Kick Start a Healthy Life – 10 Tips you can Start Today
By Lindsey Forkun BScN, PHN
1) Eat more veggies, fruits, legumes, cereals (non sugary types), fish, and when consuming fats pick the monounsaturated types like olive
oil. Research shows that eating more of these foods will boost your
immune system, boost energy, boost your overall health, and can even help
prevent future cognitive problems.
2) Sleep. Many people skimp on the zzz’s and then use caffeine to jolt their system awake during the day. Limit yourself to a
maximum of 2 cups (reasonably sized) of your favourite java per day… and no
caffeine within three hours of bedtime. Plan your day so that you can stay in
bed for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
3) Start Walking. Inactivity is plaguing our society like never before. We drive everywhere, stand on escalators, take the
elevator, or even ride scooters through stores. Is your community walkable?
Challenge yourself to walk when you complete your errands – park in one
location and then walk to the various stores you need to, or if you are only
going to one store then park further away. If you take the bus then get off a
stop early and walk the extra distance. Get off the elevator one floor early
and take the stairs. Try to incorporate 10 minute walks into your day on
breaks, lunch hours, or after work/school. Walking is a low impact activity
that pretty much everybody can do. It is easy, free, and you can do it pretty
much anywhere. Start walking and you’ll be surprised just how far you can get
in such little time.
4) Drink Water. It is easy to consume way too many calories in a day, even easier if you are both eating and drinking
calories. Water not only has no calories, but it is also essential to your
body’s health. Drinking a glass of juice or milk can add over 200 calories to
your intake for the day, but drinking water adds 0 calories. The average person
only needs about 2000 calories per day… so if you have just 5 glasses of juice
each day you are already meeting half of the total calories you need in a day…
add one Quarter pounder with cheese and a side of fries and you’ve eaten all
the calories you need for the day.
5) Get more Fibre. Fibre is an essential part to your health, especially when preventing certain types of cancer like colon
cancer. It is easy to add fibre to your day – start with morning cereals that
have at least 4 grams of fibre in a serving. Aim for 25 grams of fibre each
day. You get fibre from whole grains, seeds, beans, legumes, fruits, and
6) Get enough Calcium. Aim for 1300mg of calcium each day to give you better bone health and also to reduce several types of
cancers. You can get calcium from certain foods like dark green vegetables
(like broccoli) and also in strawberries, and milk products. You can also take
calcium supplements if you aren’t getting enough from your food.
7) Put Sunscreen On. The sun plays a number of damaging effects on your skin. Sun makes your skin age faster and the sun can
cause skin cancer if you are not careful. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with
at least SPF 30. Sunscreen isn’t just for the warm and sunny months – remember
in winter that the sun’s rays can also be damaging. Apply sunscreen to all
8) Get an Active Social Life. You are more likely to add activity to your life if your social life is active too. There are many
activities you can do with your friends. You can get a group together and play
in a fun league of baseball, dodge ball, and many other sports. You can take up
swimming, jogging, playing capture the flag, soccer, or whatever other active
activity you enjoy. Adults should be aiming for about 30 minutes of being
active each day, and kids should be active for a minimum of 60 minutes each
9) Go for Cancer Screening. Cancer screening is a fairly easy thing to do and it can save lives. Cancer is very deadly, but if
caught early your chance of survival is much higher. Go for your regular
physical and screening tests. Your family physician can tell you which cancer
screening methods are right for you.
10) Quit Tobacco. Tobacco remains a deadly killer. Fewer and fewer people smoke or use tobacco products, but some still like to indulge
with these deadly products. Challenge yourself to quit completely, or at least
reduce your use of tobacco. If you do use tobacco, then make sure your home and
car still remain smoke free so that you and your company are not inhaling
second and third hand smoke which is also very harmful. If you are interested
in quitting you can call the smoker’s helpline at 1-877-513-5333
More health tips, articles, and advice at www.LFEquestrian.com