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Stay Well: 5 Tips to Jump Start Your Health

Stay Well: 5 Tips to Jump Start Your Health

Ask a person if they want to stay well and in less than a nanosecond you will get a universal, resounding “Yes!” Then ask if they eat healthy, exercise regularly, incorporate relaxation into their daily routine and get enough sleep. The response is much slower and the percentage saying, “Yes” is a lot lower. Sure, people want to make changes to improve their health, but changing old habits for newer, healthier ones is hard work. For many, it seems almost impossible. Why else would the average person make the same New Year’s resolution 10 different years without success, or only one in seven people who have had a heart attack make long lasting changes to improve their diet or exercise habits? Don’t you think it is time to take responsibility for your own health?

The trick is to start simple. Small changes can make a big difference. Here are five simple steps you can start doing today to improve your health.

1. Drink one less soda or sweetened drink per day.

The average American drinks nearly 60 gallons of soda yearly. Every 12 ounce can contains 12 teaspoons of sugar. Drink just one less soda or sweetened drink each day for a year and you will lose 10 pounds. It is that simple. Even the diet sodas are not ideal. The artificial sugar in those drinks fools your body into secreting more insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas that transfers sugar from the bloodstream into your cells. Without the sugar to transfer, the extra insulin causes an increase in the amount of fat that is stored in your abdomen and the acidity of diet sodas can rob your teeth of calcium. I call sodas liquid candy and you can watch a music video that explains why here.

2. Add one fruit or vegetable per day to your diet.

Both the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association recommend eating a total of at least five fruits or vegetables daily. Fruits and vegetables help lower the risk of both cancer and heart disease. I know that not everyone loves the taste of fruits and vegetables. But here is a trick. Try tasting the new one at least 12 different times. Even if you only eat one bite, repeating the tasting allows almost everyone to learn to like a new taste. Try it. You may be surprised that you have found a new great dish that you really enjoy and is great for your health. Just adding one fruit or vegetable daily can make a difference. Don’t be afraid of a squash! For a change, you can snack on a handful of walnuts. They are full of omega-3 fatty acids and really good for your heart, joints and brain.

3. Move more.

You don not have to run a marathon to benefit from exercise. But getting started exercising can be a challenge. So here are some tips to jump-start your new exercise habit. Just park a little further in the parking lot from the entrance. Or walk up one flight of stairs or down two instead of taking an elevator. Try walking up the escalator. When you are on the phone, don’t sit down. Stand and keep moving. At work, make your meetings walking meetings. Ask the other person to go for a walk and you will be amazed how pleasant the meeting will seem. Just move. It all ads up. Eventually, you can work your way up to 10,000 steps each day. To see how many steps you already are taking, buy a pedometer. It counts your steps and usually costs between $10 and $25. Hear a snippet of my song “10,000 Steps” from the award winning Let’s Move CD here.

4. Find quiet time in your day.

Let’s face it. We all live hectic lives that never seem to slow down. Once or twice a day, find a quiet spot in a pleasant location. Take a slow deep breath through your nose, hold it for five seconds, and let it out slowly through your mouth. Doing that for even one minute will begin to relax you. Work your way up to five or 10 minutes once or twice daily. You will be amazed at how relaxed you feel. If you are a smoker, try inhaling only air and leave out the cigarette. Make this smoke free quiet time.

5. Improve your sleep.

Getting enough sleep plays a major role in your health, mood and productivity. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people need between seven and eight hours per 24 hours but most Americans get just over six hours per night. Here are some simple tips that will help you sleep better.

Starting at least 30 minutes before your bedtime, turn off all electronics. Find a quiet spot and either read a book, listen to relaxing music, or talk with friends or family. It is a great way to settle down and get ready for bed and it will likely help you drift off to sleep. Sleep not only keeps you rested and more alert and productive, it also helps control your weight. While we are sleeping, hormones are produced that curb our appetites and keep us from feeling hungry. Ever think sleep was an important part of your weight control? It is. For a free sleep diary to see if you are getting enough sleep, go here.

For a free download of a relaxing bedtime song, go here. I’ve made one of my original songs, “Sun Ra Lullaby,” available for you to help you relax as you drift off to sleep. It’s off my award winning Lullabies for Kids of All Ages CD. It’s not just for kids. Enjoy!

These five tips are something everyone can do. They are simple and they will make a great difference in getting your health jump started toward improvement.

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, General Health, Health, Menopause, Stay Well With Dr. Seibel, , , ,

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Dr. Mache Seibel

Women's health expert and guest speaker Dr. Mache Seibel addresses consumers' critical needs from weight control to HRTmenopause and beyond. He served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for 19 years and is founder of My Menopause Magazine on the Apple Newsstand (http://bit.ly/MyMenoMag). Download the Free App and first Free issue. He works with companies and organizations to bring exciting educational content to consumers. Visit his award-winning website DoctorSeibel.com to sign up for his free monthly newsletter.

33 comments

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6:48AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

Grazie dei consigli.

6:20AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

thanks

1:02PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

ok weird tips... no soda for me anyways, already eat oodles of fruit and veg. would love some stronger tips on greater inprovements

9:19PM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

thanks. NEVER drink soda. It taste bad anyways. And i eat lots od veggies thats for sure. Excersize actually WAY too much. Had 9-12 hours a day 6 days a week over the summer on US National team. Boy was that a horrible experience. Unhealthy? Very but wasn't my choice. Luckily thats over and just down to about 3 hours a day. As for quiet time and sleep...i need to work on that.

5:55AM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

Thanks for sharing!

9:54PM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

Five great tips...thank you!

4:51PM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

really good advice

6:50AM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

thanks for sharing.

12:15AM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

Great tips. I figured it out myself, though. ;-)

4:26PM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

Thanks, I already try to do these things everyday but it's good to be reminded!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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