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25 Ways to Live Healthier

Experts share how you can begin living healthier today!

Written by Laura Pratt

It's never too late for a fresh start. Take some inspiration from a panel of experts who can help you to live healthier beginning now.

Get stronger

1. Carry your own groceries. When you challenge your musculoskeletal system, says Dr. Stafford C. Rorke, you improve your overall strength and endurance and increase your chances of losing weight.

2. Dress appropriately when exercising outdoors in winter. Wear loose clothing in layers and footwear with good traction.

3. Do things longer before doing them harder to benefit most from activity, says Dr. Cordell Neudorf.

4. Jump up and down. You might feel ridiculous, says nutrition professor Susan I. Barr, but your bones will love you for it.

5. If you're sick, sleep. Resting, says Dr. John Conly of the Toronto Hospital's Infection Prevention and Control Unit, gives your body a chance to fight the bug.

6. Get enough sleep. If you get fewer than seven hours of sleep one night, says psychology professor Stanley Coren, your IQ drops. So be smart and catch enough winks the next night.

Get happier

7. Avoid stress. Chronic stress can increase your risk of catching a cold.

8. Delegate. Stress is the main contributor to depression, and too many activities can cause us to overload. Say no when people make requests that will overburden your schedule.

9. Go outside. The benefits of sunlight have recently been downplayed. But the sun-deprived are often depressed and sleepy.

10. Have faith. Psychiatrists have discovered that people with strong faith get over depressing events, such as illness, divorce and bereavement, faster than those without.

11. Laugh. Laughing increases oxygen intake, thereby replenishing and invigorating body cells, says Dr. Julia Alleyne. It also increases the pain threshold, boosts immunity and relieves stress.

12. Learn transcendental meditation. Two 20-minute sessions a day, says Dr. Raju Hajela, will relieve stress, lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Get healthier

13. Floss daily for a month. If you develop the habit, says Dr. James Brookfield, you'll likely continue it for a lifetime.

14. Make a no-diet rule in your house. Diets, says Dr. Miriam Kaufman, can be the slippery slope to an eating disorder.

15. Moderate food intake — don't deprive yourself. Dietitian Suzanne Hendricks says you shouldn't deny yourself special treats. Eat them on occasion in small portions.

16. Run tap water before drinking. Wait until the water that comes out of your tap gets extremely cold; this decreases the risk of lead contamination.

17. Buy a plant. Some indoor plants, such as spider plants, may improve the quality of air by removing pollutants.

18. Go to a coffee bar. If you drink coffee, make it a caffe latte, says Barr. The extra milk, which more than compensates for the caffeine, is good for your calcium quotient.

19. Have a vegetable at lunch, says dietitian Hendricks. We need more vegetables in our diets, and lunch is a good time to boost our servings.

20. Beware of natural products. Some, says Dr. Richard Stanwick, such as unpasteurized milk, apple juice and honey, carry more risks than benefits.

21. Chew your food. If you don't, says naturopathic doctor Lois Hare, you won't absorb your nutrients well and you'll get gas.

22. Keep a tennis ball in your car. Placed behind your shoulder, lower back or bottom, it acts like accupressure to relieve trigger points, says chiropractor David Peterson.

23. Drink in the afternoon. If you drink at least three big glasses of water between lunch and when you finish work, says Dr. Paul Doucette, you'll be combatting the most common cause of fatigue: hypohydration, or a dearth of body fluids.

24. Drink more water in winter. Bowel irregularity and other symptoms due to diverticular disease of the colon are aggravated by the dehydrating effects of cold, dry weather, says Dr. Roger Keith.

25. Wash your hands and do it well. Scrubbing with soap and water, says Dr. Conly, is the single-most important factor in preventing the transmission of disease.

Article Reviewed: November 5, 2013
Copyright © 2014 Healthy Magazine

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