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5 Tips to Improve Your Health

5 Tips to Improve Your Health

We want to live a long life, stay healthy and be able to take good care of ourselves and those we hold dear. We cannot change some pre-existing risk factors, but we can all make choices that support our health and greatly reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, many cancers, and Type II diabetes.

Five steps to a healthier you:

1. Avoid smoking

Tobacco consumption and exposure to second-hand smoke are important causes of premature death from heart and lung disease, myocardial infarction and cancer.

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If you smoke, you can put a stop to it. It’s never too late to do so, however long you’ve been smoking or how many times you’ve tried to quit smoking. When you stop smoking, the risk of heart disease decreases rapidly. After a few years, your risk is almost as low as if you had never smoked. Ask your doctor about methods to quit smoking.

If you do not smoke, do not start. Everyone should avoid exposing themselves to second-hand smoke, which may have the same health risks as smoking. It is particularly important for children and people with asthma and respiratory problems to live in a smoke-free environment.

2. Eat well to be healthy

A good diet helps you stay in shape, feel good and control your weight. A good diet also protects against disease, stroke, cancer and other serious diseases.

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Here are some tips from Canada’s Food Guide:

  • Eat small portions of lean meat, fish or poultry and remove visible fat.
  • Plan your meals from vegetables, fruits, and cereals, e.g., rice, pasta, bread, and cereals. Choose whole grain foods, e.g., whole wheat bread, brown rice, and cereals. Eat also some portions of green and yellow vegetables, fruit, and vegetables every day.
  • Choose milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese with low-fat (1% or 2% butter fat or skimmed products).
  • Reduce the amount of fats like butter, oil, and margarine. Prepare your foods using less fat as possible.
  • Limit salt, alcohol, and caffeine. Prepared foods contain large amounts of salt. Consuming more than two alcoholic drinks a day raises blood pressure, which is a serious risk of heart disease and stroke. Your alcohol consumption should be limited to a maximum of two drinks per day, and coffee to four cups. Women trying to become pregnant or are lactating should avoid drinking alcohol. Consume moderate amounts of beverages containing caffeine, including coffee, tea, and colas.

3. Incorporate physical activity into your life

Want to protect your health, achieve or maintain a healthy weight, have more energy, and less stress? You can achieve this through regular physical activity. Exercise helps your heart, lungs, and blood vessels function better while reducing your cholesterol and blood pressure. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way. Walk through your neighborhood on your way to a shopping spree. Get up from your chair every hour to stretch your muscles and do a few squats.

Do exercise you enjoy. You can start by doing a good walk. Swimming, skating, cycling, and dancing are stimulating activities.

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Anything that increases your heart rate can be considered exercise. Start slowly and combine activities that enhance strength, flexibility, and endurance. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day as often as possible during the week.

4. Know your blood pressure

Are you in great shape? Unfortunately, you may suffer from hypertension without knowing it because there are no obvious symptoms. Men and women of all ages in all sectors may be affected. Stressed people may have normal blood pressure, and calm people may be suffering from hypertension. The only way to verify this is to get your blood pressure checked by a health professional.

Hypertension is a serious health disorder that can cause heart disease and a heart attack. Hypertension can be corrected, however. If your blood pressure is high, please follow the recommendations of your doctor.

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Here are some general tips that will also help your blood pressure:

  • Periodically check your blood pressure
  • Quit smoking
  • Get regular physical activity
  • Reduce your intake of alcohol or cease to consume
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat less salt

5. Relax and enjoy life

Sometimes, we go too hard on ourselves. Learn to relax and have fun, take the time to do fun activities and enjoy the company of friends and family members. Manage your time more efficiently and learn to maximize it to the fullest; simple exercises, meditation and deep breathing can help calm the mind.

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

Reference

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