Friday, May 24, 2013

7 Tips to Living A More Healthy Lifestyle

1.   Take control of stress. When you’re under stress, your body releases cortisol, known as “the stress hormone.” Cortisol accelerates your bodily processes, speeding up aging. Focus on relaxation in your daily life. Events themselves are not stressful – it is your response that makes you tense. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic, don’t spend the time whipping yourself into road rage. Instead, listen to the radio, meditate, or pray – you’ll get there in the same amount of time, but you won’t be stressed out.
2.   Get plenty of sleep. There is a myth that older people need less sleep. But adults need seven or eight hours, no matter their age. However, as you age deep, restorative sleep can become more elusive. A few hours before bedtime, avoid caffeine or alcohol, relax quietly, and avoid activities that are stressful or require high alertness. Investing in a good-quality mattress and bed linens can also make a difference.
3.   Laugh a lot. A good belly laugh reduces blood pressure, clears the lungs, and produces endorphins, the so-called “happy” hormone that reduces pain. The average child laughs 300 times a day. Adults: 17 times. Research shows that keeping laughter alive keeps you alive. Make it priority to look for humor in life.
4.   Exercise daily. Your body craves movement. The worst thing you can do for your health is sit around and do nothing. Even if you’re 80, it’s never too late to start exercising, research shows. In fact, exercise benefits “late bloomers,” even more than people who have been active their entire lives. That’s why someone who is 80 and starts a conditioning program can suddenly put on some muscle. The mistake people make is in treating exercise like it’s torture. The key is finding an activity you enjoy and making it part of your routine.  
5.   Find a companion. Studies show that people live longer if they are married, part of a couple, have close friends, or have pets. Make it a goal to meet people. Volunteer at church or community groups. Don’t be afraid to be alone, but beware of social isolation.  
6.   Use your brain. Years ago, doctors believed that, unlike other organs, the brain could not regenerate. Now we know this is not true. Important connections between brain cells can be re-established. When your brain is stimulated, more connections are made, no matter your age. Stimulate your brain by learning new things. Take up a new hobby, learn a new language, or just break out of your routine. Take a different route home, explore a different neighborhood, and try eating with your left hand instead of your right.
7.   Live in the moment. No matter how perfectly you live your life, you are not going to live forever. So pay attention to what is happening in the moment, and don’t waste valuable time mourning the past or worrying about the future. No matter what you’re doing, whether it’s spending time with your friends, being with your co-workers, or even just getting ready to go to sleep, relish every moment. Treat everyday as a gift – that’s why it’s called the “present!”

Dr. Jones

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