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5 Simple Ways to Make Your Health a Priority

By Sandy Schroeder

Health news is everywhere, tempting us to try all sorts of things to be quicker, stronger or slimmer, but Harvard Health believes it may be a lot easier than we think.

Harvard’s doctors tell us we can be healthy and live longer by following five basic steps.

Eat healthy every day - Researchers are now telling us 1 in 3 Americans eat fast food every day. Healthy eating skips fast food, takeout and processed foods in favor of fresh whole fruits and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, low fat dairy and healthy oils such as olive oil. Healthy eating dumps the chips, cookies and pastries and stocks the fridge with cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, low sugar teas and juices, waters, hummus and veggies.

Watch the wine, cocktails and brews - Doctors are now advising women to limit drinks to one a day and men to two drinks a day. One drink is about 14 grams of pure alcohol. That is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. If you routinely sail over the limit, rethink the ways you wind down. Jazz, coffees or teas, and walks or runs may work better.

Stay in the healthy weight zone - A body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered a healthy weight. BMI defines weight groups for men and women.

  • Underweight: BMI is less than 18.5
  • Normal weight: BMI is 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: BMI is 25 to 29.9
  • Obese: BMI is 30 or more

If you are overweight, see your doctor to discuss health issues and diet. Use a healthy diet and daily exercise to shed the pounds.

Exercise at least 30 minutes daily - The latest research says leading a sedentary life is more dangerous than smoking, hypertension or diabetes. Make the effort to fit a workout into your daily schedule and then show up. Walk, jog, run, or bike before or after work, or pick an activity that you love such as dancing, volleyball or yoga.

If you smoke, stop - The body has an amazing ability to heal itself. After 20 minutes the pulse and blood pressure start to drop back to normal levels, and hands and feet warm up to a normal temperature. Imagine how much improvement will occur throughout the body from there on out after quitting smoking.

These five healthy habits count for health right now and on into the future. Researchers found people who met criteria for all five lived 12 to 14 years longer than those who did not. Start working on whatever needs work and enjoy the results.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Phoeniz, Ariz.

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