We have lots of safety nets to help us when our health takes a turn for the worse, like health or life insurance. However, wouldn’t it be better to prevent health problems instead of treating them after they happen? It’s hard to stay healthy when you live in a busy, dense urban area like Chicago, but you still have control over your physical condition.

Big cities often have a surplus of unhealthy citizens. People can take public transit everywhere instead of walking, and unhealthy food and air contribute to weight gain and general unhealthiness. However, Chicago has a variety of different food sources and fitness opportunities that you can take advantage of.

Use the tips on this page to avoid a number of different health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other ailments. Most health problems are preventable-you just need to make an effort to make your body strong enough to resist them.

Get Enough Exercise

Exercise burns off excess weight and stimulates blood flow all over your body. The increase blood flow brings extra oxygen to your individual cells, making them healthier and stronger than ever. When the cells divide to make new cells, they’re less likely to mutate in the process, making you less likely to develop cancers. The stronger cells also resist infection, preventing all kinds of other illnesses.

But how do you find the time or space to safely exercise in a big city? You have a few options:

1. Run in the park or around your neighborhood, but only run while it’s light. Y ou don’t have to go for a long run. Just take 20 minutes out of your day to go for a jog. However, may sure you go during the day, not the morning or evening. Crime happens all the time, even in smaller cities, but you’re safer during the day with more people around. You should also only exercise outside when the city has low pollution-otherwise you’re actually doing yourself harm.

2. Run at a fitness center or track when the city has high pollution. The weather will periodically change the levels of pollution. When Chicago has high pollution, run in a fitness center for 20 minutes instead.

3. Walk or bike to work. You make not have this option if you have to commute across the city, but if you live about a half- hour from where you work, you should consider walking or biking instead of driving.

4. Take workout classes. Chicago is a big city, so you have access to many different workout the area. Look for Pilates, yoga, Tai Chi, martial arts, dance, Zumba, and other kinds of fun physical activities.

Avoid Unhealthy Activities

City-dwellers often gravitate towards activities that detract from their health as well. If you do any of the following, you’re letting too many disease-causing toxins into your body:

  • Tanning. The UV light in tanning beds can cause skin cancer. The more you use a tanning bed, the higher your risk of cancer becomes. Sunlight has the same kind of UV light, but tanning beds give it to you in a more concentrated dose.
  • Abusing drugs and other substances. Tobacco and drugs have all kinds of carcinogens and toxins in them. Toxins weaken your cells, making them more susceptible to infections. The weakened cells also have difficulty dividing properly, leading to mutations like cancer.
  • Stress. Stress tightens up everything in your body, even your blood vessels. It makes it harder for you to release toxins, and it even sometimes makes your body create toxins of its own. Stress weakens your cells and your immune system, leading to many health problems.

Eat Healthy Foods

Packaged foods tend to have a lot of toxins in them. Synthesized nutrients don’t help your body stay as healthy as natural ones, so make sure you eat natural foods instead of something completely fabricated, like many kinds of boxed macaroni and cheese. Here’s what you can do to make sure you eat healthy foods:

1. Cut your servings in half. We’ve all trained our bodies to eat a lot more food than they need. Cut your serving in half. Y ou may not feel comfortable at first, but your body will get used to it eventually. You should only eat the recommended serving as suggested on the package, or about as much as your fist.

2. Eat mostly fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables have tons of nutrients inside them, and you can eat as much of them as you like-just make sure you rinse them before eating to remove pesticides and other toxins. If you prefer canned fruits and vegetables, just make sure you get low-sodium or low-syrup options.

3. Switch up your protein, and try to stick to fish and white meat. Y our body digests foods faster when you have a variety of different kinds. Don’t eat the same kind of meat all the time, and try to stay away from red meats-they have more toxins and fats in them than fish or poultry.

4. Try other flavors instead of salt. Salt increases inflammation all over your body, narrowing your blood vessels and keeping oxygen from reaching your cells. If you want your body to stay healthy, you’ll drink tons of water to counteract this and stop using as much salt.

It’s not hard to find healthy foods or exercise options in a city as big as Chicago. Simply type what you’re looking for into your search engine to begin your journey back to health today!