many calories are in their drinks:

Sugar in drinks
Drink (12-ounce serving) Teaspoons of Sugar Calories
Tap or Bottled Water 0 teaspoons 0
Unsweetened Tea 0 teaspoons 0
Sports Drinks 2 teaspoons 75
Lemonade 6 ¼  teaspoons 105
Sweet Tea 8 ½ teaspoons 120
Cola 10 ¼ teaspoons 150
Fruit Punch 11 ½ teaspoons 195
Root Beer 11 ½ teaspoons 170
Orange Soda 13 teaspoons 210

#4 Don’t Use Tobacco

It’s never too late to quit smoking. Quitting smoking now improves your health and reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related illnesses. You can quit today! Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free support.

#5 Be Sun Safe
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. Too much sun can cause skin cancer. Wear layered clothes and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.

DID YOU KNOW?
Even in cold weather, the sun can damage your skin. UV rays, not the temperature, do the damage.

#6 Brush Your Teeth
Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

Visit the dentist regularly. Checkups can find tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems before they lead to more serious issues like tooth loss.