Most people wouldn’t neglect to change the oil in their car for years. However, those same people often fail to take action when it comes to their health until it’s almost too late. When it comes to being healthy, prevention is key. Besides getting regular check-ups, there’s a lot you can do to prevent serious conditions. Making changes in your lifestyle before poor health forces you to do it is a lot easier than waiting until your body quits running. It’s like changing the oil in your car. It’s far less expensive than the ultimate cost of not changing it and it keeps the car running better and longer.
Look at your lifestyle.
Are you eating healthy foods? Do you live an active or sedentary lifestyle? Are you overweight? Do you get adequate sleep at night? Are you drinking enough water? Do you abuse alcohol, drugs or tobacco? Is your life stressful? Do you have an active social life? How often do you smile? Are you at risk for sexually transmitted disease? All these factors and more affect your health.
Find an area where you need to make a change and do it.
You may not want to make all the changes at once, but focus on one until it becomes a habit. Drinking more water might be one of the easiest. If a Coke, Pepsi or other soft drink is your drink of choice, switch to water. It’s easy to understand how regular soft drinks can undermine your health. They’re loaded with sugar and sugar has a detrimental effect on your health, plus puts on the pounds. Did you know that diet soft drinks aren’t much better? One study showed that people who drank diet soft drinks had more visceral fat. That’s abdominal fat and the most unhealthy type.
Eating healthier and regular exercise are a top priority.
While exercise is extremely important, if you want to live longer and lose weight, what you eat should be a top priority. You simply can’t out-exercise a bad diet. If you’re not ready for a total lifestyle change, do it in steps. Start by cutting out foods with added sugar—which includes fructose, dextrose, maltose…etc. Eat more vegetables and fruit and less processed food. Boost your daily activity by taking a walk or taking the stairs. Little by little increase your activity until your ready for a program of regular exercise.
- Are you a smoker or have other addictive habits? Get help. Studies show that giving up an addictive habit is easier when you eat healthy and workout.
- Get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep not only affects heart health and your daily performance, it can add to your waistline. It boosts the hunger hormones and stifles the hormones that leave you feeling full.
- Smile more and be more social. Not only do studies show that people who smile more live longer, they also show that those with a satisfying social life lived longer too.
- Make one change today to boost your health and stick with it until it becomes a habit, then add another. You’ll be amazed at the difference in a year.
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