4 simple tricks for a healthier you in 2015

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | General Health | Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 05:01 AM

health, life“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” may be right for our pets, but when it comes to seniors, no matter how old you are you still can change your life.

Even if you’re in your 60s, 70s, 80s or older, simple changes you can make in less than 10 minutes a day can lead to better health, and more quality time with friends, family and your loyal dog. Add these into your everyday and enjoy life to the fullest.

1. Make water less boring

Water keeps us hydrated, helps with digestion, circulation, mental clarity – you name it! But why not create “super-water” and give ourselves some added benefits? I’m not suggesting a coloring or artificial flavoring, but by adding natural ingredients to water, we can boost our health even more. Two ways you can take your water to the next levels is by adding lemon or apple cider vinegar.

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Lemons pack 51 percent of your daily vitamin C intake, as well as amounts of iron, calcium, potassium and manganese, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. With all these nutrients, why wouldn’t you want to incorporate a lemon in your daily life?

Yes, lemons are quite sour, so adding the juice from one to water is much easier to swallow, plus it has an uplifting scent. Naturopaths commonly recommend lemon water for preventing and treating urinary tract infections – lemon water changes the pH levels in the blood and urinary tract making it difficult for bacteria to stick and do their damage.

Lemon water has also been prescribed for bad morning breath, weight loss, pain relief, and cleansing the liver.

Another popular tonic these days is apple cider vinegar and water. Apple cider vinegar – the organic kind, preferably – holds many health benefits on its own. It’s used for digestion issues, it can soothe a sore throat, lower cholesterol and aid in weight loss. Apple cider vinegar also has a very strong flavor, so adding a teaspoon or a tablespoon, depending on the amount of water, will dilute its potent taste.

2. Disinfect your surroundings

With different strands of the flu emerging and the common cold being passed around so quickly, keeping your surrounding germ-free can help protect you from getting sick. When you think about it, you encounter millions of germs every day, and if you’re out in public, you’ll touch numerous surfaces that likely have also been touched by others.

Sure, you know that you wash your own hands, but can you ever be sure that everyone else is following suit? Germs linger on surfaces and can make you sick. This is why the importance of disinfecting is so high.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you disinfect areas that are most often touched. This can be a refrigerator handle, doorknobs, bathroom area, electronics like computers and phones, and stair handrails. Always wear gloves when cleaning surfaces and use safe products that won’t cause irritation. For example, products with a strong fragrance should be avoided. And always make sure you are using the cleaning products according to the directions for best effectiveness.

A little simple cleaning can improve your life, helping you avoid infection. No one wants to get bogged down with sickness during the winter.

3. Get rolling

You may not have heard of a foam roller, but it can be a lifesaver. No longer just for celebrity trainers and athletes, these rollers have hit the mainstream. In fact, if you suffer from aches and pains and find it difficult to perform physical activity, a foam roller may be your answer to naturally-increased circulation and flexibility.

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What is it, exactly? A foam roller is a cylinder covered in foam of varying thickness, and used to ease out muscle knots, give yourself a massage, and improve flexibility.

You can use a foam roller in a variety of ways depending on your targeted areas of pain. By rolling back and forth on the roller itself, you can begin to diminish pain and release muscle tension. This can be therapeutic and relaxing – just be mindful of technique.

Here are a few tips: Don’t directly roll on areas that are in pain. These spots are tender, so target the surrounding areas. Don’t roll too fast because you won’t get deep into the muscles that way. Take it slow and easy. Also, never use a foam roller on your lower back. Your spine is more sensitive toward the base and this may cause muscle spasms. Before you get stared, I’d recommend you speak with a physiotherapist or chiropractor to help you begin safely and make sure your form is correct.

4. Shop differently at the grocery store

What’s on your grocery shopping list? Meat, vegetables, maybe some fruit? Making a few simple swaps when you hit the grocery store can be so beneficial to your health.

Lean protein is important to any diet, but making everything from scratch can have you turning to microwave meals. Why not try a ready to eat rotisserie chicken? If you can, buy organic to avoid added sodium or artificial flavoring. It not only saves you time making an at-home version, but the leftovers make next-day lunches and dinner a breeze.

Another great product is canned beans. These keep for long periods of time, and adding beans to a meal – salad, soups or as a side dish – provide you with added protein. As a bonus, beans won’t weigh heavily on your budget, but do remember to look for cans that do not have BPA – a toxic chemical found in plastic bottles and can linings that can leach into the food – so you’re not making yourself sick in the long-run.

Another good switch is frozen vegetables. Although fresh is usually best, there is nothing wrong with purchasing frozen vegetables for ease and convenience. They save on cooking time and can be healthier because the vegetables are picked at their peak and then immediately frozen, better retaining their nutrients than fresh produce. As a bonus, they can be stored for much longer.

Simple, am I right? These changes can be such a boost to your health! Whether you’re eating better, moving more, or just keeping things clean, you’re on your way to a long and happy life.


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