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10 Head-to-Toe Tips For a Healthier, Happier You
Looking and feeling great requires a comprehensive approach. Easily said, but where to begin? Start with these 10 tips to a healthier you, from head to toe.
1. Get physical
Depending on your overall health, you should have a physical exam every one to five years from age 30 onward. After 65, you should have an exam annually. The tests your health provider orders will depend on your history. Generally, your workup will include a blood pressure check, a blood test, and sometimes urinalysis. Ask your doctor which biomarker exams may be beneficial to you. Be sure to record all values in your journal to serve as your baseline. You can track your progress over weeks, months and years.
2. Get a face lift - for your kitchen
The contents of your fridge and cupboards mirror your health. If your shelves are loaded with sugar and white stuff - chips, crackers, microwave popcorn packets (with oil and "flavorings") - and your freezer is filled with ice cream treats, it's time to take out the garbage. Remember, the prize for eating white stuff, processed foods, and soft drinks is a ticket on the Wrinkle Express. Toss the junk and make room for your new best friends. The prize for eating "positively ageless" foods is a slow ride to a healthy longevity.
3. Load up on antioxidants
When you shop with a health-minded list in hand, you can more easily restock your arsenal with wholesome foods and ingredients, and you'll be less likely to buy the junk you used to eat. What you put in that shopping cart now predicts your health and longevity later. Once you know where to find all you need in the supermarket and local health food stores, you'll be set. You won't have to go scouting again.
4. Basket case
It's time to make fruit more accessible. Keep the basket in a convenient place, such as near the entry door or kitchen (or on your desk), so it's easy to pick up a healthy snack when hunger strikes. Plus, the vibrant colors will be a constant reminder to continually replenish your antioxidant levels.
5. Scope it out
If you're under 40, have a dermatologist give you a top-to-bottom skin exam every few years, starting at your scalp and ending at the soles of your feet. If you're over 40, schedule one annually. If you've spent a lot of time in the sun or have lots of moles, freckles, or pigment changes or a family history of skin cancer, you should be examined even more frequently.
6. File it
If you're overwhelmed or having problems with memory or clarity, set aside a half day to organize your paperwork. It may take a few sessions to find your way, but putting everything in its place will clear your office space as well as your head. Set aside at least an hour a week to stay on top of it from now on so it won't topple you. With your home and your things organized, it will be easier to keep your thinking on track.
7. A separate peace
Set aside 20 minutes each day to pray, meditate, or do yoga or deep breathing exercises. It seems so basic, but few people actually set aside time to think/reflect/renew. Fill your heart and your mind with positive thoughts and energy.
8. Sleep it off
Getting enough sleep is underrated - it's a top anti-ager. Be disciplined and treat yourself to this luxury, whether it's napping during the day or going to bed earlier. Lack of sleep taxes your body from head to toe - and it shows.
9. Intensify it
By adding intense "intervals" in your aerobic sessions, you can really burn fat and rev up your metabolism. For example, jog for four minutes, run fast for the fifth minute, then go back to jogging, and repeat over and over. Your body will work harder and burn more fat. When you fall into a comfortable exercise routine, your metabolism slacks off, so keep it interesting and supercharged.
10. Sign up
Become a lifelong learner. Whether it's history, cooking or Japanese paper folding, keeping your mind active not only makes you more attractive, but gives your brain the same type of workout that your body is now enjoying.
Think young to stay young!