The majority of us are already pretty familiar with basic forms of preventative health care: things like vaccines, check-ups, screenings, and dentistry, but what about what YOU can do? Are there things you can do today to make future you a healthier person?
The answer is yes!
Everything from the way we eat and exercise now has a direct correlation on our future health. Here are a few things you can do now to make the future healthier:

1. Exercise – Protect everything

The World Health Organisation recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate activity exercise a week, including aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening exercise.
The purported benefits are, to be frank, well worth going to the gym 3-times a week. They are as follows:
Reduced risk of hip or vertebral fractures
Reduced risk of developing depression
Higher cardiorespiratory fitness
More muscular fitness
Healthier body mass and composition

2. Oranges – Protect your eyes

Is there a history of sight loss in your family? Then listen up. A recent study, spanning 15 years, found that people who eat at least one orange a day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing late macular degeneration (which is when fatty deposits under the retina lead to blurred vision or vision loss).

3. Tobacco – Protect your lungs

No, I’m not going to tell you to have more of it. #sorrynotsorry. I am going to tell you how much cutting down (or just quitting) could benefit your health in the long term. Cigarette smokers have reduced lung function compared to non-smokers,  have reduced rates of lung growth, live an average of seven years less than non-smokers (based on consumption of one pack a day), and have a higher risk of developing lung cancer. That’s a whole lot of good reasons to quit!

4. Fruit and Veg – Protect your heart

I know I’ve touched on oranges, and we all can pretty much reel off the saying that we need five portions of fruit and veg each day, but did you know that your consumption of fruit and veg can make you less susceptible to heart disease? There is research that shows that eating ten servings of fruit and veg each day reduces the risk of developing heart disease by 24%. Once again, that’s not a promise that you won’t get it, there’s nobody and nothing that can give you that guarantee, but this does reduce the likelihood.

5. Dark leafy greens – Protect your bones

When you think of calcium, you usually think of milk, right? Well, the research on how effective milk is is still a little inconclusive; some scientists say it’s everything, others say it does nothing. What there is little to no doubt about, is the presence of calcium in dark leafy greens like kale, collard greens, bok choy, and Chinese cabbage. On top of a high calcium content, darker greens also contain significant amounts of vitamin K, which helps prevent osteoporosis.

These are just a few ways in which you can guard against poor health in the future, but there are a lot of other ways too. You can eat less sugar for a stronger immune system, drink water to protect your heart, and sleep for at least eight hours a night to reduce the risk of developing depression. Whichever one of these (or ones) of these you decide to start with, remember you’re doing it now so you don’t have to worry about it later.

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

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