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How I Stay Healthy

A lot of factors play a role in staying healthy. In turn, good health can decrease your risk of developing certain conditions. These include heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and injuries. Learn what you can do to maintain your health.

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I am amazed by how many people I meet who are in poor health. Wander around in a crowd at an event or in a shopping mall and people just don’t look good. Worse, talk to people and listen to their long list of ailments. People are out of shape, weigh too much, and have little energy. In this blog I’m going to share with you how I stay healthy.

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1) Eat properly

Obesity is a huge issue in this country, pun intended.  Over two thirds of Americans are overweight and 36% are obese!  Further 32% of children and adolescents are overweight.  This is unbelievable.  As recently as a generation ago you would rarely see obese people.  For sure, some of this is hereditary.  But most of the issues are due to poor diet and sedentary lifestyles. What you eat is closely linked to your health. Balanced nutrition has many benefits. By making healthier food choices, you can prevent or treat some conditions. These include heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. A healthy diet can help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol, as well.

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The best diet is one that has a balance of nutrients measured by calorie intake.  U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that you eat more:

• Fruit and vegetables.

• Whole grains.

• Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.

• Lean protein.

And consume less:

• Fats and sugars.

• Refined grains.

• Sodium.

• Dietary cholesterol.

• Alcohol.

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While these guidelines are useful, it’s hard to follow all of this in day-to-day life.  The most important thing is something my grandmother always said:  “moderation in all things.”  Don’t over-eat, and eat a variety of foods.  Balance your intake.  The way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories over the course of each day.  Another important practice is to eat breakfast.  Studies show that skipping breakfast triggers the body to eat more later in the day and store calories.

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2) Exercise

Once you’ve balanced your diet and limited calorie intake, you need to balance your calorie expenditure.  “Calories in and calories out” is a good focus.  If you burn more calories than you consume, weight will drop. Currently in my case, I have lost a little too much weight so for me the more calories the better! If you eat more calories than you burn, usually you will gain weight as the body stores the excess.

Exercise can help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer. It can help treat depression, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. People who exercise also get injured less often. Routine exercise can make you feel better and keep your weight under control. Try to be active for 30 to 60 minutes about 5 times a week. Remember, any amount of exercise is better than none.

I exercise daily or every other day but at least 4-5 times per week. My favorite things to use are the Gold’s Gym Ankle Weights, Gold’s Gym Stability Ball, Ab Wheel, and the Resistance Tube Kit. I stay in shape as much as possible. The weights are really good for building and toning lower body. I mainly exercise my lower body but I also tone my upper body a little. I mainly do squats, lunges,pelvic lifts, donkey kicks with the weights, and straight buttocks squeeze. For my upper body I mainly do ab exercises because for some strange reason when I do too much upper body exercises I end up loosing a little of my breast size.

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3) Sleep

Finally, after eating right and exercising, you need to sleep.  I probably am not the best one to talk about sleep because my sleeping hours are all over the place but when I do I make the most of it. The average adult needs about eight hours of sleep per night.  Sleep is the great cure-all.  It is a time when your body recovers, and when your immune system is improved. Even those who slept 6 hours or less who otherwise had no health problems had death rates 1.8 times higher than those who slept “normal” hours.  So don’t cheat your sleep!

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Things to consider

In addition to the factors listed above, you should make time for whole body health. Visit your doctors for regular checkups. This includes your primary doctor, as well as your dentist and eye doctor. Let your health benefits and preventive care services work for you. Make sure you know what your health insurance plan involves. Preventive care can detect disease or prevent illness before they start. This includes certain doctor visits and screenings.

You need to make time for breast health. Breast cancer is a leading cause of death for women. Men can get breast cancer, too. Talk to your doctor about when you should start getting mammograms. You may need to start screening early if you have risk factors, such as family history. One way to detect breast cancer is to do a monthly self-exam.

Women should get routine pap smears, as well. Women ages 21 to 65 should get tested every 3 years. This may differ if you have certain conditions or have had your cervix removed.

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