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Simple lifestyle tips for a healthier you

When it comes to good health, there are hardly any secrets. Some people appear to breeze through life without ever suffering major ailments, while others have trouble keeping their doctors away.

Granted, the constantly sick may have inherited bad genes or are just unlucky. But that’s not the whole story. The choices we make every day impact on our health.

Here are some tips you already knew about but choose to ignore daily, practice them and get back to better health.

Maintain a normal weight for your height, so called body mass index (BMI). A normal BMI is between 19 and 25; you can easily check yours with freely available online calculators or the next time you are in a doctor’s premises. The overweight and obese are more predisposed to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

Obesity is increasingly causing premature deaths, and is estimated to reduce life expectancy by about 9 years. Many reasons then to be wary of your weight.

And there are plenty of simple things you can do and keep your weight in check. You are what you eat, so keep a close watch on what fills your plate. Plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains should occupy most of the available space on your plate. Processed foods, fats and animal products should be taken in low quantities and less frequent. Washing it all down with plenty of water is the healthier thing to do, avoid all those caloric laden fizzy drinks.

The next thing is to burn all those excess calories with some physical activities. Even if you are slim, there are many benefits to gain from regular physical exercises. Your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes will come down by about 50%. And the risk of premature death will reduce by about a third. That cannot be a bad thing. You don’t have to spend hard earned cash and join a fancy gym. Small daily activities like walking and taking the stairs instead of the lift all add up. Find some physical activities that you enjoy, and create time for this regularly.

We all know about smoking and excessive alcohol, and what they do to our bodies. Quit smoking and drink less, you’ll add more enjoyable years to your life. Don’t take my word for it, research shows that quitting smoking has measurable health benefits within hours. And the toxic effects of excessive alcohol wane off with moderated drinking.

Improving our sleeping patterns, and trying to reduce stress levels have their benefits too. Anxiety, depression and poor relations are not any good for our well being. Seek appropriate help if you cannot sleep or your stress levels are building up.

Finally, keep all those recommended health checks up to date. Any serious disease detected early enough has more likelihood of being cured. Do not ignore unusual symptoms.

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