How to stay healthy is a lifelong pursuit. We all have our own ideas of what being healthy and staying healthy means, but how many of us feel it’s the most important thing we can do for ourselves. We are now in an era where parents are outliving their children, where being heavy or obese is becoming the norm, not the exception, where we rely on medical doctors to take care of us by prescribing another pill or giving us a well placed stent here or there, or perhaps, because Type 11 diabetes is on the rampage, we feel pretty normal if we have it.
Many of today’s diseases are caused by our immediate gratification kind of lifestyle. We are in charge, for the most part (there are certainly exceptions) of what happens to us, or perhaps I should say, we are responsible for ourselves. We cannot expect others to take care of us in our normal lives. If we don’t have our health what do we have? All the money in the world won’t buy health. Of course in order to stay healthy we need to be healthy in the first place. We can’t possibly subject our bodies to refined, processed, junk and fast foods all day and do nothing to stay fit and expect to be healthy.
For the sake of argument let’s say that our moms and dads have been concerned about us being healthy and have done their best to see that happens. As we approach college and then join the work force the pace quickens and it’s just too easy to grab something, anything to eat. It’s also very easy to tell ourselves that we simply don’t have time to join a gym or play a few games of racquetball. We’re just too tired.
But, in spite of all that, we start off our adult life as a pretty healthy individual. So, how do we stay healthy is the question. And, can we have a little cheese, wine, perhaps a cocktail and a lobster dinner once in awhile and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Yes, of course we can just so we do these things in moderation, keep our weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and the like all on a even keel.
The following 10 Easy Tips for Staying Healthy are important and will help you live a long, vibrant and healthy life.
1. Stay away from all processed and refined foods. If you must eat animal products be aware how they are taken care of. Do not buy factory farmed animals. This includes farmed fish.
2. Read labels so you know what you are eating. http://www.nutritiousme.com/Nutrition-Facts-Label.html
3. Increase your knowledge of how to stay healthy by reading books by medical doctors and others who want to keep you healthy and not just fill their bank accounts with more dollars. There are many medical people out there worth listening to such as Dr. John McDougall, M.D., John Robbins, Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D., Dr. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., Dr. Jeff Novick, M.D., Marion Nestle on Food Politics, Dr. Robert Vogel, M.D., Dr. H. Gilbert Welsh, M.D., Dr. Robert Rosati, M.D. and many others. There are more and more medical doctors and others who have dedicated their lives to improving our health in as many natural ways as posssible. Give them a chance to help you achieve the best lifestyle possible.
4. Eat a diet that is primarily plant/starch based. Vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes along with some seeds and nuts. This doesn’t sound like a lot to eat but the variety is virtually endless, colorful and exciting. Experiment with new ideas and new meals when you have time. We all must eat so why not make it a fun and healthy experience. Pack a lunch for work so you know what you’re eating!
5. I love this one taken from Pollan’s In Defense of Food…Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food along with not eating anything that you can’t pronounce.
6. Stay as far away as possible from genetically modified foods. The research that has been done, and there is quite a bit of it, has not been positive nor has it been proven to improve our health or the health of our animals, (cows, pigs etc.) Actually the opposite is true.
7. It is not food if it has arrived through the window of your car!
8. Exercise…walking is great! Walk up and down the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Make exercise pleasant…walk where there is beauty…walk with music…enjoy yourself!
9. Have a good support group. We are not islands unto ourselves. We certainly need alone time
but we also need friends, laughter (do a lot of that) and joy. Enjoy nature whenever you have the chance. If you live in a city get out into the country. Take the time for your family and your friends. Do special things for and with your significant other whether that be your husband, wife or partner. Get a pet!
10. Drink plenty of good water. This is certainly not the easiest thing in the world to do but it’s so important. The body needs to stay hydrated. One good idea is to get a glass of water when you get up in the morning and squeeze part of a lemon into it. (If you do this be sure to brush your teeth afterwards as the acid can hurt the enamal of your teeth speaking of which…take care of those teeth. Floss!
It’s your body. There is no free lunch but the benefits of taking care of yourself are immense.
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