# Monday, September 24, 2012
Hospital Most health insurance plans offer coverage for financial costs related to health ailments. Examples are prescription drug coverage, private and semi-private hospital rooms, assistive medical devices, as well as paramedical services such as naturopaths, chiropractors and massage therapy.

However, when it comes to having a high quality of life, the best scenario is to stay as healthy as possible. Getting a cold or occasionally catching a flu bug can be discomforting, but these situations pale in comparison to having a chronic, debilitating disease. A chronic disease by definition is a long-lasting condition, and has far-reaching, negative impacts on a person’s quality of life.

The following are some chronic disease prevention tips that will increase the odds of having a full, healthy life. (Please note that we are not doctors. All information below has been carefully sourced, however, with references and resources listed at the bottom of this blog article).

Quit Smoking

Smoking has been irrefutably linked to all sorts of health ailments, and leads to lung cancer, as well as numerous heart-related ailments. According to Health Canada smoking can cause:
  • Bronchitis and Emphysema
  • Impotence
  • Lung Cancer
  • Various Mouth Diseases
  • Heart Disease
  • Strokes

Get Regular Exercise

Canada (and North America in general) has seen a marked increase in sedentary life styles. As a result we do not get enough physical exercise, and our health ends up paying the price.

There are so many activities that we could be doing that offer not only exercise but fun and enjoyment as well!

Here are just a few things you can do to get regular physical exercise:
  • Go for regular walks. If you live near a park, conservation area or other natural preserve then go out for a stroll and enjoy nature. Besides the health benefits, being out in nature has a calming affect on people. Have a dog? Your dog will love getting out too!
  • Join a gym. There are lots of fitness centers in Canada with reasonable rates.
  • Join a recreational sports league. Play baseball, darts, volleyball, go bowling (lawn bowling is also an option), etc. Not only does this provide exercise but it is downright fun, and having some fun once in awhile is also beneficial to your health!

Have a Healthy Diet

What we eat has a profound impact on our overall health. Stay away from fast foods, and avoid microwaving your food (microwaves kill the live enzymes in food, which we need for digestive purposes among other things).

See our previous post called Healthy Eating Tips for more information.

One thing this previous blog post did not address is genetically modified food, commonly referred to as "GMO" food.

Proponents of genetically modified food argue that there are no adverse health or environmental effects, and can be used to increase overall yields of crops (see Monsanto’s web site).

Critics of GMO food disagree, and believe that there are numerous problems related to ingesting GMOs (see Genetic Roulette: The Movie). A recent independent study in France (one of the first long-term studies done) has found that test rats have a much higher chance of developing cancerous tumors when their diet consists solely of genetically modified (see Rats fed lifetime of GM corn grow horrifying tumors).

We leave it up to you, the reader, to do your own research and decide for yourself where you stand on this rather controversial subject.

Lose Excess Weight

Overweight people, especially those that are obese, run the risk of a multitude of health ailments.
Excess weight results in the circulatory system, especially the heart, having to work too hard.

According to Health Canada some health complications due to obesity are:
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Higher chance of strokes
  • Various cancers (e.g. colon and breast cancer)
  • Diabetes (Type 2, please see Diabetes Treatment and Health Insurance)
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Depression
There have been many "lose weight" fads and ideas. However, the general consensus is that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Excessive alcohol consumption can have a drastic impact on your health, as well as having a terrible affect on the lives of people around problem drinkers.

According to the WebMD web site, just some chronic aliments that are tied to heavy drinking are:
  • Anemia
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cirrhosis
If you are concerned about excessive drinking please go to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health web site.
Article Sources and Resources:
  1. Ontario Public Health Standards: Chronic Disease Prevention
  2. Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada (CDPAC)
  3. Health Canada
  4. Natural News

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