Go, go, go! If you are anything like me you want to be healthy and take care of your family but with a busy lifestyle it is hard to get things down exactly right . When it comes to health and nutrition doing exactly the perfect thing may seem nearly impossible. I know there are some of you out there (you know who you are) who are just about perfect at following all the rules of health and fitness- but for those of you that live on the run and want to get the health and fitness thing down, here are some terrific tips and shortcuts on living healthy.
Not Ideal But The Next Best Thing To Optimal Health
**The Best Thing-Eat five to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily-Of course this would be wonderful if every single day you could sit and munch on fresh fruits and vegetables and your body would get a plethora of nutrients, however some days that is just not going to happen. Shortcut-Take a whole food supplement (I take the Pops religiously everyday and love how I feel), which are basically fruits and veggies in a powder form without the sugar, fiber and water and put into a capsule (at least the Pops are), Try vitamin rich dried fruits, or frozen vegetables.
**The Best Thing-Get at least seven hours of sleep at night-I hate to admit this because I know how important sleep is but I rarely get seven hours of sleep at night. As a matter of fact I should probably go to bed now, but then I am sure I would just lie there and think of writing this post so-oh well. "A 2007 study at the University of Warwick, in England, found that women who slept less than five hours a night were twice as likely to suffer from hypertension as women who got seven hours of sleep. Previous studies have linked lack of sleep to weight gain, and a weakened immune system." Shortcut-Take a nap. Even 20 minutes of sleep can help revive you. I hate to be negative here but who really has time for a nap? If you can find the time then do it! You will feel better.
**The Best Thing-Wash your hands with soap and water every time you touch a germy surface-Now don't panic and become obsessive about this but every time you touch a door handle, grocery buggy, shake hands, etc there are germs. Each time you touch your face you can pass germs into your eyes, nose, or mouth and possibly catch a cold, the flu or gastrointestinal illness. Years ago I saw an Oprah on movie theater seats and all the germs there and everywhere else. It was awful because for weeks everywhere I went that was all I thought about-germs, germs, germs. Those shows always scare me (which is why I no longer watch stuff like true crime, forensic files, you know the type that scare you to death as you try to get to bed in the dark). Shortcut-Carry hand sanitizer or baby wipes with you and apply to hands after germy surfaces are touched. With my two kids this is a must. You should see all the things they touch, put in their mouth. I don't know how we are all still alive and kicking some days.
**The Best Thing-Lift weights at least twice a week-My online personal trainer and New York fitness professional, Christopher Warden, is a big advocate of all the wonderful things that strength training can do for you (I have to agree as I have never felt or looked better since I started strength training,especially with weights). "Working with weights strengthens bone mass, and helps burn calories more efficiently." Plus it is wonderful to feel stronger and look more toned. Shortcut-Use the weight of your own body as resistance to strengthen muscles. Before I started using weights, Christopher had me doing squats, push ups, lunges and other such exercises and I could really feel the impact of those even without the weights.
**The Best Thing-Brush your teeth after every meal and floss once a day-Would be perfect if you could but honestly who always can? Shortcut-Chew sugarless gum after you eat which can wash away food particles and keep bacteria at bay.
**The Best Thing-Eat fish twice a Week-Being a vegetarian I am not really an advocate of this but the benefits of fish are that they are packed with DHA and Omega 3 Fatty Acids , which can boost the immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease. Shortcut-Try adding flax seed to your diet. You can add flax seeds to a salad, grinding them up or throwing them in your oatmeal. There is also flax seed oil and I personally take a teaspoon of flax seed oil every day (can be found in most health food stores) as it is just easier for me.
I hope these shortcuts can help you out on those days when you just can't seem to get the health and fitness thing down just right.
Source-Real Simple magazine, June 2008
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