Health is one of the most important things which affects the quality of life, so it makes sense to find out how best to take care of it.

Scientific advances now protect us from most of the infectious diseases which plagued our grandparents’ generation. But modern medicine can do little to protect us from the chronic ill health we largely inflict on ourselves by our ignorance and failure to act on the knowledge we already have.

Staying healthy is something we can all try to do and something which is enjoyable to do.

Our health is not handed out in small bottles of pills in the chemist’s shop or in large slices at the local hospital. It depends mainly on our routine daily activities which establish almost effortless habits that help to maintain health.

1. Eating properly

Plan ahead so that meals contain a balance of your necessary food intake. Despite nutritious foods being available, there is growing evidence that poor eating and drinking habits are contributing to many illnesses and deaths.

2. Love

Survival by yourself without love and affection can be a grim and unhappy business. An essential part of good emotional health is loving and being loved. But to be loved you have to give love.

Bear in mind that loving is a two-way business in which you have to be able to give as well as to receive. It can be difficult (unlike the rosy picture in films and romantic magazines), but it’s worth working at.

3. Humor

The habit of laughter is a bodily exercise precious to health. Laughter certainly can defuse tension. Cultivate a sense of humor. Laughter really is the best medicine in some situations.

4. Walk when you can

Activity burns up energy, so the more active we are the easier it is to control our weight (fat stored energy).

Walk, rather than drive, whenever you can. Try the stairs – at least for a few floors in high-rise buildings. If you sit all day at work, try parking 10 minutes’ walk away and make this exercise part of your daily routine.

5. Organize yourself

Don’t try to do everything at once: you’ll only end up stressed. Choose a few important goals and concentrate your energy and activities on them, doing the important things first.

Anticipate and plan to avoid rushing and chasing the clock. And don’t expect too much of yourself. Do the best you can in a situation and then do not worry if it isn’t perfect.

6. Time out to relax

Make some quiet time to relax from each day’s tension. Ease up on your busy days. Learn relaxation techniques. Relaxation can reduce your level of stress and it can make you less likely to become anxious. It allows you to do more and to think more clearly.

7. Unwind with hobbies

Take up interests or hobbies which you enjoy doing and absorb you and let you unwind from the pressures of day-to-day problems. Want to meet new people? Join a club, get into local politics or take up voluntary work.

8. Sleep

Sleep is important and affects your ability to handle a stressful day. Regular and sufficient sleep is the best way to look your best.

People can usually tell if they have had enough by how rested they feel during the day. Most people need about seven to eight hours a night, but the amount varies from person to person. Regular exercise helps you to sleep more deeply.

9. Deal with stress

Learn how to deal with stressful situations so that you don’t get upset. Remember, the strain is inside you and is your response to the situation. It is not part of the situation itself.

Find out those things that make you anxious and then plan some strategies to deal with them – organize your time better, if you are always running late, and keep problems in perspective; many are really nuisances rather than the disasters or catastrophes we make them out to be.

10. Getting fit

Bodies thrive on being used. Doctors, physiotherapists, and sports coaches know that without sufficient exercise the unused parts of our bodies, particularly the muscles, joints, lung capacity, and blood circulation, quickly become less efficient.

The advantages of exercise are a general feeling of well-being, increased strength, resistance to stress, a reduction in the wearing out of muscles and joints, increased lung and breathing capacity, improved circulation, a lower risk of heart attack, a limit on weight gain and a good outlet for frustration.

Most people begin exercising in a way which leaves them with aching muscles after just one bout. So they stop.

The average body needs six weeks of regular vigorous exercise for noticeable results. Having achieved that target, the exercise needs to be maintained.

Important is the need to warm up before exercising. The small extra effort of flexing and stretching muscles beforehand will minimize the risk of injuring a muscle, joint ligament or tendon.

Include some regular exercise in your daily activities. Choose one of the many types of stamina building exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, skipping or jogging. Also include some bending, stretching and flexing, to keep you supple.

Begin slowly and progress gradually. Begin with a few minutes of activity and keep well within your lung capacity. You should be able to talk to your partner (or yourself) comfortably while exercising. If you can’t, slow down.

To get fit, the average body needs at least three 20-minute sessions weekly for about six weeks. The activity should cause sweating and mild breathlessness.

You will need to maintain your program to hold your newly acquired fitness. If you have any doubts about, your ability to exercise, see your doctor.

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