If you’re working on getting leaner, don’t cut out good, healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. Lack of these nutrients can negatively impact the speed (and how) you age. To keep feeling and looking younger, incorporate more oily fish, walnuts, and flax seeds into your diet, which also help the skin stay supple and wrinkle-free. Omega-3s also help boost brain health and keep the heart in good shape.
Don’t go to sleep without thoroughly washing your face. Over the course of the day your skin and pores collect dirt and oil. If you don’t wash it all off before you hit the hay, the dirt will clog your pores overnight and you’ll wake up with irritated skin that is quite the opposite of a healthy, glowing complexion.
Most yoga classes begin with a reminder to honor your body’s particular needs and limits on that particular day. This basic ability to scan and assess yourself as you practice will help reduce the incidence of injury when running or playing other sports. Plus, flexible, well-stretched yoga muscles can heal and recover more quickly after working out or getting strained.
Limit Processed Foods
You may have to eat a frozen meal now and then, but don’t make it a habit. Certain packaged foods can be loaded with sodium and other preservatives. The FDA suggests sticking to no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day—that’s one teaspoon of salt. A typical frozen entrée can easily pack more than 30% of your sodium intake for the day, so check the label before plopping one in your grocery basket.
Take Health Screenings Seriously
"Cars get routine check-ups. So do planes," says Daniel Cosgrove, M.D., medical director of the WellMax Center in La Quinta, California. "But for our bodies, the most precious thing we have, we wait for symptoms. And unfortunately, most diseases are far advanced by the time one gets symptoms." Schedule an annual physical exam with your primary care physician to stay healthy.
Limit Salt Intake
The average American consumes more than double the American Heart Association's daily recommendation of 1,500 mg. Excess salt can up your blood pressure, putting an added burden on your poor old heart and may also hide your hard-won chiseled abs behind a buffer of bloat, give you some busted looking bags beneath your eyes, and cause your fingers to swell up.
Count Your Drinks
The CDC has reported that men who drink 3-4 alcoholic drinks each day are at a higher risk of developing cancer of the mouth, neck, and throat. They are also twice as likely to develop liver cirrhosis and high blood pressure. Allow yourself at least two alcohol-free days each week. Binge drinking doesn’t only have serious health risks—it can also contribute to weight gain and prevent you from reaching your fitness goals.
Apply SPF Daily
In addition to fending off skin cancer, using broad-spectrum SPF (the kind that blocks both UVA and UVB rays) on a daily basis helps keep skin looking younger longer. Look for a sunblock with an SPF 15 or higher, making sure it covers both UVA and UVB rays. Put your sunscreen on 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours.
Eat Protein at Every Meal
How much protein do you really need? Depends on whether you work out or not and how strenuous your workouts actually are. Your average desk-bound male requires just 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.
But exercise can nearly double those requirements. For endurance athletes, Peter Lemon, a professor of exercise nutrition at the University of Western Ontario, recommends getting between 0.5 and 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. "For strength athletes, those numbers are even higher--generally between 0.7 and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight," he says. If you've been shooting for a gram of protein per pound of body weight--or more--you're overdoing it. Your body won't be able to process those extra calories, and they'll ultimately end up as just one thing: fat.
Avoid tobacco in any form—that means cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuffs, and hookah in addition to cigarettes. Tobacco has more than 7,000 chemicals, 250 of which are known to be harmful, and 13 of which have been linked to cancer. What's more, tobacco smoke is harmful to smokers and nonsmokers alike. Smoking is a proven cause of lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreatic, and stomach cancers, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.
One way to boost good gut bacteria and keep things running smoothly: take a daily probiotic supplement. “Probiotics help with digestion, and they’re good for your immunity," says Kerry Bajaj, a certified health coach at Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York. "Fixing the balance of good bacteria in the gut can even improve your mood. A lot of our serotonin is actually produced in the gut, so there’s a big connection between what’s happening in the gut and how we feel.” Add protein, probiotics, and thickness to smoothies with just one cup of Greek yogurt.
Cut the Caffeine
To avoid the “sleep-dampening” effects of caffeine, which has a half-life of 8 to 10 hours, shut down caffeine intake after 2 p.m.
Avoid processed meats, anything that’s been cured, salted, or smoked (i.e. ham, bacon, pastrami, salami, sausage, and hot dogs). Adding preservatives during the curing, salting, or smoking process can create carcinogens. If you’re buying chicken that’s packaged with an ingredients list, you’re buying the wrong chicken. The only ingredient should be “chicken.” If eating red meat, choose lean cuts and smaller portions, and avoid frying or charbroiling it.
Fill Up On Fiber
Eating high-fiber foods like flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and whole grains—in conjunction with staying consistently hydrated—helps prevent body odor by promoting healthy bowel movements and ridding your body of nasty toxins.10 Foods That Keep You Full Till 5 P.M.>>>
Hit Up Happy Hour
Social people are predisposed to better health, according to Dr. Gregory Lewis Fricchione, director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. “There are health benefits to being prosocial as opposed to focusing socially on the self,” he notes. Social support and expressing love can improve overall resiliency, “and your capacity to give social support also has a tendency to feed back to you and pay dividends to your own health,” notes Fricchione.
Static stretching before a workout doesn’t do your body much good. In fact, research from Stephen F. Austin State University found that exercisers who did static stretching before lifting had impaired strength compared to those who performed a dynamic warm-up, a muscle-warming routine that includes moves like walking lunges and high skips. Get in the habit of performing a dynamic warmup before any kind of workout and you'll not only enhance your performance, but also help prevent injury.The Best Dynamic Warmup for Any Workout>>>
Don’t Forget Your Shades
The only way to protect your eyes from the sun is by wearing sunglasses. Remembering to throw on your shades every day will guard against sunburn, cataracts, and even skin cancer. Choose sunglasses with 99-100% UV absorption or UV 400, and maybe draw some inspiration from your girlfriend's oversize shades—the bigger the glasses, the better the protection.
Aside from water, tea might be the best beverage for your body. Research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that regular consumption of green tea can improve memory and cognition in men. Green tea is also credited with a host of other health-boosting benefits, like firing up your metabolism, lowering blood pressure, preventing bad breath, boosting immunity, and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Floss Every Day
Flossing won't just make your pearly whites brighter; the habit will improve your health on a much deeper level. If your gums get infected, the bacteria in your mouth can enter the bloodstream and lead to inflammation throughout the body.
Measure Your Waist
Waist circumference can give you a better indicator of obesity more so than body weight. If you can keep your waist below 34, you're probably in pretty good shape. A waist circumference over 34 means you're starting to build enough fat that puts you in danger of developing diabetes, heart disease or cancer.
Make Recovery a Priority
During exercise, recovery is an essential component that enables the body to adapt to the stress created by exercise, helps restore muscle glycogen and allows for repair of body tissue.
Balance Your Workouts
Your regular exercise routine should include a mixture of muscle building, stretching and aerobics, which provides cardiovascular conditioning. The Mayo Clinic recommends that a workout regimen have five elements: aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility and stretching.
Greens with the darkest leaves are also the most nutrient-dense; opt for spinach, kale, bok choy, dandelion greens, or Swiss chard. These vegetables deliver hefty doses of bone and muscle-building nutrients like iron and vitamin k.
If you cannot sleep, you cannot be well. Failing to get a good night’s sleep can disrupt a person’s circadian rhythm, which regulates blood pressure and hormones. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining properly functioning memory and sexual performance as well as avoiding weight gain. You should be clocking about seven to nine hours of solid sleep every night. The brain heals and creates new cells through neurogenesis during sleep, so it helps you maintain and strengthen your neural networks.
The habit of using your teeth to cut your nails, whether due to extreme nervousness, also known as onchophagia, can pass germs into the body since the hands touch nearly everything. Even if you suds up your hands several times a day or lather on antibacterial lotion, germs sneak in. Nail biting can lead to repeated colds or flu and bacterial infections. Over time, gnawing your nails can put stress on your teeth, which can lead to crooked teeth or other dental problems. It can also lead to skin infections and aggravate the nail bed. So stop chomping and grab a nail clipper instead.
Aerobic work bumps up the production of three essential growth factors for neurogenesis. These factors, brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1), and endothelial growth factor (VEGF), aid in the growth of new neurons, stimulate cell growth in the brain, minimize inflammation, grow new blood vessels, and slow down cell self-destruction.
Get a doctor that meets your personal needs and understands the difference between treating an illness and helping and guiding you through the wellness process. You need to find a doctor who will be interested in the steps you’ve taken to prepare for an exam, rather than simply treat a respiratory infection or draw blood for an annual checkup. Surfing the Web at Work Boosts Productivity>>>
Taking a few moments out of the daily grind is essential to reduce stress, which makes you vulnerable to illness. Ways to give your mind and brain a “time-out” include breathing exercises and meditation.
Wind down by walking for 3-5 minutes, paying particular attention to the rhythm of your breath and the stride of your feet. By keeping your attention on the body-breath interaction you relax both your body and your mind.