Simple steps for a healthier you

6 Jan 2009, 0000 hrs IST, ANI

Aiming for a better health?

Well, there are many simple things you can do without a great deal of effort. The seven simple steps for a healthier you.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center have come up with some simple steps that can help you maintain your body and live a healthy life.

1. Experts recommend regular exercise, meditation and breathing techniques to reduce stress, but even something as simple as listening to soothing music, reading a good book, soaking in a hot tub or playing with your pet can help you relax.

"Spending just 30 minutes a day doing something you enjoy can go a long way toward beating the stressors of everyday life," says cardiologist Dr. Annabelle Volgman, director of the Rush Heart Center for Women.
2. Practice good oral hygiene. Spend a minimum of two minutes to brush your teeth twice a day - and don''t forget the dental floss. Daily flossing and brushing of teeth not only help prevent cavities but may keep other diseases at bay as well.
3. Do a crossword puzzle. The researchers found that mentally challenging activities, such as reading and playing chess, may have a protective effect on your brain.

"Regularly engaging your mind may help lower your risk for the dementia associated with Alzheimer''s disease," Augustin said.
4. A little red wine is fine. Recent studies have shown that the powerful antioxidants found in red wine protect against heart disease, colon cancer, anxiety and depression. So unless there is a medical reason why you shouldn''t imbibe, go ahead and enjoy that glass of merlot with your nightly meal - you can even toast to your good health. But don''t drink excessively.

5. Stop the snore cycle. When half of a couple snores, the other person loses sleep. The snorer is frequently tired too because people who snore loudly often have sleep apnea. In the most common form of this condition, the airway is blocked, causing the person to stop breathing and wake up repeatedly.

The researchers found that treating the snorer with continuous positive airway pressure, which keeps the airway open, results in better sleep for both people.
6. Don''t skip the seatbelt - ever. Even if you''re driving only a short distance or are in a parking lot, take a few seconds to fasten your safety belt, which prevents you from being tossed around the car or thrown from it in the event of a crash.
7. Check your ergonomics. If you work at a computer, look at the ergonomics of your workstation - how you fit and move in your environment.

"An ergonomics review can help you avoid neck, back and eye strain," Dr. Augustin said.