Are You One Of the Healthiest 6?

As Americans, we have a lot of work to do in regards to our health.  However, if your lifestyle behaviors place you in the 6 percenter club, give yourself a pat on the back because you’re probably a very healthy person.

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied data on 400,000 Americans from a 2013 national health and nutrition survey to measure how well we are adhering to a healthy lifestyle.   The purpose was to see how well we are following five key health-related behaviors for chronic disease prevention.  The verdict: not very many of us have jumped on the bandwagon of good health habits. 

Only 1 in 16 Americans or about 6.3 percent of adults could truthfully say they are practicing all five healthy lifestyle factors considered most important to warding off chronic diseases. 

The five key ingredients necessary for overall good health include:

·         Not smoking

·         Exercising regularly

·         Drinking alcohol in moderation, or not at all

·         Keeping at a healthy weight

·         Getting at least seven hours of nightly sleep

People were most likely to fail in watching their weight, with only 32.5% managing a normal body mass index (BMI).  Just over half met physical activity recommendations, which generally call for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.  Nonsmoking was the most commonly achieved factor, at 81.6%.

Adopting these five lifestyle healthy factors does not come easy for everyone.  Many things get in the way of always being able to achieve each and every one of the key habits.  However, becoming motivated to take of oneself and knowing how to go about that, can be a good start towards a healthier lifestyle.

Quitting smoking is not easy but is possible and necessary to lead have a healthy, disease-free future.  Finding a suitable and enjoyable exercise regimen can lead to weight loss and more energy.  Moderate drinking or abstaining from alcohol is the only way to go while achieving a healthy body weight can significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and some forms of cancer.  And don’t forget getting a good night’s sleep – sleep is when our body rejuvenates and repairs itself so should be a top priority for good health.