Saturday, February 14, 2009

SHAPE-UP HEALTH, DIET -6 everyday basics to do . . . uh, every day

6 everyday basics to do . . . uh, every day

If you do nothing else, make these life-lengthening habits part of your daily routine:

1. Walk for 30 minutes. You can hoof it all at once, or break it into two 15-minute or three 10-minute sessions . . . just get your body moving and your heart rate going! Aim to take 10,000 steps a day -- a pedometer will help you track your steps.

2. Floss and brush the teeth you wish to keep. If that’s not enough to motivate you, do it for the heart you wish to nurture, the wrinkles you wish to prevent, or the sexual satisfaction you wish to enjoy.

3. Drink several cups of green tea in addition to plenty of water. It’ll help flush out toxins and other baddies.

4. Take your pills:
  • Get into the habit of popping omega-3s -- 1 gram of metabolically distilled omega-3 fatty acids about 30 minutes before lunch and again before dinner should do the trick. Or skip the supplements and instead eat six walnuts twice a day, or 4 ounces of nonfried fish (not shellfish) three times a week. Try this tasty salmon recipe.
  • Remember to take your other vitamins and supplements by keeping them in a convenient location like your car, desk, or handbag.
  • If you’re over the age of 40 (women) or 35 (men), take two baby aspirin (162 mg) at breakfast with a half glass of warm water before and after. Just make sure to get your doctor’s approval first.
  • Take 300 milligrams of coenzyme Q10 -- get one with a USP (United States Pharmacopeia) verified label -- at breakfast and dinner to boost your mitochondria. My what?
5. Meditate for 5 minutes at some point during the day. In a world with more noise than a preschool classroom, our brains (and souls) need moments of silence to recharge, refocus, and rejuvenate. The key is to search for a path that gives you comfort and offers an opening to finding deeper meaning in life. Never tried it before? Use this to get started.

6. Sleep 7 to 8 hours. Try this ZZZ-hygiene program to get you snoozing like a 19-year-old cat. Do these steps before you head to bed:

Finish any must-do tasks (even if it’s just making a list of what you need to do tomorrow) to avoid stress-related tossing and turning.

Take care of your nighttime hygiene (brush, floss, wash behind your ears . . . ).

Spend a few minutes doing deep breathing and/or meditation.

And avoid anything too stimulating, such as watching TV or working out. We know what you’re thinking: What about sex? Sex, though stimulatory (we hope), is okay . . . in fact, it’s recommended.
For more sleep tips, check out these Sleep Well YOU Tools.

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