Medicine is not always, well, the best medicine. Don't get me wrong, I am all for fixing what ails you, even if it takes a pill but medication can be pricey and have unpleasant side effects. The latest issue of the Harvard Health Letter takes a look at seven common conditions and gives insight on how to manage them without taking medication. Here are some tips that are useful for everyone:
- Arthritis: There’s a good chance that losing weight will make arthritis less painful. Combine weight loss with exercise and you may have less pain and more mobility. Even for those who don’t need to lose weight, exercise that doesn’t put “load” on the joints reduces pain.
- Cholesterol: Your LDL level may drop by 5% or so if you keep foods high in saturated fat off the menu. Additional soluble fiber may reduce LDL levels as well. So can margarines fortified with sterols.
- Cognitive decline: Memory training and other “brain exercises” seem to help healthy older people stay sharp. But physical exercise may benefit the brain more than mental gymnastics.
There are more suggestions including remedies for depression and osteoporosis so
- Depression: Studies have shown that regular physical activity can have a potent antidepressant effect.
- Diabetes: Regular physical activity is a powerful brake on blood sugar levels as well, because exercised muscle becomes more receptive to the insulin that helps it pull sugar in from the bloodstream. Eating fewer sweets and easy-to-digest carbohydrates also helps control blood sugar levels.
- High blood pressure: Losing weight, getting more exercise, and eating less sodium all lower blood pressure.
- Osteoporosis: Weight-bearing exercise puts stress on bones, and bone tissue reacts by getting stronger and denser, fending off osteoporotic processes. Extra vitamin D and calcium top the list of dietary recommendations.
Fit's Tip: Always talk with your doctor before stopping or starting any new regime to fight disease.