The main reason I want to have good health—better health—is so that I’ll be able to care for (and enjoy) my family. I want to have the energy to play catch with my son, stay up late talking with my teenage daughter, and enjoy a date night with my husband—without yawning through dinner!
But there’s so much information out there about what I should and shouldn’t do for better health that it can be overwhelming to choose what to focus on. And with this being Breast Cancer Awareness month, there’s even more information coming our way.
So today, we’re sharing four easy steps to better health. Simple things you and I can do.
1. Do Cardio 5 Minutes a Day.
Sounds too good to be true, right? But as little as five minutes of cardio a day —jogging (yes, jogging, not even really running fast!), swimming, dancing, whatever gets you moving—statistically improves your life expectancy. Here’s the conclusion of the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Cardiology.
Running, even 5 to 10 min/day and at slow speeds <6 miles/h, is associated with markedly reduced risks of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease.
2. Have Faith.
Another tip straight from research. In a study that spans 80 years, it was found that women involved in religious groups lived longer. According to study author, Dr. Howard Friedman, as written at HuffPost, here’s why:
It was the social involvement and service to others that went along with being religious that explained why these people, especially the religious women, lived longer.
And since true religion is described as helping widows and orphans, it’s clear why being part of a faith fellowship is a health boost.
3. Change Your Thinking Style.
This one comes from Dr. Mike Evans at the White Board Med School site. He says our “greatest weapon against stress is the ability to choose one thought over another.” This means letting go of worry (it can be done, here’s how!) and “choosing where to place your attention.” That squares with Chuck Swindoll’s 90/10 rule as shared by Dr. Evans, “10 percent of how we do in life is based on what happens to us and 90 percent is how we respond.”
Our greatest weapon against stress is the ability to choose one thought over another.
4. Rethink Drinking.
Alcohol affects women differently than it affects men. And while drinking may lower the risk of heart disease, this is mainly the case in women over the age of 55. And if you’re pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, don’t drink at all. Also consider this from the Centers for Disease Control:
…drinking more than one drink per day for women can increase the risk for motor vehicle crashes, other injuries, high blood pressure, stroke, violence, suicide, and certain types of cancer.
Finally, take a look at this infographic on alcohol and what one drink equals,and how it can affect you.
So first, take the pressure off yourself to go big or go home. You do not need to start eating paleo. You do not need to train for a marathon. You don’t have to take drastic measures to get better health. Little by little, mom, you can do it. Choose even just one of these four things and you’re on your way!
Which of these four things are you already doing? If none, which might you try?