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Easy Steps to Better Health

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Featured Article

Easy Steps to Better Health
Article contributed by Mission Hospital of Mission Viejo

Think glowing health is only for the chosen few? Discover these simple ways to make a difference in your life.

Getting healthy doesn't necessarily mean overhauling your life. According to experts, long-term success starts with small changes. For Dennis Haghighat, M.D, internist at Mission Hospital, encouraging people to become more physically active and take charge of their health is important. "Even if we are extremely busy, we can still do little things like taking the stairs instead of an elevator or having an apple instead of a candy bar." Try any of the following tips and chances are you'll feel better. Add a couple more and you're on your way to a healthier life.

 

Start and end your day with water.
Your body loses water while you sleep, so drink a serving before bed and again when you wake up. Add a tall glass at each meal and you've almost met your target for the day-eight 8-ounce glasses.

Super-size your veggies.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, go ahead and overindulge. These foods are packed with antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals that can help prevent cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes and keep you healthy. Five servings a day are recommended (a serving is one piece of fruit or a half-cup of vegetables), but go ahead and aim higher.

Keep moving.
When you dash out to pick up the morning paper, keep walking. A stroll to the corner and back doesn't sound like much but it will add up to improved health. According to Dr. Haghighat, this is the most important thing a person can do to remain healthy. "Obesity is a growing problem in our society and being more sedentary is a major contributor to the epidemic."

Wash up.
Hand washing is the best defense against cold viruses and other germs that spread from hand to mouth. Avoid antibacterial soaps, however. They may encourage the growth of resistant bacterial strains.

Be vain, quit smoking.
Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death in our society, but ten years after quitting the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's.

Check your balance.
Strive for balance mentally, spiritually and physically. A balanced life is the foundation for good health. Too often, the mental (work and career) take over-it's not uncommon to spend more than 40 hours a week staring at a computer screen.

Make a doctor's appointment, even if you're not sick.
Through annual checkups, your primary care physician can help keep your health on track. Hypertension, for example, offers no symptoms, but can be caught early with a simple blood pressure check.

Take the oath.
Doctors promise to "first, do no harm," and patients should do the same. Before embarking on a fitness regime or new diet, take a critical look at your lifestyle. Do some habits endanger your health and happiness? Says Dr. Haghighat, "Learning about the various aspects of our lives and how we can help to control outcomes is empowering, leading to better decisions and greater self confidence."

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About Mission Hospital
Mission Hospital is a 340-bed acute care, full-service facility serving all of south Orange County and houses the region's designated trauma center, one of only three in the county. Located in Mission Viejo, Mission Hospital offers a complete array of top-quality healthcare services.

Disclaimer: The above information is presented for educational purposes only. Statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products mentioned are not intended or effective for the treatment or prevention of any disease. Consult your physician for all your health needs.

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