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10 Secrets Of Healthy People

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

Even Forrest Gump can figure out that healthy habits make for a healthy person. Unfortunately, far too many of us engage in unhealthy behaviors like overindulging in fast food, smoking, excessive drinking, sedentary living...

The list of offenses stretches on and on.

With an abundance of health information at our fingertips, you would think we would be entering the Golden Era of Good Health. But with the obesity epidemic only worsening -- studies indicate two of three Americans are obese or overweight -- it appears we’re losing ground.

From newspaper articles and best-selling books to online dieting, the tools to achieve a healthy weight are at our fingertips. So what's the problem?

Maybe it’s a case of information overload. Or maybe it’s too hard for us to weed through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Well, we can help. In this eDiets exclusive, Dr. David Niven shares the secrets to better health... the secrets he assembled for his new book, Click here for 100 Simple Secrets of Healthy People (HarperSanFrancisco).

The South Florida psychologist and social scientist sifted through more than 1,000 case studies to bring you the top 100 tips in terms you can understand. His helpful book is subtitled What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It .

“There are a lot of people out there who are healthy in intention, but they’re not necessarily doing the most sensible things they could be doing for themselves,” says Niven, who admits he became healthier while researching his latest work.

“The single most important thing certainly comes across in the studies that you can change your health. You can affect your health whatever your status is. What you’re eating, what you’re doing, how you’re approaching your life affects your health.

"A lot of people look at health as automatic -- you’re short or tall, healthy or unhealthy and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

But that’s not the case, he says. You can prevent disease by maintaining healthy habits including what you eat and what you do. People often underestimate how much of an effect they can have on their own health, Niven stresses. What most people don't realize is that small changes can go a long way toward better health.

“Lots of folks out there are under the impression that unless they’re running a marathon or eating rice cakes there’s not much they can do for themselves," he tells eDiets. "I refer to one study by the Centers for Disease Control that says just taking the stairs instead of the elevator reduces your weight by an estimated 10 pounds in a year. This kind of little act is not going to cause you to suffer but you might overlook it.”

Regardless of how healthy you are you can still stand to benefit from Niven’s 100 simple secrets. So, here are 10 to get you started toward a healthier life:

Value the Multiple Uses of Aspirin! The most common headache relief provider until it was displaced by ibuprofen and acetaminophen, aspirin reduces your susceptibility to blood clots and has been linked to a reduced risk for heart disease and Alzheimers disease.

Easy Does It With Vitamins! If vitamins are helpful, then more vitamins must be even better for us, right? It doesn't quite work that way. In some cases, the recommended dosage of a vitamin is all our body can process. In others, taking more than the recommended dosage is harmful. You should make sure your body gets the necessary vitamins and minerals humans need, but resist the urge to devise your own supervitamin strategy.

Study Your Sports Drink! For exercise lasting 45 minutes or less, there is no real advantage to drinking anything other than water. For particularly rigorous exercise, a sports drink might help you replenish yourself. You must study the labels, however, because some sports drinks are closer to junk food than nutrition.

Eat Your Spinach! Foods rich in folate, a form of vitamin B, help reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. Eating two servings a day of foods like tomatoes, leafy green vegetables such as spinach and Romaine lettuce, pinto, navy, or kidney beans and grain products decreases the levels of an amino acid that contributes to the process underlying heart disease and stroke.

High Heels Cause Knee Problems! High heels create an unnatural walking challenge, which the body deals with by putting more strain on the knees. The lower your heels the more prepared your legs are to walk on them.

No TV During Dinner! In many households there is a nightly dinner guest... the boob tube! When television and eating go together, they encourage our overconsumption of both. Separate your television from your eating time to encourage healthy habits with both.

Use the Stairs! Improving your health may seem like it requires a complicated plan and an obsessive dedication to the goal. In fact, improving your health can be as simple as changing a few habits. For one, take the stairs every day instead of the escalator or elevator. Tiny acts like that in the course of a day can have a huge effect when performed over the long term.

Exercise For Your Mind! Regular exercise, starting with something as easy as a daily walk, benefits not only physical but also mental health. The functioning and efficiency of the brain has been shown to improve with exercise.

Mold Is Everywhere... So Relax! There are 100,000 different kinds of mold. You can find many of them in just about any home. The vast majority of those mold types are harmless. Despite the sometimes scary headlines, small amounts of mold in your home don't mean you will wind up with a serious illness and don't mean you have anything to fear.

Sleep Well! Sleep is fuel for our systems that we cannot do without. As is the case with food and water, we cannot simply skimp for a day and make up for it the next. The body expects a constant supply of sleep. It functions best when provided a full nights sleep every 24 hours.

100 Simple Secrets of Healthy People: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use it
100 Simple Secrets of Healthy People: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It

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