One of the simplest habits you can implement that pays off big health and beauty dividends is flossing your teeth. There's not much less attractive than having old food stuck between your pearly whites, and if you find that people are standing 10 ft away from you on a regular basis, well, it could be your breath....just sayin'.
Besides helping you look and smell better, regular flossing could also save you some big bucks at the dentist (and who doesn't want to hang on to their hard-earned money??). A review of six trials found that when professionals flossed the teeth of children on school days for almost two years, they saw a 40 percent reduction in the risk of cavities. Less cavities means less fillings, which means more money stays in your pocket!
Other more serious health issues are also connected to not flossing, like periodontal disease. In addition, researchers have also found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease. Ac...
Deep breathing is known to lower both stress and blood pressure. Not only that, but fat in the body is converted to carbon dioxide and water. The carbon dioxide leaves when you exhale, and the water mixes into your circulation until it's excreted as either urine or sweat. If you lose 10 pounds of fat, 8.4 of those pounds come out through your lungs, and the remaining 1.6 pounds turns into water. In other words, most of the weight we lose is exhaled when we breathe.
Looking for some easy ways to add some little bits of exercise to your busy schedule? Don't have enough time to get to the gym or take a one hour walk? Here's an idea: take advantage of some of those minutes when you are waiting for something and do a few pushups! Much of our day is spent waiting for little things like water to boil for tea, an egg to cook, coffee to brew, steaks to grill, etc. What a perfect time to do some pushups!
According to Dr. Levine, who is co-director of the Obesity Initiative for Mayo Clinic/Arizona State University and the inventor of the treadmill desk, “If you’ve been resting after a hard morning’s work and then you get back on your legs in order to go back into the fields, of course, your whole body system is to be pushing what you’ve just had for lunch into your muscle, into your body so that you can function well in agricultural practice, which, up until 200 years ago, was what the human body ultimately functioned to do.
"The nature of the human body was to be active and moving all day. The body was never designed to be crammed into a chair where all of these cellular mechanisms get switched off. Obviously we’re supposed to rest from time to time. But that rest is supposed to break up the activity. It’s not supposed to be the way of life. [T]his very unnatural [sitting] posture is not only bad for your back, your wrists, your arms, and your metabolism, but it actually switches...
Walking is a super-easy habit to start because:
1. It's free
2. It's a natural movement we all learn at a very young age
3. It doesn't require any special equipment (you can even walk barefoot!)
4. It can be done anywhere (if the weather is bad, you can go to a mall and walk inside)
5. It can be done at any time of the day
6. It's a great stress-reliever
7. It can be done alone or with family or friends
Another benefit to walking is that if you walk in the middle of the day with some skin exposed, you can easily get your Vitamin D for the day.
In our quest to improve our lives with a simple change every week this year, this week's challenge is to eat less processed food. Last week we talked about cooking from scratch. As you try more yummy recipes that you make yourself from fresh, healthy ingredients, you will find that you have less and less need and desire for processed foods. I'm not suggesting that you never eat another processed food in your life; that's not practical. What I am suggesting is that you can cut way down on them and in the process improve your health greatly!
While you can get away with knowing nothing more than how to turn on the microwave, if you don't know how to cook from scratch, you are missing out! I reserve making cake, pie, and cookies on special occasions now, but when I do, they are always made from scratch.
We're not going to try to eliminate all sugar in one day (although you can if you want to!); rather we are going to start gradually removing as much sugar from our diet as possible. As delicious and addictive as sugar is, it's about as good for you as straight up poison. It's also a very difficult habit to change! However, by approaching it incrementally, you can beat the sugar monster, and take back your good health!
This week, we're going to focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, and they help prevent heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, and protect against vision loss. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to add more of these to your diet!