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Where Do You Stand on Healthy Choices?

By Sandy Schroeder

Asking for a score on healthy choices can be tricky. Some days I feel like I am in a race for my health as I try to outrun iffy food habits, ongoing stress and sleepless nights. Other days, I feel like I’m winning. If you feel like you are running the same race, here are some key tips from health expert, Sizemore-Ruiz on Shape.com.

Stay up with your numbers – Know your cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure numbers. Also know what you need to do to keep them in the winning column.

Do 30 minutes of exercise daily – Take two 15-minute brisk walks, do an aerobics class or use the elliptical or Stairmaster to keep your body and your heart strong.

Control the glow – We all love a tan, but fake ones can set you up for skin cancer and aging wrinkles, while time in the sun always requires sunscreen and hats.

Add some chocolate – Allow for the calories but enjoy the chocolate’s antioxidants. Researchers say dark chocolate can lower the risk of heart disease, and may improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.

Know your family history – Patterns of heart disease or colon, breast or ovarian cancer are important issues to discuss with your doctor, determining what and when screenings are done.

Cancel the soda – One 12-ounce can of soda has nine teaspoons of sugar. Replace that oversized load of calories and sugar with green tea, sparkling water or pure juice.

Schedule a checkup – See your doctor for your annual checkup, and follow through with all of your screenings for breast and cervical cancer, cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar levels.

Don’t smoke – Smoking damages the heart and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, damaged blood vessels and arteries, and cancer. It can also lead to serious eye diseases such as macular degeneration, and lower back pain issues.

Siphon off the stress – Every part of the body takes a hit when your stress levels refuse to back off. Find a way to let go of the stress and make it a habit. Head out for walks, take a long run after work, or use deep breathing exercises or meditation to clear your head.

Color your plate – Load your shopping cart with red peppers, leafy greens and purple eggplant or raspberries. Choose your family’s favorite fruits and vegetables and look for recipes that will make them favorites for dinner. Replace white rice, pasta or breads with healthy whole wheat choices. Follow up with lean meats, poultry and fish, plus seeds and nuts and low fat dairy.

Whatever your score on healthy choices, keep the good ones going and enjoy the dividends.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in League City, Tex.

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