"He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything." -Arabian Proverb
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.
Aerobic activity not only burns calories but also increases your metabolism and can keep it elevated for several hours after a workout. You don't need to spend hours each day on the treadmill or bike to reap the benefits. Exercising aerobically for as little as 20 minutes, three to five days a week will make a big difference. Extra movement throughout the day is also essential, take the stairs instead of the lift, lose the remote and move at every opportunity you can.
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, one of the main reasons why people decide not to give up smoking, and sadly, the reason why some people take it up is the effect smoking supposedly has on weight gain or loss. It is true that smoking has been associated with an increase in metabolism it is a drug!! However it is a dangerous, addictive drug and surely the tiny effect it has on your metabolism is outweighed by the huge risk of dying from lung cancer.
Thought for the day: Give up just one cigarette.... the next one.
4. 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.
Thought for the day: When seeing red, think pink clouds....then float on them.
5. 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 air quality is good. Plant lots of shrubbery in your yard. It's a good pollution and dirt from the street deterrent.
Thought for the day: 'Smoke gets in your eyes'...and your mouth, and your nose and your lungs as do pollutants....hum the tune daily.
6. Wear Your Seat Belt
Statistics show that seat belts add to longevity and help alleviate potential injuries in car crashes. Thought for the day: Buckle down and buckle up.
7. Floss Your Teeth
Flossing your teeth every day is the best way to prevent gum disease and protect your heart. Gum disease, which is left untreated, can lead to inflammatory reactions in the body that can trigger heart disease and stroke.
8. Avoid Excessive Drinking
While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day (two for men) can help protect against heart disease, more than that can cause other health problems such as liver and kidney disease and cancer.
Thought for the day: A jug of wine should last a long time.
9. Keep a Positive Mental Outlook
There's a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. Thought for the day: You can't be unhappy when you're smiling or singing.
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.
Thought for the day: Follow these basic tips for healthy living and you can better control your own destiny.
11. Drink More Water
You can live three weeks without food, However you can only live for three days without fluid, just think 3 days and it's all over, one could suggest that water is fairly important! Your body is anywhere between 60 and 70 percent fluid. The fluid in your body is responsible for helping to keep every system of your body in good working order, including all of your metabolic processes. De-hydrate and everything slows down. The fluid in your body will also ensure that you can move well and be active. If you start to dehydrate, your body's ability to do basic activities will slow down and your ability to exercise effectively or even enjoy exercise will be reduced. You will feel tired, lethargic and will probably get a headache.
12. Eat a Variety of Foods
For protection from the majority of illnesses such as heart disease and cancer you need a variety of foods that deliver that mix of nutrients and minerals. Aim to eat different colored fruits and vegetables. Try to eat a different food each month. Eat an apple a day as the apple pectin cleanses the body's digestive system by removing toxins and therefore preventing degenerative health problems such as cancer.
13. Relax for 20 Minutes a Day
Relaxing for at least 20 minutes a day will go a long way to reduce blood pressure and your reactions to stress. Sit or lie somewhere comfortable, Breathe slowly in and out of the nostrils breathing deeply into your abdomen. Say HAM as you inhale and SA as you exhale. These suggestions are charged with positive energy and will help you control your emotions. Try once a day for fantastic results.
14. Drink More Tea
Try drinking more tea instead of coffee to help protect your body from damaging effects of free radicals. Tea is a rich source of antioxidants that play a big role in protecting against some cancers and cardiovascular disease.
15. Get More Sleep
Lack of sleep changes your hormone levels and capacity to metabolize carbohydrates so less sleep = slower metabolism. Studies have revealed that deep sleep causes cell repair and cell growth, which will speed up the metabolism and burn calories; so aim to get at least eight hours sleep a night.
16. Eat More Protein
Protein stimulates the major brain chemical dopamine which keeps us alert, try chicken or tuna salads for lunch. Go for complex carbohydrates rather than white flour and sugar, as they will provide a sustained energy source as opposed to a quick hit. Another reason to leave simple carbohydrate out of the diet is that they have a negative effect on your skin and how it ages. The more sugar that is in the body the more you force a chemical reaction causing sugars to attach to proteins and this is very detrimental to your skin.