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5 Genetic Health Problems to Protect Yourself From

5 Genetic Health Problems to Protect Yourself From

There’s a reason that your doctor asks for your family history, it’s because you might be carrying a gene that could substantially increase your chances of suffering from a certain health problem yourself. Here are five of the most common genetic conditions to be on the lookout for, and a few suggestions for how you can prevent, detect, avoid, and treat them.

1.) Obesity

Yes, obesity is a disease, and it’s a scary one. You have things like high blood pressure and diabetes to worry about, in addition. Putting those with the genetic predisposal in even greater danger are environmental conditions. Poor diets, an abundance of cheap and quick fast food, and a lack of exercise are just three factors that we’re battling in the fight against obesity.

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2.) Alcoholism

It might seem like it doesn’t belong here, but alcoholism is most definitely a disease—and one that parents can pass down to their children. The Betty Ford Institute shared a study done on adopted men, which found that when they had an alcoholic father, they were more like to be alcoholics than the men who didn’t have alcoholic fathers—despite the fact that they were raised by another family!

Of course, environmental conditions play a huge factor here, as they do with obesity. Evidence shows, though, that alcoholism can and does run in your blood.

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3.) Breast Cancer

According to livestrong.com, one in nine women stands a chance of getting breast cancer, and that’s before you consider family history. The best solution is early detection. Self-exams and regular visits to your doctor for a physical and a mammogram are your safest bet.

4.) Heart Diseases

Do your parents or any relatives in your extended family deal with heart attacks or high blood pressure? If so, let your doctor know, because the same conditions could have been passed on to you. If you’re more prone to any kind of heart complication whatsoever, dedicate some of your time and energy to living a heart healthy lifestyle. This means no nasty fast food habits and getting in some weights and cardio several times a week. You might have to work a little harder than most people to stay heart healthy, but you’ll be glad you did—and so will the people who care about you.

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5.) Acne

It may sound superficial compared to the previous conditions, but that doesn’t make it any less damaging, both physically and emotionally. Not only can acne leave scars on your face, but it can leave them on your self-esteem, too; and studies have shown that you’re more likely to have this skin condition if your parents did before you.

To help clear your skin, find the cleanser that’s right for you. (Do you have oily skin? Dry skin? A combination?) If you wear make-up, then consider using an astringent after the cleanser, since cleanser can often miss a lot of the leftovers. Wash your pillowcases regularly and keep all make-up brushes and sponges clean. If your case is more severe, consult your dermatologist for something stronger.

Don’t let your potential genetic make-up startle you; just know that you might need to pay a little more attention to your health than other people might. Talk to your doctor, pay attention to your body, and you’ll live a healthy life.

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Featured photo credit:  Senior woman using some medicines via Shutterstock

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5 Genetic Health Problems to Protect Yourself From

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Last Updated on October 14, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

When it comes to increasing your metabolism, getting a good workout a couple of times a week is only one of many players. If you’re not a fan of lifting heavy stuff, then you’re only expending extra energy for that, say, one hour of that specific day. But what about the remaining 23 hours? How can you make sure you’re burning blubber all throughout the day? Here are 10 simple ways to increase your metabolism without working out.

1. Stand More

Many health practitioners claim that sitting is the new smoking. We sit in the office, we sit in the car, we sit when we get home. It’s not only terrible for your health and posture, but you require a lot less energy when seated. So, a good way to ignite the furnace a bit is to stand as much as possible through out the day. You work in an office? Put two boxes under your keyboard or laptop. There are many free solutions to making a standing desk—so you have no excuses. When you’ve gotten used to standing while working you will quickly find that it’s easier to stay engaged as well—you’re less inclined to drift away mentally. In fact, this post was written standing.

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2. Gamify Your Life

Toys such as the Fitbit or Nike Fuelband, or apps like Argus, can help you increase your metabolism by giving you an incentive to walk more. Argus, and other apps like it, use the accelerometer in your smartphone to measure your steps and let you know when you’ve hit your daily goal. Fitbit and the Nike Fuelband do the same, but have a host of other functions to make being healthy a tad more fun.

3. Eat Your Veggies

Fibrous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli increase your metabolism by putting your digestive system on overdrive. It just simply requires more energy to break down the tough fiber of these nutritional powerhouses. You’ll also start feeling like a rock star from the overload of vitamins and minerals from eating more vegetables.

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4. Eat Protein

This is one of those rules that’s not to be misunderstood. While it does boost your metabolism to eat more protein, it should be instead of other foods, not on top of other foods. If you’re stuffing your face with a chicken breast when you’re not hungry just to boost your metabolism, you’re doing it wrong. Of the three macro-nutrients—fats, carbs and protein—protein is the one that requires the most energy to break down. So, if you switch out some of those cheese sandwiches with a few hardboiled eggs you’re on the right path.

5. Drink Loads Of Cold Water

Drinking a few glasses of ice-cold water in the morning can boost your metabolism quite effectively. Your body expends energy on constantly staying in homeostasis when it comes to temperature, so if you chug a bunch of icy water you’re making your body expend more energy on keeping itself at the same temperature. Using temperature to expend more energy is called thermogenesis and it’s one of the most efficient ways of cranking up your calorie burning—more on this further down.

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6. Spice Up Your Meals

Spices like cayenne, chilli, ginger and turmeric ignite your metabolism and make your meals a bit more exciting. If you make it a habit to add a little bit of spice to each of your meals it can be a habit that turns you into a fat-burning furnace.

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    7. Drink Caffeine

    No, drinking loads of coffee is not bad for you. The sugar and heavy cream you could be inclined to chase it down with might be though. Caffeine helps mobilize—that is, get rid of—adipose tissue, or fat. It also helps athletic performance, and some individuals report it to have appetite-curbing effects. If you’re very sensitive to stimulants, try not to have caffeine too close to bedtime though, as it can mess with your sleep.

    8. Plan Your Meals Around Exercise

    I know the title of this post says “…Without Working Out” but this trick technically is more a nutritional trick than an exercise-related one. When you’ve exerted yourself and, hopefully, broken down some muscle fibers, your protein synthesis, or the rate at which you build muscle, increases. So, having heavy meals after a workout will make sure those calories get stored in the right places. This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to get a heavy session in before the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

    9. Do Intermittent Fasting

    It’s long been said you should always eat a heavy breakfast as it kick starts your metabolic rate. There hasn’t been any study proving this though. There have only been behavioral studies correlating obesity with breakfast skippers, but it’s always been a case of confusing correlation with causation. It’s not the fact that you skip breakfast that makes you fat; it’s the poor food choices you make throughout the rest of your day. Studies have shown that fat burning increases the longer you get into a fast, obviously depending on the body fat level of the individual. In fact, in one study lowered metabolic rate did not occur until 60 hours into a fast. Intermittent fasting is very much one of the bigger wins when it comes to increasing your metabolism.

    10. Use Cold Exposure

    For some reason it’s been common knowledge for a while that sweating increases metabolic rate. Scientist have known for a while though that the opposite is actually true; exposing yourself to cold temperatures increase your calorie burn significantly. Just slight shifts in your home temperature can mean pounds lost or gained when you gather the numbers yearly. How else do you think swimmer Michael Phelps is able to eat 12,000 calories a day? Obviously, he swims hours each day, but it’s not just the exercise he gets from swimming that allows him to consume such quantities of food, it’s also the amount of energy the body has to expend to keep itself at its baseline temperature in the cold water. So, taking ice-cold showers, decreasing the temperature of your home, or swimming in cool pools will help you burn a lot more calories.

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