Daily Health Tips

If you want to feel and look good, practice healthy living daily. The little things you do and don’t do often influence your health and well-being. Very little happens overnight, so don’t expect to improve your health in a day. If you want to obtain and maintain good health, daily health practices over the long-term can produce excellent results. Adhere to them faithfully and reap the benefits.

Eat a Variety of Nutritious Foods

Get enough calcium in your diet (1300 milligrams a day for youngsters between the ages of 9 and 18, about 1,000 milligrams for adults between the ages of 19 and 50, and between 1400 and 1600 milligrams a day for women who are pregnant or involved in sports). Eat calcium-rich foods such as yogurt and cheese for bone health. Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables for healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber and to lessen your risk of having a stroke, hypertension, heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Cook tomatoes before eating them to increase their antioxidant power, and make whole grains part of your diet. When it comes to meats, emphasize lean, advises the American Dietetic Association. Maintain a balanced diet and do not eat in excess.

Protect Your Skin From the Sun

Put sunscreen on your skin every day you go outdoors and try not to get too much sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as this is when the sun’s rays can cause significant skin damage. Put on protective clothing before going out in the sun. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher that will protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Put on more sunscreen if the first application comes off while swimming or perspiring. Make sure the sunscreen you use has not passed its expiration date. Use a lip balm that offers sun protection.

Wash Hands Frequently

Work up a lather on your hands with soap and water and do not rinse off before 20 seconds have elapsed. Rinse hands with warm water and dry them under a commercial hand dryer or with a clean paper towel. Avoid touching the faucet handles with your bare hands to prevent contamination, and try not to grab the bathroom door handles when you are in a public restroom. Push the door open with your body if you can, or grasp the door handle with a paper towel. Always wash your hands prior to touching food, after evacuating, when you are finished changing a baby’s diaper, after making contact with someone who is ill (including yourself), after touching an animal, when finished cleaning an animal’s waste matter and after touching any rubbish. If caring for an open cut, make sure you wash your hands prior to and after treatment. Carry a hand sanitizer with you for times when soap and water are not available and rub a generous amount all over your hands.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Keep your teeth healthy by brushing them at least twice a day or after every meal. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride to prevent cavities, and use a dental floss. See your dentist for periodic dental examinations twice a year or more often if necessary. Avoid consuming foods that contain sugar and avoid chewing gum. Never put tobacco in your mouth. Buy a new soft-bristled toothbrush every three months and rinse your toothbrush with hydrogen peroxide after using it every two days to kill germs. Be gentle when brushing your teeth to avoid bruising your gums. Use your toothbrush on your tongue as well as your teeth.

Exercise Regularly

Try to walk each week for a total of 2 and one-half hours. Do exercises that strengthen your muscles 2 days out of each week or more if you are under the age of 65. If you prefer a more intense workout, jog or run each week for a total of 1 and one-fourth hours. Distribute the time you exercise over the course of each week. Increase the number of hours you exercise to 5 each week to reap more health benefits. If you are 65 or over, consult with your doctor before starting any regular exercise regimen.

Manage Stress

Everyone experiences stress but it doesn’t have to overtake your life and cause health problems. Symptoms of stress include muscle tightness, irregular bowel movements, insomnia, grinding teeth, frequent headaches, uneasy stomach, palpitations, lethargy, nervousness, anxiety, fear and loss of appetite. The U.S. Army Center for health Promotion and Preventive Medicine recommends several stress management techniques: prioritize your time to emphasize what you value most; get organized and reduce clutter; manage information overload; make time for yourself if only for 15 minutes a day. The regular practice of meditation can help relieve stress. Get away from the cause of your stress if you can and do something you like to do. Do not hold on to negative emotions and be thankful for positive emotions. Consult with a psychotherapist if you feel you cannot handle your stress, or get involved with a support group.

About this Author

Based in New York, Grace Covelli has been writing since 1996. She has had hundreds of articles published on websites, many health related. Covelli completed a course in writing for children and teenagers and received a diploma for natural health consulting with highest honors She also studied reflexology, Reiki and esthetics.