Be the best that you can be with our ten tips to a healthier, happier and longer life.
Here’s a way to improved physical and mental health and well-being. And others around you may benefit too. Set an example for your loved ones, friends and co-workers.
- 1. Get up and move
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Turn off the television, switch off the computer and get up off the couch. Rather get physical activity, mental stimulation and spiritual enrichment by exercising, socializing, making dinner with your partner or playing with your children.
- 2. Stop or cut back on drinking
Alcohol is a mind-altering drug with a wide range of health damaging effects. Even small amounts can cause blurred vision, slowed reaction time, drowsiness, indigestion or gastritis, headache, insomnia and fatigue. A woman who drinks during pregnancy risks serious harm to her unborn child.
- Spend time with non-drinkers
- Get rid of alcoholic beverages in your home
- Instead of drinking do something positive – go for a walk, play with the dog
- Rid yourself of negative emotions by exercising daily.
- 3. Quit smoking
Smoking can cause lung cancer, asthma and emphysema. It also puts you at higher risk of a stroke and heart disease. It can also cause other cancers such as of the mouth, throat, cervix, pancreas and urinary tract.
- Eat a healthy diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Join a smoking cessation group
- Ask your health care provider for help
- Explore alternative therapies
- 4. Get plenty of rest
You need at least eight hours sleep per night during the week.
- Set up a relaxing bedroom environment.
- Follow a soothing routine before settling down to sleep
- Manage stress and exercise more.
If you battle to fall asleep talk to your health care provider.
- 5. Balance work and personal time
Recreation works wonders for your heart and mind. Take time to ‘recharge your batteries’. Make time to play. Use your holiday time and breaks and leave work behind when you do.
- 6. Watch dietary fat
Saturated fat in the diet is a major contributor to heart disease. It is found in meat, full-fat dairy products and baked goods. Eat these foods sparingly and also avoid the harmful trans fats found in margarine and many processed foods. Try fat-free milk. Reduced-fat cheese, skinless chicken, grilled fish, fruits, vegetables and legumes (dried beans and peas). Include foods rich in good omega-3 fatty acids (avocado, nuts, salmon).
- 7. Drink more water
Water makes up 60% of your body weight. Staying well hydrated reduces fatigue and headaches. Drink at least 2 litres of fluid per day (includes fruit juice, coffee and tea but avoid excess caffeine which may contribute to dehydration).
- 8. Drive safely
Take precautions to keep yourself and others safe on the road. Don’t drive if you feel drowsy. Don’t drive if you’ve had alcohol. Don’t drive if you’ve taken medication that may make you sleepy. Do not talk on your cell phone while driving. Follow the rules of the road and slow down in bad weather.
- 9. Give back to your community
Studies show that people who help others live longer and healthier lives. So check on you elderly neighbours; volunteer at a hospital; get involved in community activities. When you give to others you get a lot back.
- 10. Believe in yourself
Set yourself health goals and believe that you can achieve them. Be honest about the health habits that you need to change. Get support for tough challenges and celebrate your successes in achieving your healthy lifestyle goals.