12 Steps to Healthy LivingNov 07, 2023
Can you guess what defines healthy living?
Yes, it's exercising, eating fruits & vegetables, and quitting smoking, but more importantly it's a life filled with happy interactions, devoid of chronic stress, and driven by a higher purpose.
Here are six steps that you can take to make sure that you are living your healthiest:
- Stop Smoking - If you smoke, nothing else you do will offer anywhere near the benefits you'll get from quitting. If you need some help quitting, here are a few things that might help.
- Line up help before your quit date - Help at the right moment can be crucial.
- Consider a behavioral therapy program or support group
- Schedule exercise
- Get 30 Minutes of Light Exercise Most Days. You can do that by incorporating the following:
- Walking or biking is a great way to start
- Anything is better than nothing - if there is no time for a 30-minute walk or a 45-minute gym workout, then use 5, 10, or 15 minutes that you do have. Plenty of studies show that three 10-minute walks burn calories as effectively as one 30-minute walk.
- Willpower is not the answer - set an exercise "date" and write it in your calendar.
- Exercise should be enjoyable - find something that you love doing.
- Eat at Least 5 Servings of Fruit and Vegetables Daily - you can do this by incorporating the following tips:
- Assign specific servings to each meal - for example, have a side of berries or melon with breakfast. Start lunch with a salad, have fruit as a snack, and serve one cooked veggie and one raw veggie at dinner. That's seven servings!
- Always have two colors of produce on your plate
- Double each vegetable portion you'd normally eat
- Load up on ready-to-use produce
- Keep salads interesting - add roasted sesame seeds, artichoke hearts, olives, sliced cucumbers, red peppers, and even a few raspberries
- Get Recommended Screening Tests - some common tests include the following:
- Mammogram - yearly beginning at age 40
- Thyroid Hormone test - every 5 years beginning at age 35
- Dental Exam - twice a year
- Blood Pressure Reading - at least once a year
- Cholesterol Test - at least every 5 years starting at age 30
- Skin Cancer Check - every 3 years beginning at age 20
- Fasting Blood Sugar - every 3 years beginning at age 45; more often or earlier if you are overweight or at risk for diabetes
- Get at least 7-8 Hours of Sleep Each Night - You can do this by incorporating the following:
- Pick your perfect bedtime, then stick with it for two weeks - this habit will get you started.
- When it's time, discipline yourself to turn out the lights
- Turn off all electronics a half hour before you get into bed
- Know Your Blood Pressure Numbers - Knowing this could slash your odds of a heart attack, a stroke, kidney failure or blindness. Here's the numbers you want to strive for:
- 115/75 or lower: Ideal
- Below 120/80: Healthy
- 120-139/80-89: Prehypertensive
- 140/90: High Blood Pressure
Look for the remaining six steps to living your healthiest life in next weeks blog.
Remember to...Take Care of You!
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