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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 September 25, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

When we were still children, our thoughts seemed to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

Just imagine then, how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power!

We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities.

We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

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We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb.

We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits.

And we’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head…

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

So, how can we tap into the power of positivity?

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“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are 4 simple yet powerful ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

Just take a look at these 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life.

2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

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You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty.

If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what really is important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

Here’re 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life that can inspire you.

4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking.

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Instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

Learn from this article how to change your mental images: How to Think Positive and Eliminate Negative Thoughts

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember:

You are (or will become) what you think you are.

This is reasonable enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

More About Staying Positive

Featured photo credit: Lauren Richmond via unsplash.com

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