1. Obviously, a better you on the outside starts with a better you from the inside. Good choices in food are critical. Try to avoid foods, sauces, dressings, etc. that are high in saturated fat, high calories, empty calories, sugar or any derivative, fried, etc. High fiber foods, fruits, vegetables, water, poultry, fish, lean meats. Eating red meat isn’t a sin, just eat it in moderation.
2. Drink as much water as you can, as this is a natural diuretic and flushes the body of toxins and keeps the plumbing working great. If you absolutely hate the taste (yes some think that water has taste) of water, then mix with a flavored low calorie powder mix (careful of the sugars, real or man made)
3. Vitamins; once a day, every day. Vitamin E has been known to help ease hot flashes in menopausal women. Vitamin E, however is also a blood thinner so double check with your doctor first, especially if you are on Coumadin or Plavix. Overdosing on Vitamin E is also not good, so watch your dosage.
4. The Marlboro man doesn’t really love you. Please if nothing else, quit smoking or do not start. Smoking chokes off the arteries and veins in your body thereby stopping the flow of oxygen and blood to your legs. Smoking leads to many types of cancer; breast, pancreatic, lung, etc. Not to mention other types of vascular diseases.
5. Exercise a day keeps your body in good shape. No matter how you do it, just do it. Walk before work or after work, walk in the park with the dog. Play outside with your kids. Exercise doesn’t have to be grueling, boring or a chore. Play catch with the kids. Garden, run the vacuum. Pilates equipment, Yoga, dancing are all great ways to get exercise.
6. Easier said than done, keeping stress out of your life is pivotal. Stress causes ulcers, eczema, psoriasis, etc. Try to find one thing to laugh about during the day. Reach out to friends for a quick phone call. Smell flowers. Take a girl’s day/night and go to the spa for a mini-massage or manicure/pedicure. Check out the newest chick flick or comedy movie playing. Relax in a nice bubble bath or read a book. Even better, you could go to a comedy club. Billy Connolly is on tour at the moment.
7. Much more is known these days about skin cancer and sun stroke and the use of SPF products. While the sun provides us with vital Vitamin D, it also creates free radicals in our body, causing skin cancer or melanoma. It also makes the skin wrinkle. Make sure you apply UV protective products frequently throughout the day if you are sun worshiping, swimming, exercising or just about anything outdoors.
8. Show me your pearly whites! As important as it is to eat healthy and exercise, maintaining our mouth is also vital. First of all, who wants to look at anyone with all sorts of gunk peeking out from between their teeth or with missing teeth? Dental appointments, at least every six months but definitely once a year, should be as mandatory as your cup of morning coffee.
9. Say “ah” please. A yearly visit to your physician or gynecologist for a physical and general work-up is critical in keeping healthy. Woman, starting at age 20, should have yearly Pap tests to screen for cancers and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Of course, self examination of the total body is a good indicator of healthiness.
10. No glove, no love. Any age, any sex, anytime, anywhere. Once a woman becomes sexually active whether in a monogamous relationship or the riskier multiple partner sex, condoms are strongly encouraged. Condoms are a great way to keep pregnancy and STDs at a safe distance. There are many different types of condoms available to suit anyone’s taste and there is no excuse in the world for not using them, unless you are married to your partner.