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Lifestyle Habits for a Healthy Body and Life

If you treat yourself poorly all the time except when you’re exercising, you also won’t fully benefit from the journey. You must take care of your body in all ways. You need to treat your other daily functions as vitally as your exercise routine. If you take care of your body (and mind!), they’ll take care of you.

Lifestyle habit #1: Eating smart

If you eat healthfully, you usually feel good and are able to focus. Eating smart means eating a diet with low fat, high fiber, moderate protein (vegetarian if you prefer but it’s not mandatory), whole sources of carbohydrates, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Take a look at menus in many Asian restaurants for an idea of the balance and proportions that work pretty well. Ever wonder why real Chinese dishes have so many vegetables and balance it all with rice? Because in most cases, they follow a healthful diet.

Research shows that most people know what they should eat, but don’t follow the program. Doing so takes a bit of effort sometimes. If you need a little hand (and who doesn’t?), try visiting buying a simple book on nutrition such as Nutrition For Dummies, Hungry Minds, Inc., or you can also take a look at Web sites from the American Heart Association or the American Dietetic Association.

Lifestyle habit #2: Sleeping well

Okay, a show of hands, please: How many of you get enough sleep most of the time? Feeling a little sleep-deprived? Doesn’t everybody at least some of the time?

Even with all the alleged time-saving devices, such as e-mail and cell phones, people are running faster and faster, jamming more and more into each day, and trying to squeeze 26 or 28 hours into a mere 24, which in turn infringes on your sleep — if you let it.

You probably know how much sleep you need to feel good. Count back the number of hours of sleep you need from the time you have to get up. Then try to get to bed at the right time so that you can actually enjoy the day, function at 100 percent at work, and still feel good about finding time for your wellness practice.

Lifestyle habit #3: Standing up straight (Your mom was right)

Whether you’re meditating or standing in line at the bank, if you stand up tall, you not only feel more confident, but you can also “unkink” your energy channels and let your chi flow more freely. Your mama probably didn’t know how right she was when she nagged you about standing up straight.

Standing tall doesn’t mean maintaining a strained military posture, just keeping a relaxed and spine-straight position. Standing straight makes you think more clearly, focus more easily, and meditate better.

Lifestyle habit #4: Sticking to a sane work schedule

This crazy world sometimes seems to encourage and bless those people who work insane hours, forgoing family, fun, and freedom. Just say no. Doing so doesn’t mean becoming a slouch, it just means that you know when enough is enough and when to go home or to take a day off.

Work isn’t a substitute for other entertainment — you need to go have some non-work-related fun whether you’re the CEO or the gofer. Work is only one part of your life. Balance keeps people sane.

Lifestyle habit #5: Staying healthy and fit

Be sure to foster a well-rounded program of wellness. More stretching, strength-training, or even aerobic exercise, such as brisk walks, can help you achieve more balanced health. Balance is everything.

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