1. Move More
Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Climb stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators.
Walk your dog; chase your kids; toss balls with friends, mow the lawn. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, it’s a stress buster. Think ‘move’ in small increments of time. It doesn’t have to be an hour in the gym or a 45-minute aerobic dance class or tai chi or kickboxing. But that’s great when you’re up to it. Meanwhile, move more.
2. Cut Fat
Avoid the obvious such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts. Most are available in lower fat versions such as substitute butter, fat free cheeses and mayonnaise.
3. Quit Smoking
The jury is definitely in on this verdict. Ever since 1960 when the Surgeon General announced that smoking was harmful to your health, Americans have been reducing their use of tobacco products that kill. Just recently, we’ve seen a surge in smoking in adolescents and teens. Could it be the Hollywood influence? It seems the stars in every movie of late smoke cigarettes. Beware. Warn your children of the false romance or ‘tough guy’ stance of Hollywood smokers. Also, the trend to quit smoking has been slow to follow in France.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water is still one of the healthiest things we can do. Water is essential for virtually every function of the body. The average person needs eight 8-ounce glasses a day. Drink with meals, as well as before, during and after exercise. During exercise, cold water is more readily absorbed.
5. Reduce Stress
Easier said than done, stress busters come in many forms. Some techniques recommended by experts are to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like. (i.e., Soak in a hot tub; walk on the beach or in a park; read a good book; visit a friend; play with your dog; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie. Get a massage, a facial or a haircut. Meditate. Count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible.
6. Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption
While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day can help protect against heart disease, drinking more than that can cause health problems such as liver and kidney disease as well as cancer.
7. Keep a Positive Mental Outlook
There’s a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. Remember, you can’t be unhappy when you’re smiling!
8. Protect Yourself from Pollution
If you can’t live in a smog-free environment, at least avoid smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rating is low. Exercise indoors in air conditioning when the air quality is good. Plant lots of shrubbery in your yard. It’s a good pollution and dirt deterrent.
9. Floss Your Teeth
Recent studies make a direct connection between longevity and teeth flossing. Nobody knows exactly why. Perhaps it’s because people who floss tend to be more health conscious than people who don’t?
10. Choose Your Parents Well
The link between genetics and health is a powerful one. But just because one or both of your parents died young in ill health doesn’t mean you cannot counteract the genetic pool handed you. Follow these ten basic tips for healthy living and you can better control your own destiny.