Here are my Top 10 tips for healthy living. This is by no means everything that you might want to do to reduce your risk of disease and improve your overall health. But this is a good place to start.
Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Sodium (salt) raises your blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke, our two biggest killers. The maximum recommended daily intake of sodium for healthy adults is 2300 milligrams per day. Some people get 10 times that much every day.
Eat Less Meat
Red meat is good for you in moderation. It should not be something you have at every meal. You can get protein from other healthier sources, such as fish, seafood, chicken, turkey, low-fat dairy products, beans and nuts. The least healthy kinds of meats are deli-meats, hot dogs and bacon. Anything that is preserved by being smoked, salted or cured contains cancer-causing nitrates and nitrites. However, there are some products that are free of these preservatives.
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Eat More Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are high in nutritional value, low in calories and low in fat. Plant foods are the only sources of dietary flavonoids, which is important for your memory and overall brain function. If you are concerned about the environment, you might be interested to know that one of the benefits of healthy living is to the environment. Plant foods require fewer resources to produce than beef, poultry and other meats.
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Avoid Packaged, Processed and Prepared Foods
This definitely should be near the top of the 10 Tips for Healthy Living list. Packaged, processed and prepared foods are higher in sodium, higher in unhealthy additives and lower in nutritional value than foods you prepare at home. If you follow this tip, you’ll find that eating healthy and living well helps you save money, too.
Drink More Pure Water
Water keeps you hydrated, helps to maintain your electrolyte balance, reduces your risk of constipation and is needed by every cell of your body. The kind of water you drink matters. If you are serviced by a public drinking water treatment facility, there is probably chlorine in your water. Exposure to chlorination byproducts is known to increase your risk of cancer. In considering the 10 Tips for Healthy Living, your best choice is to install and use a drinking water filter. Bottled water is not necessarily better than tap water.
Don’t Drink Sodas
Dark sodas contain an artificial caramel color that is known to cause cancer. Sugary sodas are bad for your teeth and they contribute to weight problems. Diet sodas increase your appetite.
The current recommendation for aerobic exercise is 30 minutes per day, 5 to 7 days per week. Aerobic exercise reduces your risk of heart disease and improves your mood. This should be for good reasons one of the 10 Tips for Healthy Living but I am a believer in more strength training than cardio. The bottom line is to just stay active and moving!
Do Strength Training
Strength training increases your muscle mass, which is beneficial for weight loss and maintenance. Strength training also reduces your risks of osteoporosis. You should work out each of the major muscle groups (chest and back, legs, arms and abdomen) at least once a week on alternating days.
Do Flexibility Training
To better understand the 10 Tips for Healthy Living, we can define healthy living one way as doing things that reduce stress, because stress plays a role in stroke, heart disease and cancer. Flexibility training reduces stress and increases your chances of being able to tie your own shoes when you reach old age. Pilates or yoga is great for flexibility training, but just stretching for five minutes a day is sufficient.
Follow Key Food-Safety Practices
Learn how to properly handle and prepare the foods that you eat in order to reduce your risk of food poisoning and other food borne illnesses. Proper food safety practices are listed on the labels of most meats. Fruits and vegetables should be washed well before eating. If you have food allergies, always read labels to make sure you will not be exposed to an allergen.
So, there you have 10 tips for Healthy Living. It’s all about making dietary and lifestyle choices that support good health, rather than causing bad health.