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Five Tips for Optimal Health

Aug 17, 2007
Every person can improve their health if they follow these five guidelines: Be optimistic, eat right, exercise, sleep well, and find purpose for your life. Follow these and you will become healthier, happier, and more productive.

First, put away fear and worry and find joy. There are health professionals who recommend not watching or listening to the news. Reading the daily newspaper in the morning starts your day off on a negative path. The news brings you crisis after crisis, tearing you down.

Change your thinking to one of optimism and gratitude. Thinking of things you can be thankful for is a great exercise every morning. Be thankful for life, for family, for the ability to see and to think. It doesn't matter what you put in the blank. The important thing is to develop a thankful heart.

The second guideline is to eat right. Eat more whole foods, less processed foods, and overcome your addictions to junk food. That is hard to hear and perhaps even harder to follow, but it is so vitally important to your overall health.

Besides eating the right foods you need to be careful not to overeat. Overeating causes us to age faster, increases wrinkles, and greatly increases our chances of acquiring many diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. If you need to, decrease the amount of food you eat.

At the same time increase the percentage of whole foods in your diet. Whole foods improve your health and improve your immune system. Eat 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day and reduce the amount of sugar and salt in your diet. You will notice a difference in your energy level and your overall health.

Thirdly, get adequate sleep. If you do not sleep enough your body is not going to function efficiently. It will even slow down your metabolism and make it harder for you to lose extra weight.

Also, a lot of hormones are secreted in high levels during sleep which allows your body to recuperate and repair. For example, if you are an athlete or a body builder, not getting enough sleep will increase your chances of injury or failure.

Fourthly, exercise regularly. The average person should try to exercise every day, raising their heart rate a little bit and keeping it there for 20 minutes or so. If you cannot do it every day or every other day, at least do it every three days. Studies have shown that after being sedentary for 72 hours the body's metabolism starts to decrease.

Fifth, find purpose in your life. Even people who have experienced horrendous illness have been able to survive for a long, long time because they had a reason to live. They have become incredibly useful individuals within their family and social and community spheres despite their illness.

These five guidelines are very basic and within reach of most people. Followed closely they can lead to a longer, healthier and a more fulfilling life.
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