You already know that in order to live a long, healthy life you should exercise, avoid tobacco products, protect your skin from the sun and get regular checkups. But what about the little things that can make a big different in your health?
Here Are Our Top Five:
- Start your day off right. According to the Weight-control Information Network, those who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat throughout the day. The key is to choose healthy options that will give you long-lasting energy, such as a slice of whole wheat toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and a glass of fat-free milk or a low-fat yogurt fruit smoothie.
- Polish your pearly whites. Oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are important for more than a beautiful looking smile—they can help cut your risk of heart disease. People with periodontal disease—and that’s one in two Americans—are almost twice as likely to experience coronary artery disease as those without, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.
- Find strength in numbers. Friendship provides a sense of belonging and companionship, and serves as a shoulder to lean on and an outlet for celebration. If your social circle has diminished over the years, now’s the perfect time to expand it by meeting people through volunteer opportunities, your place of worship, a support group or community activities.
- Get your beauty rest. Ever notice how a bad night’s sleep can ruin your whole day? Not only can it make you irritable and forgetful, but according to the AARP, long-term sleep deprivation increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. If you’re having a tough time falling or staying asleep, talk to your physician.
- Have a hobby. Spice up your routine with a new activity. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to join a bowling league or bridge club, take salsa or guitar lessons, or try your hand at stand-up comedy or poetry readings. There’s no time like the present, so make time for the activities that will keep your mind and body active and enrich your life.