A celebration is often the result of an accomplishment, a special event , or honoring memories. These are good things, but do we really need the “special” to warrant a celebration? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to delight in the relatively mundane? Some of the happiest folks I know are those who relish just being able to get out of bed in the morning. We can celebrate our health, good or bad, by reflecting on what a true miracle it is that all these billions of cells are working in concert to allow us to walk, run, think, eat, love, write, and even occasionally complain. In celebration of simply being alive, I have compiled a list of healthy tips (or rambling recommendations) collected over the years to promote, extend, repair and rekindle your health. Let the celebration begin!
People who rarely spend time outside (elderly, housebound) are at a greater risk for osteoporosis due to a lack of vitamin D, which is increased in sun exposure. 400 IU a day in supplement form can help prevent brittle bones.
Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid a day before getting pregnant can reduce the likelihood of neural tube defects in the baby (spina bifida, etc.)
Exercise 30 minutes every day. The more and bigger the muscles used, the less time needed to achieve fitness (cross country skiing best, walking is good, using the channel changer is bad.)
The more colorful your meals the better. Bright colored fruits and veggies contain greater anti oxidants and other protective substances.
Use herbs (Black Cohosh) and vitamins (E) to control mild menopausal symptoms. Many are scientifically valid and may work for you.
It’s not brain surgery; to eat healthy go low fat, low sugar, high fiber and balanced.
Eliminate soft drinks. An extra can of soda a day can add 15 pounds in a year.
Almost half of all doctor visits are stress related. A great tool for stress management is regular, aerobic exercise.
The solution to permanent weight loss is not dieting, it is getting fit. Only muscles burn fat, and only muscles that are used!
If you are pressed for time, three ten minute exercise sessions can be as helpful as a single thirty minute segment.
Most women over twenty need to take some extra calcium (500mg) The better the bones before menopause, the better they are afterwards.
Eating habits are formed at an early age. Teach children as early as two to be aware of good and bad food choices.
Don’t focus on weight. Your per cent body fat and/or your Body Mass Index (BMI) are better measures of health. Throw away the traditional scales and get a device that calculates body fat and BMI. They are reasonably priced and accurate.
A good doctor will always encourage and support getting a second opinion…so in important decisions, do just that.
Don’t limit yourself by thinking that health is strictly physical. Wellness is a balance of mind, body, and spirit.
Don’t skimp on preventive care. The Pap test and mammogram have saved millions of lives.
If you have a strong family history of ovarian cancer (in mother or sister) demand a yearly sonogram and CA-125 blood test to check your ovaries. It is far from a perfect screen, but it is the best available so far.
Young women (ages 9-26) who are not yet sexually active should strongly consider getting vaccinated against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It is the single biggest cause of pre-cancer and cancerous changes in the cervix.
Acupressure has been effective for the nausea associated with early pregnancies. The most common device used is “Sea Bands”, an elastic band that applies pressure to a point on the wrist.
Caffeine consumption is one of the leading causes of bladder problems in women. Eliminating caffeine from the diet may reverse symptoms of incontinence, frequency, and urgency.
Some women in the menopause need testosterone supplementation along with estrogen and progesterone to help with a lagging sex drive.
Many herbal medicines and treatments can interact with prescription drugs. When getting your yearly checkup, don’t forget to tell your doctor about any supplements or herbs you take on a regular basis.
Before any surgery, always stop taking Ginkgo, Ginseng, Garlic, or vitamin E. They can increase bleeding and lead to problems with the surgery.
Always bring two things to every doctor’s visit: a written set of questions and a list of your current medications.
20 percent of cancer deaths are related to obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight may be your best guard against developing cancer.
Aerobic exercise might be better for your brain than your body. Early studies show that exercise can cause damaged brain cells to regenerate, possibly thwarting diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The average person makes about 250 decisions about food every day and most people don’t have a clue as to what influences their choices. Consciously think about what you are eating and you will generally eat less.
A massage once a week can not only reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, but it can be just as good for stress management as a session with a counselor.
The quickest way to get fit with exercise is to WALC. Wind sprints (just periodically increase the intensity of the exercise) Aerobic (this type of exercise burns fat) Lift (lifting weights builds muscle, which in turn increases metabolism) Cross train (vary your exercise regimen and you will get fit faster).
We hope you’ll find these healthy tips useful!