A step ahead

A step ahead

Think before eating or doing something that could compromise your health

By Carl Kozlowski 01/09/2014

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“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” or so said Ben Franklin, who lived to 84 at a time when most men were lucky to make it half as long. 

Following are some great suggestions that can help anyone live a life that, as good ol’ Ben said, is healthy, wealthy and wise. 

First up, it’s suggested by no less than superstar TV host Dr. Oz that everyone stretch for 10 minutes every morning. The idea isn’t just to get limber and work the kinks out of your back after sleeping. Stretching also decreases the risk of heart attack by reducing stress and improving circulation. You’ll feel the results in 10 days. Start with the hips by attempting to touch your toes, and then loosen your neck to relieve tension in your head. 

Another rule that will not only improve your health but make everyone around you happier is being early for appointments and obligations, including your job. I know how unappealing that can seem, but making these adjustments can help relieve stress and, by extension, chronic inflammation and high blood pressure. Dr. Oz suggests living by the simple rule: “If you’re not 5 minutes early, you’re late.” 
Weight is an issue that causes lots of problems for the body, ranging from coronary heart disease and high blood pressure to type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems and cancers. But extra weight also is a problem caused by lots of factors. While there are countless diets from which to choose, the most basic rule for living with regard to food is to practice portion control no matter what you are eating. 

One trick is to drink a glass or two of water about 10 minutes before eating, which will help you feel somewhat full and decrease the excesses brought about my ravenous hunger. Drinking water throughout your meals is also a good tactic, as it washes the taste out of your mouth after each bite and reduces cravings. 

Avoid excessive use of alcohol, but if you are able to drink, it’s long been regarded as good for the circulatory system and your heart to have a glass of wine daily. There is simply nothing good that can come of drinking carbonated sodas, as they are rife with sugars as well as acidic elements that wear on the digestive system. 

Instead, drink  lots of water, which is not only the best and most natural liquid there is, but also is great for flushing your system of the many toxins that accumulate on a daily basis. Drink less caffeine and eat less salt, as both retain water and unnecessary fluids in your body while ratcheting up your blood pressure. Surprisingly, doctors have found that eating an apple in the morning has a greater awakening effect than drinking coffee, so follow suit and you’ll enjoy a tasty vitamin-laden snack and avoid doing any damage to your insides. 

Don’t forget to take care of your emotional health, for loneliness or negative emotions drive stress, high blood pressure and overeating which you’ll regret later. Keep your cool through meditation, prayer and positive thinking during times of stress, but also seek to improve the quality of your relationships at home, work and with other friends and family by taking such initiatives as writing daily gratitude lists of what you’re thankful for. 

Take it a step further and try writing a daily thank you note to those who make a positive impact on any and all aspects of your life. And of course, never underestimate the power of giving and receiving a big hug with loved ones or frankly, even strangers. 
So don’t buy the world a Coke — hug it instead.  

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