How To Stay Healthy Forever

Eight healthy behaviors can go a long way toward improving your health and lowering your risk of many cancers as well as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. And they’re not as complicated as you might think.

So take control of your health, and encourage your family to do the same. Choose one or two of the behaviors below to start with. Once you’ve got those down, move on to the others.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Keeping your weight in check is often easier said than done, but a few simple tips can help. First off, if you’re overweight, focus initially on not gaining any more weight. This by itself can improve your health. Then, when you’re ready, try to take off some extra pounds for an even greater health boost. To see where you fall on the weight range, click here.

Tips

  • Integrate physical activity and movement into your life.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Choose smaller portions and eat more slowly.

For Parents and Grandparents

  • Limit children’s TV and computer time.
  • Encourage healthy snacking on fruits and vegetables.
  • Encourage activity during free time.

Do yoga

More energy, better posture, greater flexibility, improved mood, and less stress are just some of the rewards of this mind-body workout. Through conscious yoga breathing, you become aware of the connection between mind and body. That translates into major anti-aging advantages. Yogic breathing has been shown to oxygenate the cells, ridding them of toxins, helping prevent illness, and making skin radiant. Unlike other exercises, says Lee, yoga poses are designed to work the inside of your body as well as the outside, which helps rejuvenate the digestive system, the reproductive system, even the immune system. Yoga is like wringing your body out like a washcloth , It’s one of the best ways to keep things moving.

Exercise Regularly

Few things are as good for you as regular physical activity. While it can be hard to find the time, it’s important to fit in at least 30 minutes of activity every day. More is even better, but any amount is better than none.

Tips

  • Choose activities you enjoy. Many things count as exercise, including walking, gardening and dancing.
  • Make exercise a habit by setting aside the same time for it each day. Try going to the gym at lunchtime or taking a walk regularly after dinner.
  • Stay motivated by exercising with someone.

Sip green tea

The health buzz about this brew keeps getting stronger: Green tea has been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer and prevent remissions, and now it’s being tested as a way to help prevent bladder, colorectal, and lung cancer recurrence. Green tea is an amazing compound in terms of blocking the signaling network that is linked with the progression of cancer. It’s also an effective weight-management agent because it appears to rev up metabolism . Preliminary research indicates that green tea may even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. A Japanese study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking at least one cup a day can help keep your brain sharp as you get older.

For Parents and Grandparents

  • Play active games with your kids regularly and go on family walks and bike rides when the weather allows.
  • Encourage children to play outside and to take part in organized activities, including soccer, gymnastics and dancing.
  • Walk with your kids to school in the morning. It’s great exercise for everyone.

Eat properly

Obesity is a huge issue in this country, pun intended. Over two thirds of Americans are overweight and 36% are obese! Further 32% of children and adolescents are overweight. This is unbelievable. As recently as a generation ago you would rarely see obese people. For sure, some of this is hereditary. But most of the issues are due to poor diet and sedentary lifestyles.

Volumes of books have been written about diets. Over the past decades we’ve seen low fat diets, no fat diets, low carbohydrate diets, low simple carbohydrate diets, high complex carbohydrate diets, high protein diets, low protein diets, water diets, cookie diets, milkshake diets, etc. Seemingly, just after everyone rushes to try these diets someone issues a study saying the diet doesn’t work or isn’t very healthy.

Don’t Smoke

You’ve heard it before: If you smoke, quitting is absolutely the best thing you can do for your health. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s also far from impossible. More than 1,000 Americans stop for good every day.

Tips

  • Keep trying! It often takes six or seven tries before you quit for good.
  • Talk to a health-care provider for help.
  • Join a quit-smoking program. Your workplace or health plan may offer one.

For Parents and Grandparents

  • Try to quit as soon as possible. If you smoke, your children will be more likely to smoke.
  • Don’t smoke in the house or car. If kids breathe in your smoke, they may have a higher risk of breathing problems and lung cancer.
  • When appropriate, talk to your kids about the dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco.

Sleep

After eating right and exercising, you need to sleep. The average adult needs about eight hours of sleep per night. Sleep is the great cure-all. It is a time when your body recovers, and when your immune system is improved. A survey conducted by the American Cancer Society concluded that people who sleep less than 6 or more than 9 hours per night had a death rate 30 percent higher than those who regularly slept 7 to 8 hours. Even those who slept 6 hours or less who otherwise had no health problems had death rates 1.8 times higher than those who slept “normal” hours. So don’t cheat your sleep!

Eat a Healthy Diet

Despite confusing news reports, the basics of healthy eating are actually quite straightforward. You should focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains and keep red meat to a minimum. It’s also important to cut back on bad fats and choose healthy fats more often. Taking a multivitamin with folate every day is a great nutrition insurance policy.

Tips

  • Make fruits and vegetables a part of every meal. Put fruit on your cereal. Eat vegetables as a snack.
  • Choose chicken, fish or beans instead of red meat.
  • Choose whole-grain cereal, brown rice and whole-wheat bread over their more refined counterparts.
  • Choose dishes made with olive or canola oil, which are high in healthy fats.
  • Cut back on fast food and store-bought snacks ,which are high in bad fats.

Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation

Moderate drinking is good for the heart, as many people already know, but it can also increase the risk of cancer. If you don’t drink, don’t feel that you need to start. If you already drink moderately , there’s probably no reason to stop. People who drink more, though, should cut back.

Tips

  • Choose nonalcoholic beverages at meals and parties.
  • Avoid occasions centered around alcohol.
  • Talk to a health-care professional if you feel you have a problem with alcohol.

For Parents and Grandparents

  • Avoid making alcohol an essential part of family gatherings.
  • When appropriate, discuss the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse with children. A health-care professional or school counselor can help.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

While the warm sun is certainly inviting, too much exposure to it can lead to skin cancer, including serious melanoma. Skin damage starts early in childhood, so it’s especially important to protect children.

Tips

  • Steer clear of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It’s the best way to protect yourself.
  • Wear hats, long-sleeve shirts and sunscreens with SPF15 or higher.
  • Don’t use sun lamps or tanning booths. Try self-tanning creams instead.

For Parents and Grandparents

  • Buy tinted sunscreen so you can see if you’ve missed any spots on a fidgety child.
  • Set a good example for children by also protecting yourself with clothing, shade and sunscreen.

Get Screening Tests

There are a number of important screening tests that can help protect against cancer. Some of these tests find cancer early when they are most treatable, while others can actually help keep cancer from developing in the first place. For colorectal cancer alone, regular screening could save over 30,000 lives each year. That’s three times the number of people killed by drunk drivers in the United States in all of 2011. Talk to a health care professional about which tests you should have and when.

Please share this blog post