Seven Habits That You Don’t Want to Break

Nearly all men and women in their 20’s and 30’s have a sense of invulnerability and immortality.  I know when I was that age someone who was 50 was considered old. Today I consider a 50-year old as youthful.  So what advice do I have for millennials?  In order to enjoy good health as a septuagenarian or octogenarian, you have good health habits during your younger years.  Here are 7 tips that I have taken from an article in a recent New York Times about developing good health habits.  They are easy to do and will make all the difference in the world on how you feel today and how healthy you will be tomorrow.

#1. Make the bathroom scale your new best friend. Nothing is more deleterious to your long-term health than being obese or overweight.  Give yourself an acceptable range and when you approach the higher end of that range, cut your calories or increase your exercise.

#2 become your own chef.  Your focus should be on ways to add variety to your diet and to boost the intake of vegetables and fruits. Cut down on unhealthy fats, sugar and excessive salt, i.e., no more than 1200 mg\day.

#3 Sugars, like those found in candy bars, sweetened cereals, and sugared soft drinks.  Excessive sugar has been shown to be one of the main culprits obesity and diabetes.  Excessive sugar represents empty calories with no important nutrients needed in a balanced diet.  Giving sugar to children can make them addicted to sugar which can be more addictive than heroin or cocaine!  Instead consume more fruits and vegetables.

#4 Get off the couch and get moving.  Excessive sitting is the new smoking.  Even if you can’t find time to have an exercise program you can still walk the stairs several times a day.  BTW going up is good exercise, going down is exercise but harder on your hips and knees.  You can also park your car a few blocks away from the office or on the top floor of the parking lot and then walk to work.  Ideally, you should find a way to get 20-30 minutes of activity that increase your heart rate every day.  This includes biking, brisk walking or swimming.

#5 Pay the piper if you play.  If you engage in having a good time with drinking and snacking, then promise yourself additional exercise before or after your party.

#6 Cut the portions or let the palm of your hand be your guide.  An ample serving of fish or chicken should fit into the palm of your hand.  If you find that you are gaining weight or a few more pounds than you would like, cut the portions and cut the alcohol and you can lose 3-5 pounds in just a few days.

#7 Drink plenty of water.  There are so many advantages of drinking lots of water which include:

A perfect thirst quencher  There is no better liquid to quench your thirst than water.  Many people are incorrectly informed that you only need to drink water in hot weather.  The truth is large volumes water are lost through your breath in cold, dry weather.  Although you can substitute other beverages such as colas, coffee and electrolyte drinks, there is no other drink that contains fewer calories and more nutrients than water.  In fact, affricated beverages can act as diuretics and cause the body to excrete water and important chemicals like potassium.

Water aids digestion. Water dilutes the acidity in the stomach and causes the release of enzymes necessary for digestion. Water is also a natural laxative and relieves constipation.

Water cools the body during exercise. As the body heats up during exercise, the internal thermostat promotes perspiration. Internal body temperature can be decreased with the consumption of cold water.  Cold water is best because it is absorbed into t he circulation more quickly than warm water.

Water promotes waste excretion. The kidneys are the paired organs used to remove metabolic bodily water material.  Water is essential for these incredible filters to do their work an flush out the body’s waste products.

Water carries nutrients to the cells. All of the body’[s cells are bathed in a saltwater solution. Blood moves nutrients to the cells and removes the waste products to the kidneys and liver.  Water is necessary to maintain the blood volume to carry out these vital functions.

Water reduces kidney stones. If too much calcium, oxalate or uric acid is excreted in the urine, crystals will form and start the growth of kidney stones. The best treatment to reduce kidney stones is to drink enough water to keep the particles from hitting one another and staring the crystallization process.

Water lubricates the joints. The bones glide against one another with minimal friction because of a lubricant called synovial fluid. Drinking plenty of water incases the synovial fluid and reduces e4h wear and tar on the joints.

Water promotes good skin tone. Skin elasticity is maintained when the body is well hydrated. Chronic fluid loss lead to dry, wrinkled skin.

Water is a diet aid. Drinking a glass of water before each meal leads to a sensation of fullness before you sit down to the table, thus acting as a natural appetite suppressant. Water helps the body metabolize stored fat.  If there is not adequate water to rid the body of waste through the kidneys, then the liver must be called in to do the kidney’s work.  If the liver is doing the kidney’s work, it cannot metabolize body fat and weight loss is slowed or stopped.

Water is a natural relaxer. Water is an excellent way to wash away tension. Swimming induces a feeling of calmness and exhilarates the body, similar to a jogger’s high.

How much water is enough?  The time-honored advice of drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day still holds true.  However, the more you exercise, the more you need to drink, especially if you live in New Orleans in July, August, or September.  A good rule of thumb is to drink approximately one quart of water for each hour of exercise.

Water remains one of life’s greatest medicinal drinks.  It really does keep you healthy and fit and it is good for most of life’s ailments.  Drink up!

Although these 7 suggestions may not guarantee good health, it will certainly lead to an improved lifestyle.  And as my wonderful Jewish mother might say, “It may not help, but it voidn’t hoit!”

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