Modifiable health risk behaviors: Part 1

Modifiable health risk behaviors are the behaviors we engage in and we have the power to change. Commercials and advertisements love to scare us with facts and statistics into changing our behaviors. Although common, this isn’t always effective in motivating people to change. Personally, I believe in educating people on all aspects of health and that will ultimately empower someone to change their behaviors. Which brings us to two very broad questions. What behaviors and why change?

Lack of physical activity

Physical activity is different for everyone. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people have never tried it and think they hate it. Everyone has a different opinion. So what happens when we don’t exercise? Have you heard the phrase “use it or lose it” when talking about exercising your muscles?

When our muscles are unused for only a few days, the muscle mass begins to break down and does not repair itself like it would if you had been exercising. Think of that time you broke your arm and had it in a cast for a while. When you took the cast off, was your arm much smaller than the other? Yes! Our muscles are constantly building, tearing and repairing themselves and in order to achieve our optimal strength. Even in daily activities, physical activity and exercise are critical.

photo remix: Yoga woman on exercise ball - flickr_enthusiast_rocks_Nilmarie_Yoga-001

Why should you change? Disease is looming. Physical activity and exercise are an incredible natural medicine. When we start to get a cold, we begin taking Vitamin C and giving our bodies extra rest. Think about looming diseases in this sense and consider exercise as your immune system boost. As Latinas and women, we are at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and other chronic diseases. When we aren’t getting our recommended amounts of physical activity, we are increasing our risk of potential disease.

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, all adults should receive 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per week.  Have you had enough?  Did you know that cleaning, gardening and walking the dog are all moderate exercises?  Intense physical activity is very different and your body needs it just as much. Studies show the benefits of moderate to high intensity work outs can reduce pain among patients with many diseases, even cancer. High intensity exercise increases your bone density as well which is something us women have to worry about. Avoid osteoporosis, look great and feel great.

Change your behavior and modify your health risks.

-The Healthy Latina

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