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Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Effective Ways To Keep Yourself Healthy

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Sep 15, 2017 2:38 AM

Many factors come into play when it comes to maintaining your good health. Staying healthy can reduce your risk for developing serious conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Fortunately, there are some important steps you can take to stay on track. Here are several effective ways to keep yourself healthy.


Control Your Weight

Obesity is responsible for some of the world's deadliest medical conditions. While it can be difficult to control your weight, the payoff is priceless. The first thing to focus on is not gaining any additional weight. Once you have stabilized your average weight, try shedding some extra pounds for added benefit. 

Losing weight is best accomplished through a combination of physical exercise, healthy food choices and smaller portions. The reason you can't depend solely on exercise to lose weight is because you can only burn so many calories in one day. 

Exercise

A good rule of thumb is to squeeze in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. While more will only make you fitter, attempting too much can make it harder to stick to. Try to stick to activities you enjoy, even if that means just walking around the block. 

If you like sports and you're healthy enough to play, consider getting together with friends and family for some activities at the park. Martial arts, yoga and dancing are other ways you can get some exercise, if a gym membership isn't your thing.

Eat Healthy Foods

A diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains provides the fiber and nutrients necessary to support an exercise program. It also means you'll get fewer of the ingredients that lead to weight gain. 

Make sure you get at least some fruits and vegetables with every meal, instead of the fattier sides you may be used to. Red meat is okay, but it should be kept to a minimum. Better choices include chicken, turkey, fish or beans. 

If you're used to eating fast food, you're bound to notice a difference in your weight when you begin cutting down. Make every effort to eliminate saturated and trans fats from your diet, opting instead for monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. 

Limit Alcohol Consumption

There are recent studies that outline the benefits of enjoying one or two drinks each day. While there's no reason to think they are inaccurate, it's important to note that drinking more does not seem to increase the benefits. If anything, you're more likely to cause harm to your liver and other organs.

Cutting back on alcohol can be a difficult adjustment for someone who has been drinking for many years. In these situations, it's probably best to either avoid social gatherings where alcohol is served or choose to drink nonalcoholic beverages, instead. Remember that alcohol addiction can be a serious problem and you should not hesitate to get professional help if you think you might need it.

Don't Smoke

If you do smoke, one of the best favors you can do for your body is to quit. If you can't quit right away, at least make some effort to cut down. While nicotine addiction is undeniably difficult to kick, there are programs and products on the market that you might be able to benefit from. 

Keep in mind that you might endure several failed attempts at quitting before you finally succeed. Most smokers aren't able to quit the first time they try. The important thing is not to give up. 

Avoid UV Rays

Although we do need some sunlight to survive, too much exposure to UV rays can cause you to develop skin cancer in later years. The best advice is to avoid standing in direct sunlight during the hours when the sun is at its brightest. This is usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

If it's not possible to stay out of the sun during those hours, be sure to cover up any exposed skin. Hats and long-sleeve shirts can help shield you from these harmful rays. Sunscreens with protection levels of SPF15 or higher can help shield your skin even more. 

Protect Your Eyes

One of the most neglected areas of a person's health is their sight. Vision loss is a gradual process and sufferers often don't know they have a problem until the condition is in its advanced stages. By this time, it can be difficult to maintain a normal life.

Proper eyecare involves eating the right foods, not smoking, wearing protective eyewear and avoiding any activities that strain the eyes. Vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein and omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to warding off cataracts and other vision problems. Green, leafy vegetables, beans, citrus fruits, eggs and salmon are some of the best foods you can consume for eye health.

Smoking makes the eyes more prone to developing cataracts, so be sure to quit as soon as possible. Don't forget to wear protective eyewear when necessary, including sunglasses, if you are working in the sun. Avoid spending too much time staring at computer screens, due to the strain it can cause in your eyes. 

While it's not yet possible to achieve immortality, implementing the tips above can greatly improve your quality of life. The key is to focus on specific areas of your health with consistency. Taking small steps each day ensures that you'll be able to stick to any changes you make.

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