OK, OK – so I really don’t know if the following is really the secret to a long and healthy life BUT I have a really good feeling about this so bear with me…
#1 Eat Well
I know I don’t have to tell you to eat you 5 – 9 fruits and veggies a day, you already know that. I’m gonna say it anyway – EAT YOUR FRUITS & VEGGIES. Eat the ones that you love and try something different at least once a week. Hell even once a month can work. Eat a variety of things of every color of the rainbow:
RED: Tomatoes, Strawberries*, Raspberries, Red Peppers*, Beets, Red Apples*, Watermelon, Red Grapes*, Red Onions, Cherries, Cranberries, Pink Grapefruit
ORANGE: Oranges, Pumpkin, Butternut Squash, Orange Peppers*, Sweet Potatoes, Mangoes, Carrots, Apricots
YELLOW: Lemons, Grapefruit, Yellow Squash, Yellow Peppers*, Yellow Apples, Yellow Tomatoes, Pineapple
GREEN: Kale*, Lettuce (all varieties)*, Limes, Broccoli, Green Cabbage, Leeks, Scallions, Brussels Sprouts, Artichokes, Zucchini, Acorn Squash, Avocados, Collard Greens*, Spinach*, Watercress, Green Peppers*
BLUE & INDIGO: Blueberries*, Blackberries
VIOLET: Eggplant, Plums, Grapes*, Purple Cabbage, Purple Peppers, Purple Carrots, Elderberries, Currants, Raisins, Prunes
For a lot more colorful options please check out this out. And don’t forget your legumes, nuts and seeds too! For those of you that still eat animal products, consider the source and how it was raised. Try for organically fed and ethically raised meats. For seafood, eat low on the food chain and always wild.
#2 Get Outside
Nothing beats the great outdoors, even the sun in moderate amounts is good for you. All you need is about 15 min a day out in the sunshine to reap the benefits. Use a safe sunscreen if you plan on spending an extended amount of time in the sun. Not only is the sun good for you, just being surrounded by green is good for you mind. Studies have shown that being in a park or green space can help with depression. If you go on a hike you’re doing double duty by getting exercise AND communing with nature. Which brings me to #3.
#3 Move Your Body
Again and again exercise has been shown to have lots of benefits even into old age, it helps keep everything working properly. It helps keep you limber, keep you at a healthy weight and improves your mood. While training for a marathon is great for you all you need is about 30 min every day. This could easily be a walk thought your town, dancing in your living room or an afternoon gardening… hmm, sun, outdoors, exercise, mood enhancer – can’t be beat!
#4 Be a Social Butterfly
Having a social network has also shown improve mood and health. Studies have shown people that had a support system actually get better faster than people who don’t. Also, having a confidant can help during those difficult times. Even pets have shown to improve the health of their people. No one should go it alone
#5 Get Enough Rest
This goes without saying, getting plenty of rest is very important. For those of you that think you can make it up on the weekend, guess again. Inadequate sleep can literally take years off of your life. Your best range is generally between 6 – 8 hours of sleep. So cut the late night TV and caffeine if it interferes with your beauty sleep.
#6 Be Happy
Remember, you only have one life – don’t spend it moping around. Eating right, staying active and having friends can work wonders on helping you stay happy. 2010 was a terrible year for me but I somehow managed to stay positive. I attribute it to all of the above. Being grateful and meditating can also help you stay grounded and happy.
Here’s to a long and healthy life!
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