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10 Small Lifestyle Changes That Can Make A Big Impact On Overall Health

2006-05-15 08:44

Women's Health Tips

As part of their HealthyWomen Take 10 campaign, the not-for-profit National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC) today issued a challenge to women across the country to make 10 small lifestyle changes for National Women's Health Week (May 14-20).

"We hope women use this health week as motivation to examine their health habits and incorporate some of our tips into their busy lifestyle," said Beth Battaglino Cahill, RN, executive director of NWHRC. "We suspect that if women try these tips for one week, they will see that small changes can make a big difference in the way they look and feel."

NWHRC encourages women to implement the following activities into their daily routines:

  • Walk this way. Take an after dinner walk around the neighborhood. A brisk walk can help in achieving the recommended 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days.

  • Keep the water flowing. Your body needs plenty of fluids to maintain good health - for most women that's 2.7 liters (about 11 cups) of water from beverages and foods daily.

  • Check in for a checkup. Has it been more than a year since your last checkup? Call your health care professional this week and make an appointment for your annual health exam.

  • Pop on a pedometer. Pedometers count the number of steps you take in a day - the more, the better.

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  • Lather up with sunscreen. Everyone needs to use sunblock, regardless of race or skin tone. Wear broad-spectrum sunblock (SPF 30 is a good choice), applied liberally to exposed skin up to a half-hour before going outdoors.

  • Think colorfully when you eat. Think about this easy rule when you're grocery shopping this week or dining out. Foods with bright colors - red peppers, oranges, green broccoli, blueberries - are healthier for you than white bread, mashed potatoes or pasta with cream sauce.

  • Substitute sugar and salt. Sugar tastes good to most of us, so it's easy to consume too much. That can add pounds and limit the intake of healthier foods. Salt not only tastes good, but also enhances other food flavors. Lowering salt in your diet can reduce high blood pressure and lessen overeating.

  • Last call for alcohol. Say no to that second glass of wine. Limiting your alcohol intake can have substantial health benefits.

  • Stretch out stress. If you are
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