The Healthy Living Formula

Healthy living involves discipline and a strategic approach towards exercise and nutrition. It requires small, consistent changes every day to increase your metabolism and fuel your body with the right types of nutrients.

Here are some simple ideas to help you live a healthier life:

  • Take frequent breaks when sitting for long periods of time. Avoid staying in one position in front of your computer or television. Change positions at frequent intervals so you're not sedentary all day.
     
  • Get on your feet and move an hour or two a day to decrease cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure. Moving around gets your blood flowing and your body working. 
     
  • When you're on the phone, try to walk around while you're talking. 
     
  • Park further away from your destination so that you will be required to walk a little bit more than usual. 
     
  • Get a good night's sleep (at least 7 hours). Your body relies on rest to rejuvenate and heal itself. 
     
  • Eat only when you truly feel hungry or consume small portions every 2-3 hours instead of 3 large meals. 
     
  • Drink plenty of water. 
     
  • Cut down on smoking and drinking. 
     
  • Relax with a regular routine of yoga and meditation. 


Nutrition for Healthy Skin 

Nutrition plays an important role in helping maintain and improve skin tone. Smooth and healthy skin is a sign of good health. The phrase "you are what you eat” holds true as far as the health of your skin is concerned.

The following foods will facilitate healthy skin: 

  • Antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidants play a key part in the prevention of diseases like heart disease and cancer. Some of the foods in this group include blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, plums and apples. 
     
  • Foods rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E protects against cardiovascular diseases by defending against plaque formation in the arteries. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin E include peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, spinach, broccoli, kiwi, mango and tomatoes. 
     
  • Selenium-rich foods such as fish, Brazil nuts, liver and sunflower seeds help to keep the skin fresh and looking youthful. 
     
  • Foods rich in beta carotene. Some of the foods that are rich in beta carotene include hot peppers, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach.

Most of these foods can easily be found in your local grocery store and there are many ways to introduce them in your diet. Please remember that all foods should be eaten in moderation, and it's best to combine healthy foods with an exercise program for best results. A physical therapist can help you with an exercise program that compliments a healthy nutrition program.


Stress Management with Exercise 

Stress is a part of day-to-day life, but the manner in which you handle your stress is a key factor. Stress management is the best way to minimize strain on your cells and live a healthy life.

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the increasing demands of life. At some point, everyone experiences stress. If you are uncertain about how to handle stress, begin with a positive mindset. Surround yourself with family and qualified health professionals. A physical therapist can provide support, expertise and design exercise programs (muscle relaxation techniques, for example) to help you deal with stress.

Learn to relax physically and mentally. A massage can help you release muscle tension, and it's best to ask your physical therapist if a massage is right for you. In many cases, this can help reduce stress, leaving you relaxed and rejuvenated. A massage is just one component of stress release and it can be used in addition to full body strengthening and relaxation program.