It is claimed that a majority of illnesses are self-caused. Examples of this are smoking, overuse of alcoholic beverages, excess weight, eating the wrong foods, sedentary life style, drug overuse, and medical non-compliance. The following suggestions may help to get you started on an enduring journey, with the results being a better quality of life.
- First and foremost, if you are a smoker, stop. Smoking is the largest preventable cause of premature death and disability in the United States. It is not easy, but many smoking cessation products are available, and they are effective. See your physician and get started on changing your life and those around you for the better. Moreover, now is the time to cut down on alcohol and caffeine consumption.
- Exercise is the key to longevity. There is nothing more valuable than walking when it’s done correctly, although jogging, low-impact aerobics, bicycling, gardening, cycling, dancing and swimming are all winners. Exercise strengthens bones, heart, and lungs and improves circulation. It tones muscles, increases vitality, helps you sleep better, prevents constipation, supports weight loss and promotes good mental health. Try to do some form of exercise that will last twenty to thirty minutes at least three days a week. It is very important to include stretching before and after exercise to help avoid injury. When walking, start slowly, proceed faster and slow down at the end. Stretching your leg muscles after walking helps prevent leg cramps. Many people think as the years pass, our energy and stamina decline as well. This is definitely a myth; loss of energy is the result of increasing inactivity.
- Cut down on fat: remove skin from poultry and try low-fat and nonfat products (check the calorie content). Decrease portion sizes of meat and poultry. Look at your plate before you begin eating. Are most of the foods plant-based? When making casseroles, use more vegetables than meat or poultry. Eat generous servings of a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains. Slice bananas, berries or other fresh fruit on your whole grain cereal in the morning, and have a tray of fresh vegetables and fruits handy in the refrigerator.
- Try to use different varieties of lettuce instead of iceberg lettuce, which has very little nutritional value.
- Use more whole-wheat flour—one way is to substitute it for part of the refined white flour in recipes; at the least, buy unbleached flour and use it whenever possible instead of bleached flour
- Try herbs and spices instead of salt.
- Grill out only occasionally, and don’t eat charred foods.
- Get enough sleep at night and take catnaps whenever possible.
- Boost your memory by playing cards, doing crossword puzzles, reading, and watching television shows that make you think. Never stop learning; there are plenty of resources out there to keep your brain active. Visit the library as often as possible.
- Being with friends who make you feel good will benefit your mental attitude.
- If you live alone, consider adopting a pet—you won’t be lonely any more.
- Get plenty of recreation to lessen stress. If you keep busy you won’t have time to feel sorry for yourself.
- Apply skin protection before going out in the sunlight (sun protection factor of at least 15 is Food and Drug’s recommendation, but American Academy of Dermatology recommends 30), and wear ultraviolet-ray-screening sunglasses.
- Have regular medical checkups, including eye and dental exams.
- When taking medicines drink a full glass of water; this helps the drug disperse faster and more completely in your body. If you are taking any prescription drugs, check with your doctor or pharmacist before trying over-the-counter remedies.
I am a registered pharmacist who has always been highly interested in good health, and who utilizes current knowledge and experience to achieve that objective. I believe this includes exercise, sensible eating, social interaction, and striving to keep your mental capacity. I’m not a specialist in any of these fields, but in my pharmacy career I have learned a lot. I worked in my family-owned drugstore for many years, and interacted with a variety of people and many different maladies, picking up invaluable hints and easy treatments of everyday medical issues. I want to share some of these with you, to perhaps make a difference in solving and preventing health problems. If I learned anything along the way, it’s that I can advise you when and if you should seek medical help. I also plan to share some recipes of mine that contribute to healthy eating. I am convinced that the old adage “you are what you eat” still reigns true. I’ve enjoyed my work all these years, especially counseling patients and hope that you derive some knowledge and comfort from what I have learned.
Have questions? email Lee at: firstname.lastname@example.org