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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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