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Health & Balance

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8 Winter Tips for Healthy Living

A better diet, a little more exercise - healthy living is easy if you take it one tip at a time.

6. Eat Locally continued...

Some nutritionists think eating locally may be even more important than eating organically. That's because a vital factor in a food's nutrient profile is how long it took to get from farm to table: A head of locally grown lettuce, for example, may be more nutrient-dense than one shipped coast to coast.

Does this mean you should forgo pesticide-free foods when they're available? No, but it's a great idea to make room on your plate for locally-grown goods too, even if they haven't been grown the organic way. Better yet: Eat locally and organic, when you can.

An easy way to get local -- and often organic -- food on the table: Join a CSA (community-supported agriculture). CSAs help you form a relationship with a local farm, which then provides you with fresh, local produce, even milk, eggs, or cheese. Some also function twelve months a year. Find a CSA near you at

7. Try These 3 Simple Diet & Exercise Tips

Go Slow: You don't need to do a diet slash-and-burn. If you cut just 200 calories a day you'll see slow (and easy) weight loss. Skip a pat of butter here, a cookie there and you're on your way!

Start Small: Banning junk food from the cupboards or boosting fiber may be your goal, but think baby steps. Switch from potato chips to low-fat popcorn, for example, or toss a carrot into your brown bag lunch.

Just Show Up: Don't feel like working out today? Don those exercise clothes anyway. Still not in the mood? Fine. But chances are good that once you're dressed, you're also motivated and ready to go!

8. Invest in Your Health - Literally

If you have a high-deductible insurance plan, you're probably eligible to deposit tax-free cash into a health savings account (HSA).

HSAs help you sock away savings now for medical expenses later. Open an HSA and each year you can stash $3,050 for yourself ($6,150 for a family) -- tax-free. And if you don't use up the balance in your HSA this year, it simply rolls over into the next year, and the next -- and continues to grow tax-deferred. Intrigued? Talk to your human resources department to find out if you're eligible.

Whichever healthy steps you take this year -- eating better, exercising more, saving -- remember they're an investment in you and your future. So follow these steps toward better health -- or take your own. Bank a little more sleep this year. Set aside stressful differences. Stock a healthier pantry. Salt away ... a little less salt. It's your body -- and your future!

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Reviewed on October 27, 2010

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