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Top 10 Tips for Staying Healthy

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Top 10 Tips for Staying Healthy

Some lifestyle choices can make a big difference when it comes to your mental and physical well-being and the quality of your life. Here are some tips for good health and longevity.

1. Get moving

If you want to feel healthier, more energized, or in a better mood, get moving. Regular exercise can benefit both your physical and mental health in a multitude of ways. And, you don’t need to run a half-marathon or sweat it out at the gym for hours every day to reap the rewards.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, if you’re an adult, just 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, can positively impact your health. That breaks down to around 22 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking, dancing, cycling, or even doing yard work or household chores.

Regular physical activity can positively impact your health in many ways. For instance, it can:

  • Improve your heart health: Exercise benefits your heart health, and having a stronger heart can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Boost your brain health: Regular exercise may help improve your cognition and reduce the risk of dementia.

  • Improve your mood: Physical activity has also been shown to reduce the risk of depression and anxiety.

  • Help with weight management: When you move your body, you burn more calories than you would if you were inactive. Burning more calories each day can make it easier to lose weight and keep weight off.

  • Strengthen your bones and muscles: Being physically active can keep your bones and muscles strong and make it easier to move around easily, even as you age.

  • Reduce the risk of chronic diseases: Staying active may help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer.

2. Eat more whole foods (and less processed food)

Whole foods are foods that haven’t been heavily processed or altered. They don’t contain a lot of added chemicals or artificial ingredients to help them taste good or give them a long shelf-life.

In general, whole foods are healthier for you and provide your body with more vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients than processed foods. Because they are more nutritious, whole foods give you more energy and possibly lower the risk of many types of health issues.

Processed foods are often unhealthier than whole foods because they tend to be higher in certain ingredients such as:

  • added sugars or artificial sweeteners.

  • salt (sodium)

  • trans fats

  • preservatives

  • artificial colors

Eating too much processed food and not enough whole foods can be harmful to your health. That’s because you won’t be getting enough of the nutrients your body needs. Instead, you’ll be eating higher amounts of sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, or other ingredients that don’t provide much nutritional value.

According to scientific research, poor nutrition can increase your risk of:

  • weight gain and obesity

  • heart disease and stroke

  • type 2 diabetes

  • some types of cancer, including uterine cancer, breast cancer in postmenopausal women, and colorectal cancer

3. If you smoke, try to quit

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. According to the CDC, tobacco use accounts for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. each year. In fact, it’s estimated that smokers, on average, die about 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.

Smoking can damage nearly every organ in your body and significantly increases your risk of:

  • Heart disease: According to scientific evidence, tobacco is the leading cause of premature death from cardiovascular disease.

  • Stroke: Smoking damages your blood vessels, making them stiffer and narrower. This not only increases your risk of a heart attack but can put you at a higher risk of a stroke, too.

  • Respiratory diseases: The damage caused by smoking to the airways and air sacs in your lungs greatly increases your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

  • Lung cancer and other cancers: Approximately 80% of lung cancers can be attributed to tobacco use. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking can also increase your risk of many other types of cancer, including cancer of the bladder, mouth, stomach, pancreas, and colon, among others.

4. Make sleep a priority

Sleep is vital for every process in your body. Sleep is a time for your body to repair cells and restore energy. Your brain also performs many essential functions while you’re sleeping, like storing information, removing waste, and strengthening nerve cell connections.

If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will have a harder time working properly. Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of:

  • high blood pressure (hypertension)

  • cardiovascular disease

  • metabolic syndrome

  • type 2 diabetes

  • anxiety, depression, mood changes

  • a weakened immune system

  • some types of cancer

5. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water each day is key to good health. Your body needs water for many important functions, like maintaining your body temperature, aiding digestion, keeping your organs working properly, and delivering nutrients to all your cells.

How much water should you drink each day?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends:

  • 9 cups of fluid per day for women

  • 13 cups of fluid per day for men

You’ll typically need to increase your water intake if you:

  • exercise or exert yourself

  • live in a hot, dry climate

  • spend time outdoors in the sun, especially in warmer weather

  • have a fever or lose fluids through vomiting or diarrhea

  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

6. If you drink alcohol, do so responsibly

While an occasional alcoholic drink likely won’t affect your health, drinking too much alcohol can take a heavy toll on many of your organs.

A standard drink is considered to be:

  • 12 ounces (355 mL) of regular beer, or

  • 5 ounces (150 mL) of wine, or

  • 1.5 ounces (45 mL) of spirit

7. Make preventive care a priority

Preventive care is the care you get from your doctor to stay healthy. While you may typically think of your doctor as the person you see when you’re ill, your doctor also plays a key role in keeping you healthy and preventing you from getting sick or developing a chronic disease in the first place.

When you make an appointment to visit your doctor for an annual checkup, it may include:

  • measurement of blood pressure and other heart health indicators

  • blood tests for cholesterol and blood glucose

  • depression screening

  • obesity screening

  • vaccinations

  • a Pap smear

Depending on your age, family history, and other factors, your doctor may also order specific screenings, such as:

  • a mammogram, a screening for breast cancer

  • a colonoscopy, a screening for colorectal cancer

  • osteoporosis screening

  • genetic testing for some types of cancer

  • tests for some sexually transmitted diseases

8. Know your numbers

One of the advantages of preventive care is that your doctor will screen you for several key measurements, including your:

  • body mass index (BMI)

  • blood pressure (hypertension)

  • cholesterol and triglycerides

  • fasting blood glucose

If any of these numbers are outside the recommended range, you and your doctor can discuss what needs to be done to address this issue. Your doctor can put together a treatment plan that’s right for you and will monitor you to ensure your numbers are moving in the right direction.

9. Manage stress in a healthy way

Stress is a normal part of everyday life and, when it’s short-lived, it can be useful. But, chronic stress can affect you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Research has shown that high levels of ongoing stress have been associated with an increased risk of

  • high blood pressure

  • heart disease and stroke

  • depression

  • a weakened immune system

10. Practice safe sex

If you’re sexually active or have been in the past, it’s important that you’re proactive about getting screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Some sexually transmitted diseases don’t cause noticeable symptoms until weeks, months, or possibly even years later. By then, you may have passed it on to someone else. And it may also be harder to treat the disease when it’s not caught early. That’s why it’s important to get tested often.


Your health plays a crucial role in how you feel and live each day. If you’re stressed, tired, or not feeling well, it’s not easy to be the best version of yourself and to give those around you the time and attention they need. In order to thrive and lower your risk of chronic disease and illness, there are many choices you can make today and every day to give yourself the best shot at living a long, active, and healthful life.

To schedule an appointment with Family Clinic Hulett, call 307-688-2235 today.

Source: Staying Healthy: Top 10 Tips for Good Health (

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