8 Ways to Improve Your Health Today ...

It can seem a little daunting to think about how to improve your health and well-being. You know you should eat better, but how? And what else, besides dieting, do you need to do to improve your health, right now, today? I can help! I’ve chatted with my personal trainer and my physician to compile a list of the things you can do today… and none of them are ridiculously challenging or expensive.

1. Stop Smoking

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Well, I start off with a big lie. I said none of these would be ridiculously challenging, and this one probably is. If you stop smoking now, today, you’ll notice better health in as little as a week. That is, once you’re not clawing at the walls, dying for a smoke. The health risks associated with smoking are well-known and documented. Bottom line: it can, and probably will, kill you. What’s healthier than not being dead?

2. Start Eating More Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

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Most adult women are supposed to get about 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but most of us only get two… maybe three. One of the easy things you can do to improve your health today is to grab an apple or a handful of carrot sticks and start munching! If you’re not a fan of the fruit, then try sneaking in a serving by drinking it as a juice … or by experimenting until you find a fruit or veggie you love! Pomegranate or Asian pear, anyone?

3. Get Your Grains

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Along with adding more fresh fruits and veggies to your diet, you’re probably also in need of fiber and all of the other health-boosting goodies in whole grains. This one is easy: swap your Sunbeam or Wonder Bread for your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for whole wheat. If you’re feeling particularly daring, switch your breakfast cereal to whole grain, too.

4. Get Moving!

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We all know we’re supposed to be at least somewhat active, but at the end of a long day, that couch, parked right in front of the TV, looks so much more appealing than the treadmill. But, sweetie! I know it’s hard, and that you’re tired, but truly, this is one thing you can do to improve your health today! After dinner, load the dishwasher then go for a brisk walk. You’ll feel invigorated, energetic, and you’ll sleep better, too!

5. Watch Your Sexual Health

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When you start having periods, and especially when you become sexually active, it’s time to start seeing a gynecologist annually for a pelvic exam and once every two years for a Pap smear. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions and voice concerns. Sexual health and well-being is completely in your control, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Trust me, whatever questions you have aren’t the strangest, nor will your doctor judge you.

6. Don’t Stress!

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If your schedule looks anything like mine, you barely have time to sleep, not to mention eat well and exercise… but all three of these work together to help you combat the negative effects of stress. Add a session of yoga or meditation to your routine. Start saying “no” when you feel overloaded. It’s time to de-stress a little!

7. Wear Sunblock

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Your risk of skin cancer increases dramatically with every sunburn you get, even just one! Improve your health today by lessening that risk — by wearing sunblock. Any dermatologist or doctor or nurse or cancer survivor will tell you that your golden tan isn’t worth the risk. Besides, that’s what bronzers are for, right?

8. Drink Water or Milk

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During our childhood and young adulthood, our bodies are busily storing the calcium and other nutrients we’ll need for strong, healthy bones and lush, gorgeous skin. Once we reach our early 20s, that calcium storage stops, so be sure to drink milk (or other sources rich in calcium) to be healthier, now and in the future! It’s also important to drink water to keep hydrated. The jury’s still out on whether water will make your skin prettier, but we know it’s good for your digestive and renal systems.

Aside from quitting smoking, none of these are terribly difficult, but they can all make a difference, starting now! I admit I’m having a hard time with the stress… but that’s just me! Which of these ways do you think you’ll improve your health today? Or is there something else you’re doing to take better care of you? Please share!

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