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Five Essential Changes For Good Health

There are a few simple changes you can make in your lifestyle that will benefit your health. Simple things tend to have the greatest impact. Adapting and adding these essential five things can help you meet your fitness goals and to live a longer and healthier life.

Drink more water! Water is essential to your body’s health. You extract water from the food you eat, and from the beverages you drink. Nothing you can drink will be as good for you as clean, pure water. Bottled water is an alternative if you do not like the taste of your local water, or you can add filters to your sinks and pitchers for very low cost. The benefits of drinking water though are innumerable. Water is good for your skin, making it soft and clear. Water is good for your blood; it helps keep the balance of chemicals circulating in your blood stream at the appropriate levels. Water is good for your kidneys as it keeps the volume of blood up. If you drink adequate amounts of water your urine will be clear to light yellow and shouldn’t smell strongly. If your urine is dark or very yellow, you need to drink more. Water keeps you hydrated and can help prevent headaches. It can also help your muscles to recover after exercising.

Get in the sun! Sunlight is essential to the formation of vitamin D. Vitamin D is important to your bones. It helps your body absorb calcium. If you don’t have enough vitamin D your bones could weaken and you could be at risk for broken bones. Vitamin D inhibits inappropriate cell division, and can inhibit cancer growth. Vitamin D deficiency is a major contributor to chronic low back pain as well as persistent, nonspecific musculoskeletal pain. Vitamin D helps maintain adequate blood insulin levels, improving health for those with diabetes and preventing it in those who don’t have it. Vitamin D is also important to your heart. Activated vitamin D has been shown to increase survival in patients with heart disease. Getting direct sunlight for 10-15 minutes a day usually fulfills your daily requirement. In our society and during certain seasons sun exposure is less than required. Many people have a vitamin D deficiency without realizing it. Supplementing with a multi-vitamin is suggested.

Sleep! We live in a busy society where we run 24 hours a day. Getting sleep is vital to health. If you get less than your body requires you could be at risk for illness, injury and diseases. Brain function is decreased with insufficient sleep and you could experience muscle aches. Everyone’s individual sleep needs vary. In general, most healthy adults are built for 16 hours of wakefulness and need an average of eight hours of sleep a night. However, some individuals are able to function without sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as six hours of sleep. Others can’t perform at their peak unless they’ve slept ten hours. And, contrary to common myth, the need for sleep doesn’t decline with age but the ability to sleep for six to eight hours at one time may be reduced. Making time for sleep can help you have the strength and energy you need to do your daily tasks and to enjoy a healthy active lifestyle.

Move! Your body was built to move. Activity is important to health and longevity. Those who exercise in some form with regularity have better health, less illness and disease and have a better quality of life than those who are sedentary. Obesity is a risk factor for many diseases, if you exercise regularly your risk for obesity is lessened. Your lungs, blood vessels, bowels, brain and muscles are all able to work more effectively if you get some form of exercise every day. Your heart benefits from aerobic exercise which raises your heart rate and breathing rate for a sustained length of time. Discussing exercise options with your doctor is important for safety and best effect.

Eat a well balanced diet! Make sure your diet is rich in low fat proteins and high fiber whole grains. Vegetables and fruits in a rainbow of colors can help prevent cancer. Plan for 9 fruits or veggies every day, and try to eat some with each meal and snack. Fresh is always best for you. Often it is hard to get all of your nutrition needs in, taking a multi-vitamin is an easy way to guarantee your nutrient intake. If you can’t afford meats, or don’t like soy or beans and rice consider whey protein shakes. It can really help give you the protein you need to build muscle and curb your appetite.

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