It’s not easy being a woman in the 21st century. We need to juggle homes, careers, friendships, and everything in between. As if those pressures weren’t enough, we are tasked with the added struggle of balancing our diets, our hormones, and our stress levels to maintain health and happiness.
The good news is that there are ways to simplify it. Sustaining your well-being, that is. And once you’ve got a firm grasp of your health, then the hundreds of other duties we are expected to perform on a daily basis become that much easier.
Here are 11 everyday health secrets you may not know…
Breathing Increases Fat Loss
Efficient breathing can help you lose weight when you exercise. It fuels the fat-burning process by ensuring that your muscles continuously receive the oxygen that they need for contraction.
Depending on the type of exercise you’re performing, there are different breathing techniques, but in general, it is best to breathe deeply from the belly using both the mouth and the nose when exercising.
Posture Is Important
Do you have good posture? Test it by standing up straight with your arms at your sides and lifting your left leg. See how long you can hold the pose. Then do the same with the other leg.
If you aren’t able to balance on both legs for 20 counts, then your posture needs improvement. That, or your muscles need strengthening. Either way, repeating the exercise daily can help you improve.
Moist Wounds Heal Better
Despite conventional wisdom, cuts, scrapes, and sores that are allowed to dry out and form scabs take longer to heal and generally cause itching. Moreover, they tend to leave scars that are prominent.
For scars that fade faster and are less noticeable, apply petroleum jelly or a similar product to wounds after cleaning them. Then apply adhesive bandaging to retain moisture and change/clean daily.
Not Every Doctor Is Right for YOU
Most of us choose a doctor based on the proximity of their office and what is covered by our insurance but know this: selecting the wrong physician can cost you your health. It can even cost you your life.
When selecting a healthcare provider, look for somebody experienced in treating your specific issues. The best way to find such a person is to call the referral services at large university hospitals.
Reading Food Labels Is an Art
The foods that we purchase are filled with things that we shouldn’t be eating or shouldn’t be eating too much of. Yet, at first glance, they will often seem healthy. That’s not a mistake.
First rule: Ignore everything on the front of the box. It’s all marketing. Second rule: Look at the nutritional info and scan the ingredients. Avoid foods with a daily value exceeding 20 percent of any nutrient.
Healthy Fish Isn’t Always Healthy
Fish is high in protein and vitamin D. It’s also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are needed for the body and brain. The problem is that many types of fish are also high in toxic contaminants.
The best fish is low in mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls and has been sustainably raised and caught. Good options include farmed rainbow trout, wild Alaskan salmon, farmed oysters, and arctic char.
Laughing Is VERY Good for You
There are many good reasons to laugh more. One of them is better health. Laughter reduces stress, lowers cholesterol, and improves circulation. It also boosts your immune system, among other things.
Befriend a funny person. Follow funny people on Twitter. Take up something new (your initial attempts will likely be funny). Read funny books. There are tons of ways to incorporate more laughter into your life.
It’s Possible to Stop Cravings Fast
You can stop cravings in five steps: (1) Name 5 things in front of you. (2) Identify 4 colors that you see. (3) Describe 3 things that you feel. (4) Recognize 2 sounds that you hear. (5) State 1 thing that you smell.
Why does this work? Because zeroing in on the senses quiets down mind chatter, allowing you to tune in to the signals of your body and decide whether you actually need what you’re craving.
Herbs and Spices Are REALLY Potent
You’ve heard that herbs and spices are good for you, but did you know that they can be as effective as fruits and vegetables at delivering antioxidants that fight disease? Simply add them to your meals.
Add fresh tarragon to scrambled eggs, ground cinnamon to oatmeal and French toast, and fresh sage to stuffings and cornbread. These are just some ideas. You can also add turmeric to curries and salads.
Stay Clean in the Ladies’ Room
Bacteria thrive in public bathrooms and can cause a variety of illnesses and infections. Fortunately, there are simple things that you can do to reduce your exposure to harmful microbes.
To prevent contact, avoid middle stalls (they’re used the most), and never put your purse on the floor. Most fecal matter resides here. Also, flee fast after flushing, as aerosolized germs can land on you.
Weigh Every Day
Trying to lose weight? Want to keep your lean figure? You can improve your chances of both significantly by stepping onto your weighing scale each day, according to some medical experts.
In a recent study by the University of Minnesota, individuals who weighed themselves on a daily basis lost twice as much weight as those who did not. Just don’t become obsessive about it.