“25 steps to a healthier you”

“25 steps to a healthier you”

1: Follow a balanced exercise program

­A brisk 30-minute walk while enjoying the sunset will burn 1,500 calories per week — that’s 78,000 calories a year! Cardio is great for your heart and lungs, but add a couple sessions of weight training to tone or build muscle.

2: Schedule family fitness time

­Play basketball, chase a Frisbee, or hike the hills together. You’ll be getting closer to each other as you shape up. ­

3: Invest in a jump rope

­It’s a great workout anytime. Set a goal of skipping rope for ten minutes per day and watch those love handles melt away.

4: Get a training partner

­Knowing that someone is waiting is great motivation to get on with a work out. You’ll also have a ready-made spotter.

5: Exercise in water

­Check out the aerobics programs at your local pool. Exercising in water relieves stress on the joints and back.

6: Get active at work

­Walk around outside on your breaks. When in front of a computer, sit up and pull in your abs.

7: Eat more frequent, smaller meals

­ It is better to eat six small meals a day than three large meals. The smaller the meal, the less your stomach will stretch.

8: Hydrate with water

Drink at least eight glasses of water every day. This does not include coffee, soda, or fruit-flavored drinks, which have extra calories.

9: Don’t pollute your body

­Avoid tobacco, excess alcohol, and illegal drugs. These are bad for health and can also inhibit weight loss.

10: Always eat a good breakfast

­Skipping breakfast is a method of dieting for many people. But studies have found that people who eat breakfast are actually less likely to be obese.

11: Cook healthy

Stop frying your food and opt for roasting or grilling instead. Frying only adds unnecessary calories to food.

12: Enjoy every morsel of food

­When eating, chew food slowly. Relish it and pay attention to flavors and taste. The longer you chew, the fuller you’ll feel!

13: Be an early riser

­Start your day early. Rising with the sun helps reset your body’s clock. This builds better sleep patterns so you’re energized all day.

14. Be sun smart

­Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Sun exposure increases your risk, so when you’re in the heat of it, either cover up or slip, slap, slop on a high SPF sunscreen!

15: Stay emotionally in shape

­Poor emotional health can weaken your body’s immune system. Don’t ignore what’s going on in your heart and mind. It is healthy to acknowledge your emotions.

16: Keep your teeth healthy

­A common cause of tooth loss after age 35 is gum disease. Keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of plaque by brushing and flossing every day.

17: Eat five or more servings of fruits and veggies per day

­­Keep fruits and vegetables on the front shelves of your refrigerator so they are easy to get to when you reach for a snack!

18: De-stress your life

­­Stress can cause or aggravate many health conditions. So, don’t sweat the small stuff!

19: Know thyself

­Knowing your family’s health history can help you stay healthy. Many diseases are hereditary and preventable with early screening.

20: Look after your mental health

­Depression is a serious illness that needs to be treated. It’s not your fault, so you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to a doctor for help.

21: Get a good night’s sleep

­Lack of sleep causes stress on the body. It increases cortisol and insulin, promoting fat storage and making weight loss difficult.

22: Perform regular breast exams

­For women, the best time to perform a breast self-examination is the week after your menstrual period, when breast tissue is less tender and swollen.

23: Take a nap

Many have commended the benefits of a good 30- to 4­5-minute nap a day to keep refreshed and lower stress. Try it — it doesn’t mean you’ve passed your use-by date! ­

24: Open your lungs

­Sing your heart out! It doesn’t matter what you sound like! In the shower, in the car, or wherever you are, sing out loud. It’s a great stress reliever.

25: Take time to enjoy your life

­While it’s important to do a good job and take care of responsibilities, life is also meant to be enjoyed. Loosen up! Laugh at yourself, and play as hard as you work!