Five Simple Steps to Better Health
Five Simple Steps to Better Health
Somehow, at the end of each article about heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune issues or other health challenges, the advice is always the same: Eat right, exercise, control stress, get a good night's sleep and don't smoke or overindulge in alcohol. As an editor, I get concerned that you'll be bored reading the same advice over and over again. On the other hand, obesity is skyrocketing, heart disease is on the rise and people are increasingly aware of autoimmune disorders being linked to many chronic diseases.
The fact of the matter is that many of our health problems are created or worsened by our own actions. In the long run, simple and straightforward as they may be, these five simple steps are your best bet to prevent disease and avoid the risks that go along with increasingly high-tech treatments and interventions...
1. Eat a Variety of Fresh, Nutrient-Rich Whole Foods.
- Include plenty of disease-fighting fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in your diet. These foods are rich in antioxidants, which vanquish the free radical damage that lies at the root of so many diseases. Free radicals are highly reactive cells that damage other cells, including DNA.
- Three times a week, eat deep-water fish, such as wild salmon, mackerel or sardines. These fish, as well as walnuts and flaxseeds, are rich sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
- Avoid: Trans fats in processed and fast foods, as well as refined carbohydrates, such as white flour and sugar. Limit your intake of the saturated fats in meat and dairy products in general.
2. Get Regular Physical Exercise.
- Regular physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight and control stress, and offers protection against heart disease, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc. Choose activities that you enjoy, such as walking, swimming, dancing, yoga or tai chi.
- If you've been a couch potato, keep in mind that even modest amounts of exercise -- such as walking for 20 to 30 minutes three or four times a week -- are beneficial. As time goes on, you can gradually build up to 45- and then 60-minute walks.
3. Practice Stress-Management Techniques.
- Chronic stress -- such as ongoing family conflicts, job pressure or financial problems -- can take a toll on your overall physical and emotional health.
- As mentioned above, regular exercise helps manage stress. Or you can use more formal techniques, such as progressive relaxation, deep breathing and meditation.
- Change your perception. According to Daily Health News contributor Dr. Joe DiMaggio, senior program leader and Landmark Forum Leader with Landmark Education, our perception of a situation often creates needless stress. By changing your perception of a situation, you can change how you feel about it.
4. Get a Good Night's Sleep.
- Our body needs sleep to rebuild. Without it, we risk health problems, such as obesity, diabetes and depression. Don't be trapped by our workaholic society's celebration of exhaustion. You'll do yourself more good by going to sleep a little earlier and finishing that project well rested in the morning.
5. Don't Smoke or Drink.
- Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your body -- end of story. If all else has failed in your efforts to quit, you might try acupuncture.
- The story is a little different when it comes to alcohol. If you have no problems with addiction or liver disease, some experts recommend one glass of wine a day for women and two for men. However, excessive alcohol consumption is associated with severe physical and emotional health problems -- so be careful.
As always, you are the ultimate arbiter of your own health.
Post these recommendations on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror as a regular reminder of how simple great health can be.
One of the best means to maintaining good health is a regular exercise routine. Our Exercise Therapy department provides a wide selection of Aquatic Therapy, Resistance Exercise, Strengthening and Mobility and other high quality Therapy Tools.
This article was provided by Bottom Line's Daily Health News. Bottom Line's vast network of leading mainstream, alternative, and complementary practitioners brings you the information you need to make informed decisions about your health.
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