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Health & Balance

Healthy Living: 8 Steps to Take Today

Healthy living starts right now. Experts tell you how.
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Healthy Living Step No. 2: Put out fires.

If you know that you have chronic health problems, whether it's heart disease, diabetes, depression, arthritis, or other conditions, treatment is an obvious priority for healthy living. The same goes for risky behaviors, such as smoking, and addictions of any kind.

Addressing these issues typically isn't a do-it-yourself task. Partner with your doctor. Make the phone call today to schedule that appointment.

Healthy Living Step No. 3 Move more.

Here are Williams' top tips for increasing physical activity:

  • Make it fun. Go on a hike, walk with friends, take a bellydancing or karate class, or whatever you enjoy. "There's no need to stick to cardio equipment in the gym if you're dreading it and you don't like it," Williams says. "Find something that's fun."
  • Keep track of it. Make a note of your physical activity in your date book or calendar. "Put big Xs on the days that you exercise," Williams says. "Keep a visual record that you look at frequently" as a reminder and motivator.
  • Set a weekly goal for activity. To build your confidence, "make the first goal so easy that you say, 'I know I can do that,'" Williams suggests. She recommends weekly goals because if you set a daily goal and miss a day, you might get discouraged; weekly goals give you more day-to-day flexibility. And at the end of the week, reward yourself with a visual reminder of your accomplishment, such as buying flowers for yourself.
  • Work activity into your day. "Ten percent of something is better than 100% of nothing. So even if you have 10 minutes, it's better than zero minutes," Williams says. She suggests taking a 10-minute walk before lunch or walking up and down the stairs when you're feeling drained and tired.

Other ideas include wearing a pedometer to track how many steps you take per day (health experts recommend shooting for 10,000 steps per day) and working with a personal trainer (double up with a friend to lower the cost) to create an exercise routine.

If you're curious about how many calories you're burning, try using WebMD's Fit-o-Meter, a fitness and exercise calorie calculator. But of course, physical activity is for everyone, whether you're trying to lose weight or not.

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