The official 2011 AskTheDoctor.com Top 25 things to do for healthy living in the new year!

Patient

Q:

Doctor

A:   1. Sleep More! Our studies show that power naps for just under 30 minutes will help you feel very refreshed and recharged (just don't doze off for more than a 30 minute nap or you may feel less energized) 2. Limit yourself to drinking alcohol and soda pops only on weekends. I know this maybe very hard for some people, but reducing the intake of calories from alcohol and soda pops during the week can have a very good impact on your health! Try drinking only water during the week. 3. Get your heart rate up for a minimum of 20 minutes everyday! Everyone thinks you need hours and hours in the gym but thats just not true! Go for a walk, do a quick weight circuit, etc. 4. Cut your television cable! Our research has shown that people who tend to have cable television tend to stay at home on the couch more often! This results in more eating and less activities. Get rid of that cable box and get yourself DVD sets of your favorite shows when you do want to watch. 5. Always ask for BROWN over WHITE! Get rid of that enriched white stuff by always asking for whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc. This will make a massive impact on your nutrition. 6. Always brush your teeth before bed! Lots of us have a bad habit of not brushing before sleeping. Mouth hygiene is a very important part of your overall health. 7. Use the bed only for sleeping and sex. Avoid use of the bed for watching TV, eating, working, or any other activities. If you do wish to use the bed for a bit of nighttime reading, read only pleasure books in bed. 8. Have sex at least once per day. This is the best stress relief that you can have and not to mention you are burning calories. 9. Go see your family doctor and get a physical. When was the last time you went in for a full body check up. 10. When eating out always ask them to pack away half the order before they even bring out your meal. This will help keep your calorie intake in check. 11. Avoid deep fried foods (especially french fries) at all costs! People don't realize the amount of damage fried foods has on your body. Its almost a detremental to your health as smoking cigarettes. 12. Limit your consumption of caffeine. Remember that eating chocolates and drinking cocoa and colas also are sources of caffeine. A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to one small coffee in the morning if you really do need it. 13. Get a dog! Studies show that people with pets, especially dogs tend to live longer healthier lives. Dogs make us humans active by having to take them for walks, etc. Its also a great form of companionship as a dog will always be there as your best friend. 14. Avoid going to McDonalds at all costs! I know its hard when you have kids etc, but people don't realize even once in awhile at McDonalds is not good for your health. The problem becomes when you take your kids there, you end up ordering something for yourself as well. 15. Drink lots of water. I know all of us doctors keep saying this all the time, but i cant stress how important it is to intake at least 2 liters of water daily. 16. Eat at least one dark green and orange vegetable everyday. The benefits are too many to list! 17. Quit smoking. I know its hard but if you smoke you are damaging your health and the one's you love around you. Quitting smoking can be one of the most difficult challenges of your life but the rewards will last you a lifetime. 18. Laughter is medicine. Make sure and try to laugh everyday. 19. Don't bring pop and junk food to the house, only have when outside of the house. This will cut down the amount of pop and junk food you intake. 20. If you are having sex and don't want to get pregnant, ALWAYS use a condom and take birth control pills. We get at least 300 questions daily with users who are very stressed about wether they are pregnant or not. Take all necessary precautions to avoid the chance of unwanted pregnancy 21. Drink Green Tea daily. Drinking green tea can stimulate your metabolism and help keep those extra pounds off. There is also proven studies which show green tea can reduce your chances with various types of cancer. 22. Start taking a multi-vitamin every morning. Many of us don't get the daily amount of recommended vitamins we need to maintain good health. 23. Avoid too much sun exposure. Always carry sunblock with you if you know you are going to be outside for a very long time to avoid getting sunburns. Too much sun exposure can lead to skin cancer. 24. Make sure and take care of your friendships. It has been proven that people with lots of friends tend to live longer. 25. Stay positive and optimistic. Your attitude is the driving force of healthy living. And according to Abe Lincoln, “Most people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” So make up your mind to be happy, healthy and grateful for the bright future ahead of you.

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