It’s easier to stay healthy than to fix the damage from an unhealthy lifestyle. So, here’s how to slim down, feel less stressed, and add years to your life. These tips come from Dr. Gary Small, author of The Longevity Bible:
- Stand up when you get dressed. It may sound too simple to make a difference, but forcing your body to balance while you put on your pants or socks strengthens your reflexes and core muscles – and helps you lose weight. Why? Because using big muscles to balance burns calories! It’ll also help protect you against falls and broken bones – especially as you get older. So stand first on one leg, then the other. Shifting your weight from foot-to-foot is what you want to get good at.
- Head for bed 10 minutes early. 25% of adults get less than 6 hours of sleep a night. Most of us need 7 to 8 hours, and recent studies link chronic sleep-deprivation to a weak immune system and an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. If you have insomnia, get out of bed instead of tossing and turning. But whatever you do to relax, avoid the computer. The blue light is stimulating and will wake you up even more.
- Avoid smoky places. Even when you sit in nonsmoking areas, you’re still breathing in toxins – and there’s no safe level of exposure. That’s the lowdown from researchers at the University of Texas.
- Skip the cola. People who drink more than 3 servings a week have lower bone density – a marker for osteoporosis. Why? In order to buffer the phosphoric acid in cola so you can digest it, your body pulls calcium from your bones, weakening them.
- Hold hands. Linking digits with someone you love can decrease activity in the parts of the brain that release harmful stress hormones. So, take a stroll, hand-in-hand. You’ll get some exercise, de-stress a bit, and maybe even put a little oomph back into your relationship.
If you’d like to go further, the book is The Longevity Bible by Dr. Gary Small with Gigi Vorgan.