Wellness: Small Steps for Big Results

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When it comes to the fate of your health, it’s important to understand that, prvention goes beyond the screening or tests that we get a the doctor’s office. It’s the little steps that can keep you healthy. Ideally prevention should also emphsize healthy lifestyles. Here are six way to get started.

Take a walk. Walking triggers all of our bodily systems; digestion, stress relief, thinking, and preparation for sleep, said California-based internist William Meller. Walk daily and get a pedometer to track your steps, shooting for a minimal of 10,000.

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Loose the soda. Soda and other calorie beverages have contributed to skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes. But there’s also evidence that drinking diet soda leads to weight gain. Researchers suspect that tricking the brain  – getting sweetness without the calories  makes you crave more sugar than ever.

Strengthen muscles. If you want to keep your muscles from weakening, start strength training. It’s the only exercise style that maintains and increases lean muscle tissue.

Learn to relax. Stressed-out pople are more vulnerable to colds and other viruses, take longer to recover from illness and gain more weight than their more relaxed counterparts, research has shown.

Eat out less. Frequent dining out is one of the main reasons for the rise in chronic diseases, said obesity specialty Yoni Freedhoff. "Nutrition and calories aren’t intuitive, " according to him. "When restaurant salads can have more calories and fat than a Big Mac, you know you’re putting your health at risk."

Be social. Humans are social creatures, if only because we need to reproduce. But research has shown that joining a club, group or sport team or keeping in constant contact with friends can create a sense of identity that can help reduce your risk of stroke and dementia.  "Loneliness breeds both illness and early death," according to the MacArthur Foundation Study of Aging and America.

 


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