7 Steps for Improving Your Health
By Talia Marcheggiani • November 10th, 2012 • 11414 Views
While health magazines and other marketing campaigns often make it sound so complicated, the secrets to good health are simple: consume good food, drink water, exercise and reduce stress! We all intuitively know that obtaining great health is not found in a bottle, fad diet or the latest exercise craze. Achieving perfect health is a tricky balancing act, and most of us need help along the way. Most of these tips you've probably heard already, but allow me to lay them out for you all at once.
1. Eat 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. You´ve heard it so many times and yet it continues to be the number one diet recommendation of all time. It seems so simple and yet how many vegetarians, Paleo book thumpers, or other diet-obsessed individuals, actually follow this sacred pillar of good diet? No matter what food they call for you to avoid, all good diets have one thing in common: they emphasize fruit and vegetable intake.
The Canadian Food Guide recommends 5-10 servings a day, however most health experts will tell you to aim for 10 servings, which is roughly the equivalent of 10 handfuls, or 5 cups, of fruits and veggies a day. Try to consume a variety of fruits and veggies by eating different colours and making 6 out of those 10 servings come from vegetables, which have less sugar. Rather than obsessing over fad diets, calorie-reduced snacks or eliminating certain foods, increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Consuming enough will reduce your incidence of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, among other common chronic diseases, as well as help you maintain a healthy weight.
2. Exercise every day. Make your body move for a minimum of 20 minutes every day. My clinical nutrition professor, Dr. P, says, "if I could invent a pill that does everything that exercise does I would have the money to retire and everyone who is remotely related to me would never have to work a day in their lives." Exercise benefits every system, from our bones, muscles and cardiovascular system to our mental health. Simply moving doesn't have to be an activity that involves paying gym memberships, buying a special outfit or signing up for the latest fad exercise class. It could involve (and, for me, almost always does) lacing up comfortable shoes and going for a brisk walk outside. Go for...