Monday, March 23, 2009

Want To Look and Feel Better?

Check out these 10 tips to help you look and feel good, no matter what your age!

1. Have a positive attitude. An upbeat outlook can keep you healthy by helping stave off illnesses, including depression. Studies show what happens to the levels of dopamine in someone's brain after 1, 2, or more hours of volunteering per week. The results? Levels as high, or higher, than levels achieved through pharmaceutical means! I love it - a natural high in your brain from moving outside yourself for an hour that stays with you for a month! Give it a try.

2. Get money-smart. If you plan to retire, estimate that you'll need between 70 percent and 90 percent of your pre-retirement income. Put together a comprehensive questionnaire that can help you identify the steps in the retirement process and practice smart financial planning. Need help with that (who doesn't?)? Ask trusted friends their recommendations for a trustworthy financial professional.

3. Learn something new every day. Crack open a book or the daily paper, or take a class at a nearby community college to help keep your mind sharp and to learn about the ever-changing world around you. Do your kids or grand kids have a hand held gaming system? Try some of the newer brain challenge games - completely programmed to stimulate your mental reaction time.

4. Let it go. Harboring resentment over long-past wrongs can hurt your health and your spirit. Write down the issue, fold it up and throw it out. Allow yourself the realization that the person being hurt the most by your angry feelings is you.

5. Get fit and stay active. It's only normal for our metabolism to slow down as we age, but that doesn't mean weight gain is inevitable. Check out The Mayo Clinic's daily calorie requirements, and stay active to help keep your muscles and joints, not to mention your frame of mind, healthy for years to come.

6. Be sun-smart. Before you go outdoors, make sure you're prepared with at least SPF 15 for your face and body. Reapply every four to six hours and protect your skin from premature wrinkles and even skin cancer. And whether your skin is dry, oily, or something in between, it can benefit from a daily moisturizer as well.

7. Stay stylish. You don't have to dress like you're 19, but having a crisp and contemporary appearance can help you feel current and fashionable. Ask a good friend to go shopping with you, and try on a few items that you feel might be too "young" for you. Even better if money's a little tight for the more expensive department stores - a local second hand or thrift store, where you can find gently used fashions at a fraction of regular prices.

8. Get involved. Building up a strong social network can be crucial to good health. To stay active and connected to your community, try volunteering or joining a social group of your interest.

9. Eat right. Saturated fats and trans fats are linked to heart disease, cancer, weight gain, and, yes, even wrinkles! Research also shows that some of these not-so-great choices in our diet can keep us from getting enough sleep! So clear your pantry and fridge of foods that you know are unhealthy and start making healthy choices at the store.

10. Sleep! A lack of sleep puts us at risk - period. From everything to an increased risk of heart disease (see tip #9), a higher risk of automobile accidents, to a 15% greater risk of premature death. Get your zzzzz's!

[from John Tesh]

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