If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, “High blood pressure runs in my family or diabetes runs in my family,” as a reason why they also have it, I’d be a very rich woman by now. The very sad and unfortunate thing about this is, it’s very true. Genetics can play a role in diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer but one’s lifestyle is a greater risk factor for acquiring these diseases than inherited genes from your parents. So what’s the obvious light at the end of the tunnel here? Practice healthy lifestyle choices!

To some of you, healthy lifestyle choices may be subjective, but there are general behaviors we need to be practicing on a regular basis in order to optimize our health. Whether we want to believe it or not, some things are just standard and have to be implemented so that we can be our most healthy selves. Here are a few ways you can
avoid or decrease your risk of genetic diseases creeping into your life.

Say no to smoking – Did you know that carcinogens found in tobacco cause anti-cancer genes to mutate in your body? Smoking cigarettes is one of the most harmful things we can do to our bodies. However, studies have shown that even if you’re a smoker, quitting can drastically improve your health. If you’re a smoker, I know it’s easier said than done but try to stop by weaning yourself off of them slowly. Increase your exercise to sweat out those nasty toxins, and drink plenty of water along with quitting and you’ll slowly begin to add years back on to your life!

Eat a nutritious diet – I can’t say this enough, especially since this is the foundation that CGE is built upon! Increasing your intake of leafy greens, veggies, and fruit is beneficial because it affects your body on a cellular level. There are certain veggies, especially cruciferous ones, which contain substances that activate tumor-suppressing
genes are known to cause cancer.

Practice stress management – This is another thing I can’t speak on enough. Because stress isn’t necessarily a tangible thing, it’s easy to dismiss it as something else. But when it begins to affect your sleep or your ability to function throughout the day, attention needs to be paid and you need to hone in on what’s causing it. We often worry about things we can’t control which brings about stress, but why not try to change the way we think and react to these things? Something as simple as daily meditation practices can help you manage your stress. Meditating is simply the practice of focusing on the present moment (preferably a present, quiet moment). Some people choose to meditate on positive thoughts, words, bible scriptures, etc. Try it! It can be hard to quiet your mind and sit still for 10-30 minutes at a time when you’re not used to it but practice makes perfect!

As you can see from the ways given above, how we think, feel, and act can have a positive or negative impact on our chances of inheriting genetic diseases. The good thing is, we have more control than we realize and the three things listed above are things we can implement today!