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4: Admire Your Work Don’t be so trigger-happy with the flusher. Turn around and take a look at your poop, which speaks volumes about your gut and overall health. Poop should be smooth and S-shaped, like your colon. If it comes out too lumpy, or drops into the bowl like marbles, you’re constipated; increase your fiber and water intake.


5: Don’t Pamper Your Bad Back


Even if you’re hunched over in agony, spend- ing more time in bed will only make a bad back worse. The latest research shows that bed rest weakens back muscles and prolongs the suffering. Married men with this problem may suffer more than single men because they’re tempted to lie back and enjoy all the pampering they receive. The best solution is to get up, take a pain reliever and be a soldier.


6: Taste the Colors Foods with bright, rich colors are packed with flavonoids and carot- enoids, powerful compounds that bind with the damaging free radicals in your body, lowering inflamma- tion. Eat nine fistfuls of colorful fruits and vegetables each day and you’ll reap the benefits without having


to give up other foods. Whenever I shop the produce aisle, I’m reminded that these foods are often more powerful than the drugs sold in pharmacies. My favorites are arugula and blueberries.


7: Brushing is Not Enough If you plan to spend your later years eating more than yogurt and apple sauce, invest in some floss. No matter how thoroughly or long you brush your teeth, you’re missing a good portion of their total surface. That’s like washing one armpit after a workout. But the dangers of skipping floss go beyond hygiene: The bacteria that linger can increase your risk of heart disease.


8: Take a Deep Belly Breath


Do this anywhere, anytime. Push out your bellows and suck air through your nose until your lungs are full. They’ll fill with nitric oxide, a chemical found in the back of your nose that opens up blood vessels. The dose of oxygen will make you feel happier and more alert. This is my secret technique for calming down in the face of challenges.


11 Hudson County NAHudson.com


9: Join a Yoga Class Yoga is the most important exercise of my daily routine. Being surrounded by beauti- ful women in spandex should be reason enough to join a class, but if you need more motivation, consider this: Yoga eases stress, lowers


blood pressure, slows heart rate and increases flexibility. There’s nothing mystical about it. Loosening your muscles will make them more adaptable, so you may be less likely to injure yourself playing sports. Sure, some of the poses may look ridiculous, but that’s for a reason. Yoga can reach and work muscles that are ignored during routine sports and daily life. My favorite maneuver is the sun salutation.


10: Don’t Be an Island


Ever wonder why wom- en live longer than men? One major reason is that they form tight networks and actually talk about their problems. If you face life’s stresses alone,


you will make yourself older. With another person’s love and support, the inner aging associated with stress can be reduced.


11: Avoid Fad Diets The secret to weight loss is not to avoid carbs, fats, yellow foods, solid foods or foods that start with the let- ter G. The real trick is to lower your daily intake by about 100 calories. You’ll hardly notice, but it’ll add up to a loss of about 10 pounds in a year. Calorie restriction has been


shown to lengthen life (in rats and monkeys). I cut back once a year to reset my appetite and taste buds. Healthy foods taste great afterwards.


12: Be a Smart Patient Professionals can help keep you in good health, but the responsibility ultimately falls on you. Seek a second opinion before undergoing any medical procedure, because 30 percent of the time, that opinion will change the diagnosis or plan. Keep a written medical history


and educate yourself about any family problems. You might even consider signing onto Microsoft HealthVault or Google Health, so your files would be accessible in case you find yourself in trouble away from home.


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