No matter what your age, it’s important to take care of your health. Healthy habits like eating fresh local foods and exercising not only make you look and feel great, they can help prevent diseases like type II diabetes, heart disease and strokes, and possibly even some forms of cancer. Even if you are already suffering from one of these health issues, changing the way you eat and your overall lifestyle can still help improve your quality of life, and in some cases might even be able to improve your long-term prognosis. After adopting healthy habits, some people are even able to improve their health conditions enough to allow them to reduce the amount of medications they need to take, making it possible for them to enjoy their lives more fully.
Many doctors from around the United States are also beginning to switch from a medication only approach for treating many chronic diseases to treatment plans that include nutrition and exercise regimens and other natural and noninvasive therapies.
A representative form Texas-based Montgomery Heart and Wellness, considered by some to be the best Houston cardiologist, says, “It’s time to think beyond the script.
At Montgomery Heart & Wellness, we combine state-of-the-art medicine with a comprehensive health and wellness intervention for a more natural approach to treating chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. This unique health and wellness intervention utilizes a novel nutrition plan, specialized metabolic and genomic testing along with other noninvasive therapies to minimize the need for medications or hospital procedures.”
Even if you have not had healthy eating and lifestyle habits in the past, it’s never too late to start. See below for four tips that you can follow to help get yourself on the road to better health.
Increase the Amount of Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet
Rather than radically changing your diet all at once, something that is difficult to maintain, start by adding more fruits and vegetables to the meals you are already eating. Adding a fresh fruit cup to your regular breakfast or a salad to your lunch or dinner will provide important nutrients that your body needs. Try to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each week. To keep things interesting, try shopping at your local farmers market, consider adding fruits and vegetables you have never tried before to your meal plans, and search for new recipes that call for using a lot of produce in your local newspaper’s food section or online.
Try Going Vegetarian Once or Twice a Week
Many nutritionists agree that Americans are eating more meat than is good for them. Reducing the amount of meat in your diet will decrease your overall calorie intake. It’s also good for the environment, as raising animals for meat uses much more water and energy than growing crops. Eating less meat will also make it easier for you to get out of your regular eating routine, add more produce to your diet, and try new recipes.
Increase Your Physical Activity
Many people mistakenly believe that getting more exercise means that they need to take up running or spend an hour at the gym every day. But this isn’t the case. If you are currently inactive most of the time, the best thing to do is start small. Try taking walks around your neighborhood three or four days a week, increasing the distance you walk by just a few yards each day (use telephone poles or houses as markers). If the weather won’t allow you to walk outdoors, try walking on the treadmill at the gym, increasing your time by a few minutes each time you go. After a few weeks, you will notice a big difference in your energy level and everyday tasks will be begin to seem easier.
Take Steps to Reduce Stress
Stress can have an equally negative effect on your health as poor diet and lack of exercise. Stress can contribute to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and depression. In order to improve your health, it is important to reduce the amount of stress in your everyday life. Try to avoid situations and people you find stressful whenever possible. Shop and do errands at times when traffic jams are less likely, such as in the evening after dinner or very early in the morning. Adding meditation and/or yoga to your daily routine has also been shown to reduce stress in many people. Doing activities you enjoy such as reading, working on hobbies or listening to music has also been shown to reduce stress levels.