Secrets to a Long, Healthy Life

Who wouldn't want to live a long, healthy life free from disease or disability? Give yourself a fighting chance by practicing these healthy behaviors.

Long, Healthy Life

Stay Hydrated

To prevent dehydration, make water your beverage of choice. Besides keeping your system running smoothly water plumps up the skin and keeps you from snacking between meals. Aim for eight to ten 8 oz. glasses a day. Drink more if you exercise, are in a hot, humid climate, perspire a lot or are pregnant or nursing.

Color Your World

Fill up on five to thirteen servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily to help prevent heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, macular degeneration, cataracts and a host of other ailments. By incorporating different brightly colored food like red tomatoes and apples, green lettuce and kiwi, yellow bananas and squash, orange carrots and oranges, purple grapes and cabbage, you'll get an assortment of powerful antioxidants to fight the free radicals which can prematurely age you before your time.

Quit Smoking

Besides causing a diminished sense of taste and smell, bad breath, stained teeth, yellow fingernails and "older-looking" more wrinkled skin, smoking also increases your risk of cancer (lung, larynx, throat, esophagus, kidney and more), heart attack, stroke, emphysema, pneumonia, blindness and a host of other health issues. Give up cigarettes to live a longer, healthier, better-quality life.

Exercise Your Mind and Body

To keep your mind sharp exercise your brain each and every day. It's a big, beautiful world out there so read everything you can get your hands on. Keep learning new skills like speaking another language, playing an instrument, learning a sport or painting. Anything that you strive to master will continue to challenge your mind and help you grow. Continue your education with travel to experience different cultures firsthand. By putting yourself out there and soaking it all in you'll stay interested and involved in life.

It's also important to exercise your body. For improved cardiovascular function, lower blood pressure, stress reduction and more health benefits get that blood pumping. Do moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a day at least 4 or more times a week and sneak in some additional exercise whenever possible--go for a walk after dinner, climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator and never choose the closest parking spot.

Serenity Now

Take a mental health break with fifteen minutes of uninterrupted quiet time daily. It will do wonders for your health--it's an ideal practice for stress-management. To do, sit comfortably in a dark, quiet room and focus on deep breathing (in through your nose, fill you belly with air, out through your mouth). After a few minutes you'll feel more clear-headed, relaxed and re-energized.

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