12 Steps to Healthy Living

health Nov 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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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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