Living Right:
Creating Healthy Habits

As we head into spring, renewing our commitment to health can be particularly poignant—especially after a long winter cooped up indoors. Read on for some habits you can easily incorporate into your health regimen.

Eat breakfast.   Busy schedules, early morning appointments, any number of things can conspire against your eating a healthy breakfast.   But the often-heard saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day isn’t without merit.

The American Dietetic Association reports that breakfast is the first chance your body has to replenish the glucose levels that are essential to brain function and energy.   Skipping breakfast can lead to feeling tired and irritable. Another benefit is weight management.   Eating a healthy breakfast can keep you from binge eating later in the day. Try to make healthy choices, such as whole-grain cereals or fresh fruit.

Protect your skin. As the weather warms, more and more people start spending time outdoors—getting flower beds ready for planting, for example, or relaxing on the porch. Being outdoors is great, but you should make sure you’re taking care of your skin. The message has never been that the sun is the enemy. After all, sunlight is a major source of Vitamin D. But, you need to take precautions and protect your skin.

First, always wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. If you’re going to be outside for extended periods of time, wear a hat and other protective clothing. When possible, avoid the midday sun, doing the work you need to do outside before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m.

Good dental hygiene.   Your teeth do more than help you chew food. Today, physicians are finding that oral health impacts a person’s general well-being, with Dr. Michael Roizen, author of RealAge, suggesting that flossing your teeth everyday adds as much as 6.4 years to your life.

One fact that gives credence to this idea is that your teeth have a blood supply that comes from the heart.   Some researchers now believe that the bacteria that cause dental plague can enter the bloodstream and may be associated with the plague that causes inflammation in blood vessels, leading to heart disease.   Good oral hygiene should be seen as an integral part of your overall health regimen.

Source: This article was from excerpted from mtj® (Massage Therapy Journal®) Spring 2011.

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