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Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy living is within your reach, starting today. Sure, healthy living is a long-term commitment, not a flash-in-the-pan fad. But there are steps you can take right now that will make today healthier than yesterday and pave the way for healthy living tomorrow, too.

Here's your checklist of practical healthy living tips that are ready to go. Let's get started.

Gauge your girth.

Measure your height and weight to BMI, and measure your waist circumference to see if you're overweight and if your waistline is putting your health at risk.

Power up the protein.

This nutrient is an essential part of your eating plan, and can make up anywhere from 10%-35% of your total calories. Protein lasts a long time in your belly; combine it with high-fiber foods and you'll feel full on fewer calories. Enjoy small portions of nuts, low-fat dairy, beans, lean meat, poultry, or fish.

Make appointments with your doctor.

Catch up on your routine screening and immunizations, and take the opportunity to ask your doctor any questions you might have.

Get a pedometer.

Let it motivate you to walk, walk, walk. Forget about how many minutes of activity you need; just do everything you can to fit more steps into your day.

No matter how you get it, physical activity can help defuse stress, burn calories, and boost self-esteem.

Get a good night's rest.

Well-rested people not only cope better with stress, but may also have better control of their appetites. Research has shown that a lack of sleep can put our "hunger hormones" out of balance -- and possibly trigger overeating.

Enjoy regular family meals.

This allows parents to serve as good role models, can promote more nutritious eating, and sets the stage for lively conversations.

Being connected to family and/or friends is a powerful aspect of a healthy life.

Smile and laugh out loud several times a day.

It keeps you grounded, and helps you cope with situations that would otherwise make you crazy.

Read the comics, watch a sitcom, or tell jokes to bring out those happy feelings.

Meditate, pray, or otherwise find solace

for at least 10-20 minutes each day. Contemplation is good for your soul, helps you cope with the demands of daily life, and may even help lower your blood pressure.

Try yoga.

The poses help increase strength and flexibility and improve balance.

These are critical areas for older folks especially, and both men and women can benefit.

Last but not least, have a positive attitude.

Do your best to look at life as if "the glass is half full." you must believe in yourself, have good support systems, and think positively to succeed.