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Tips for Healthy Living

Yes, there are the obvious tips of eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise. The best laid plans don't always go smoothly, right? Of course, it is important to have a long-term goal of living a healthy lifestyle. There are a few easy things that help you along the way. Small things today can have a major impact on your healthy in the long-term.

What makes you happy?

Leave your worries at the door and focus on the happy moments in your life! Take time to travel with the ones you love most. Plant a garden. Play with the grandkids! Whatever it is that relaxes you and makes you smile, do more!

Research suggests that being happy improves the quality and length of your life. According to Andrew Steptoe, Ph.D., professor of psychology at University College London, stated "we had expected that we might see a link between how happy people felt over the day and their future mortality, but we were struck by how strong the effect was", (2015). The five-year study concluded that elderly people who reported feeling happy, excited and content on a typical day were 35% less likely to die during the study (A. MacMillan, 2015).

Do you wear sunscreen?

A little fresh air will do you some good. But don't forget to protect your eyes and skins from the damaging effects of the sun!

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, (N. Rone, 2007). Take the steps to protect your skin all year. Aim for using an SPF of at least 15 and apply it regularly throughout your time in the sun. Don't forget about your face in the winter months as well! Sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays will protect your eyes from the damaging effects from the sun. Protective clothing is also a good thing to consider!

What's for breakfast?

Breakfast is STILL the most important meal of the day! Not only is it important to HAVE breakfast, but WHAT you eat is also important. Oatmeal has many different health benefits. Because oats are a complex carbohydrate, your body digests them slowly which maintains your blood sugar level. In turn, your body feels fuller, longer. According to Dee Sandquist, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and Registered Dietician, "oatmeal acts like a sponge during digestion by soaking up excess cholesterol for faster excretion, which can lower risk of heart disease", (2015).

Are you stimulating your mind?

What is your favorite game? Find a group of friends and start up a game night! Or, focus on memorization throughout the day. In this day and age of cell phones, everything is programmed for us. Try memorizing phone numbers to keep your mind sharp. According to a study conducted by the University of New South Wales in Australia, stimulating your mind "boosts memory and brainpower and slashes your risk of developing dementia nearly half", (N. Rone, 2007).

Butter, Salt and Sugar...

Do you cook with salt, butter and sugar? Try cutting out ingredients high in fat, sodium and calories with a few simple substitutions for an added flavor boost. Fresh, or dried, herbs and spices do wonders for adding a bit of essence in your favorite dishes. Instead of sugar, try adding ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg! If at all possible, avoid bleached and refined foods that may elevate your blood sugar levels. Suzanna Zick, N.D. at the University of Michigan says, "many herbs cush as thyme and oregano are similar to green, leafy vegetables in that they're high in vitamins and minerals", (N. Rone, 2007).

Do you have a sweet tooth?

Sometimes, all you need is a bit of sweetness, right? Dark chocolate has many benefits including the ability to protect your heart, (2007). According to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, "enjoying 30 calories of dark chocolate a day can help lower your blood pressure enough to reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by 5 percent and of stroke by 8 percent", (2007). So, go ahead and treat yourself to some chocolate (just make sure it is dark)!!

How many empty calories do you consume daily?

Refined sugar and grains equate to empty calories and blood sugar peaks. Focus on selecting complex carbohydrates in your diet. Complex carbs help to maintain your blood sugar level. They are also high in fiber which reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes, (D. Sandquist, 2007). Another added benefit is that complex carbohydrates make you feel fuller, longer. So, you are less likely to overeat!

Are you a slow or fast eater?

Do you have that one friend that seems to take forever to eat their food? Don't get annoyed, join in their habits! According to Jack A. Di Palma, MD and Director of the gastroenterology division at the University of South Alabama, thoroughly chewing your food makes it easier for your body to fully utilize its nutrients, (2007). Your body produces saliva when chewing food. In turn, the saliva neutralizes stomach acids causing reflux, (2007).

Did you know that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal a full belly to your brain, (2007)? This means that you'll likely consume less calories if you eat at a slower pace!

When was the last time you took a few minutes to yourself?

Feeling stressed? Take a time out. Even if it's only a few minutes throughout the day. We all know that constant stress is not a good thing. It can lead to depression, high cholesterol and weight gain (2007). According to Pam Walker, Ph.D, "you want to keep everyday stress levels low, so that when something really nerve-racking happens, your body's stress response isn't over the top", (2007). Find activities that reduce your stress level. If having fun with friends accomplishes this, then make the time! How about a few minutes of meditation to clear your mind? Or yoga? Maybe even gardening!

Sources:

N. Rones, (October 19, 2007). 22 Live-Long Tricks. http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/22-live-long-tricks

A. MacMillan, (April 16, 2015). Happiness linked to longer life. http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/31/health/happiness-linked-longer-life/

 

 

 

 

Phelps Medical Group

1315 Tibbals Street  //  Holdrege, Nebraska 68949
phone: 308.995.6111  //  fax: 308.995.4868
Llame al 1-308-995-2847

For Appointments Call 308.995.6111

Monday  //  8 a.m. - 12 p.m.  //  1 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday - Friday  //  8 a.m. - 12 p.m.  //  1 p.m. - 5 p.m.