When it comes to your health, you can’t beat common sense and a reasonable attitude. This means enjoying a variety of foods, eating appropriate portion sizes, moving more, laughing more, and taking more mental-health breaks. You shouldn’t smoke. You should maintain a healthy BMI (of 18-25), and eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. And everyone had ought to exercise for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. But beyond those basics, there are other things you can do to make sure you’re living healthily.
By Mimi Greenwood Knight
Brush and floss daily.
More and more links are being discovered between bacteria in the mouth—due to gum disease and cavities—and disease elsewhere in the body.
Get enough sleep.
Well-rested people not only cope better with stress but have better control of their appetites. Research has shown that lack of sleep can trigger overeating and may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
Eat with people, not the television.
Being connected to family or friends is a powerful aspect of a healthy life. Eating with others slows us down and makes the meal more of a social and family event than a chore.
Laughter is powerful stress-relief medicine. It also lowers our blood pressure, reduces stress hormone levels, boosts healthy T-cells, works our abs, improves cardio health, and releases healthy endorphins. So go ahead and yuk it up.
Meditate, pray, or find solace each day.
Contemplation is good for the soul, helps us cope with the demands of daily life, and may even help lower blood pressure. Block out at least 10 or 20 minutes a day to check out and relax.
Track your steps.
Counting steps can motivate us to walk, walk, walk. Bust out the FitBit or download a step-counting app on your phone and challenge yourself to get in more steps today than you did yesterday. All those steps can help defuse stress, burn calories, and boost your self-esteem.
Stand up straight.
Standing straight not only makes you look five pounds lighter, but it tightens your abdominal muscles. When you walk, think “tall and tight.”
Whether you’re male or female and whatever your age, yoga poses can help increase strength and flexibility, improve balance, and make you more likely to want to move.
Lastly, foster a positive attitude. Studies have shown an indisputable link between a positive outlook and health benefits such as lower blood pressure, less heart disease, better weight control, and healthier blood sugar levels.