1). Maintain a Healthy Weight, Exercise and Eat a Balanced Diet

If you are overweight, losing those extra pounds will not only improve your health but could add years to your life. AND you will feel and look better!

  • MOVE YOUR BODY! Find a form of movement or exercise that you enjoy. Do something EVERYDAY that incorporates movement. For example: walking, dancing, yoga, working out at the gym, running, biking, swimming, gardening, hiking and other types of sports. Consider weight training. The more muscle you have, the easier it is to burn calories, even while being stationary.
  • Eat a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean meat, poultry, and fish. Focus on vegetables and fruit; keep red meat to a minimum.
  • Avoid processed or packaged foods, sugar and hydrogenated fats.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. This will keep your blood sugar balanced and metabolism running at its optimum level.
  • Chew slowly and relax when you are eating.

2). Don’t Smoke!

You have heard it before, if you smoke, quitting is absolutely the best thing you can do for your health.

  • Get the support you need. Find a Quit Smoking program through your local hospital or community center. Having the support of others and following a routine can make the transition much easier. A Naturopathic doctor or Acupuncturist can help with the physical cravings and detoxification process.
  • If you have children or other people live in your house, please do not smoke indoors. Second hand smoke can contribute to lung and breathing problems.
  • Keep trying! It often can take six or seven tries before you quit for good.

3). Drink Alcohol in Moderation

We have been told that drinking one glass of red wine is good for the heart. While that may be true, alcohol can also put stress on our liver and other organs. It is probably wise to keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum.

  • Choose non-alcoholic beverages at home, restaurants and parties.
  • Be aware of peer pressure and choose what is right for you.
  • Talk to a health care professional if you feel you have a problem with alcohol.

4). Protect Yourself from UV Exposure

While getting some sunlight exposure is good for you because of the natural Vitamin D it provides, too much exposure could lead to skin cancer, including serious melanoma. Skin damage can start early in childhood so it is especially important to protect children.

  • Stay out of direct exposure to the sun between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Wear a hat, long sleeve shirts and a natural sunscreen that can be found at your local health food store.
  • Do not use sunlamps or tanning booths.

5). Protect Yourself from Sexually Transmitted Infections

Among other problems, sexually transmitted infections, like human papillomavirus (HPV), are linked to a number of different cancers. Protecting yourself from these infections can lower your risk.

  • The best protection is to be in a committed relationship with someone who does not have a sexually transmitted infection.
  • For all other situations, always wear a condom and follow other safe sex practices.
  • Do not rely on your partner to have a condom, it is your responsibility to be prepared.

6). Get Screening Tests

There are a number of important tests that can help protect against cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis. Some of these tests find diseases early, when they are most treatable, while others can actually help keep a disease from developing in the first place. Talk to a health-care professional about which tests you should have and when.

Conditions to be tested include:

  • Colon and rectal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Unhealthy blood cholesterol
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Low bone density

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