Terrific Ways to Improve Your Health Today

In life, you have a lot of priorities. Certain things–as they should–rank higher than others on your list of most important tasks and goals. Few items should be more critical to your happiness than your overall health and wellness. If you’re not healthy, it’s difficult to fulfill your daily responsibilities. It may be challenging to provide for a family or enjoy life’s pleasures. People and organizations tout certain diets and exercise routines as the best ways of achieving healthy living. The truth is, most people need to experience a wide range of activities and develop a variety of good habits to improve the way they look and feel.


Lose the Cigarettes

The addictive habit of smoking has many pitfalls and no benefits to your health. There was a time when society considered this practice to be a sign of ruggedness or glamour. In recent decades, doctors and scientists have continually shown that smoking tobacco has a host of harmful effects. It can lead to lung cancer and other lung diseases. It can cause oral cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and heart failure. Smoking can hurt your skin, stomach and bones. Even smoking a few cigarettes can begin the cascade of significant damage to your health. The best time to quit is now. The longer you wait to kick this habit, the more difficult it will be, and the harder it will be to reverse the effects. People who stop smoking before age 35 can stop 90% of the increased mortality risks. If you’ve passed this age, however, don’t give up. You can add years to your life and enjoy a higher quality of living when you quit this habit.


Sugar Can Kill

Tobacco is well-known to become addicted to tobacco, but don’t think sugar can’t do the same. This sweet, enticing substance can occur naturally in food. It also may come as an additive, such as in table sugar, or sucrose. Sugar can be found abundantly in carbonated beverages, candy, pastries and many other popular snacks. Sugar has little value in a person’s nutrition but instead could contribute to many health issues. Studies have shown a link between the consumption of excess sugar and cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, liver disease, cognitive dysfunction and some types of cancer. Sugar can cause tooth decay, tooth infections, gum disease and tooth loss. Small amounts of sugar won’t be detrimental to your health. In fact, some natural sugars can be beneficial. However, eating processed, artificial sugar has little or no health benefits.


Calories Are Climbing

Eating more calories than you burn will lead to weight gain. The recommended daily caloric intake for adults is 2,000. The bad news is, many people don’t stick to this amount, and some far exceed it. Unhealthy foods and large portions sizes, coupled with a lack or absence of exercise, are sure signs of trouble. Alarmingly, Americans today consume 600 more calories per day than they did in the 1970s. The popularity and availability of fast food is a big reason for this increase. Additives and preservatives also play a role, as do the hormones found in meat. Cutting back on these foods can have a positive effect on your wellness. Eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains will be a long way in cutting back on your caloric intake.


Your Attitude and Positivity Can Make a Difference

Everyone has bad days and bad weeks. If you’re like most people, you probably have some bouts with gloom and pessimism. However, having an optimistic outlook on life can do more than make you more pleasant to be around. Studies suggest that happier people live longer. This is especially true for people who have had pre-existing health problems. Displaying some optimism amid other struggles can help you overcome these challenges. For example, one study, as reported by “Havard Health,” said bypass patients were half as likely to require post-surgical hospitalization when they were optimistic about their recovery. Related to this is the subject of laughter. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” While laughing shouldn’t replace your exercise routine, this expression may have some benefits to your well-being. Researchers have shown that laughter can reduce a person’s chances of having a stroke or cardiovascular disease.


Obesity Is a Big Problem

If you thought smoking was far and away the leading cause of cancer, you may be surprised to know that obesity is creeping up the list. In the next 10 to 20 years, this condition could pass smoking as the No. 1 cancer culprit. Though some people may gain and retain weight because of genetic factors, there are ways to combat this issue. Working out at least 30 minutes a day is an excellent way to maintain healthy body weight. If you’re having trouble devoting this much time to exercise, start with a 10-minute daily routine. Also, people of all ages should eat a well-balanced meal low in saturated fats, trans fats and sugar.


Start Walking

To some people, the thought of going to the gym is intimidating. There also may be financial barriers to doing this. However, for a good workout, you don’t necessarily need to hit the gym every day. Walking is one of the best ways to burn calories, building muscle, and improve flexibility and mobility. The good news is, just about anyone can do it, and you don’t need to go far to enjoy this activity. Brisk walking can reduce your chances of developing diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, among other things. Maintain a consistent pace and gradually increase the distance you walk. This workout can be a good alternative to running, which can be hard on your feet, knees, hips and back over time.


If you have fallen short on your goals to exercise and eat right, don’t give up now. By following these guidelines, you can take charge of your wellness once more and achieve your healthy living objectives. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to feel better in your body and mind.