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Between work, kids, unexpected interruptions and occasional sleep when there is time, it’s hard to focus on keeping yourself in good working condition.

It’s for this exact reason that I have taken the time to outline some essential steps you can take and rules to live by that will help you improve your own health and wellbeing so you can get more out of life and be here longer to enjoy it.

While the below suggestions are not intended cover everything you should do, it will give you a great start and for most people make a significant and fairly quick improvement in overall health.

  1. Drink water 80% of the time: In other words, if you drink fluids 10 times in a day, 8 of those times you should be reaching for water. The other two times reach for unsweetened tea, green tea or organic white milk.
  2. Eat two of these super-foods per day:  Broccoli, Tomato, Brussels Sprouts, Onions, Sweet Potato, Wild Caught Salmon, Walnuts, Spinach, Kale, Garlic, Black Beans, Grapefruit, Berries, Lemon, Green Apples.  The key here is that this food is purchased as frozen or fresh. Canned or prepackaged foods will commonly have their nutrients depleted during the preservation process.
  3. Sleep more: Remember sleep is when your body heals and repairs the organs, muscles and other parts of your body that you beat the heck out of all day. Give your body the time it needs by getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night.
  4. De-stress: Taking time for yourself to do something that you enjoy is critical for your long term wellbeing. Whether it is reading a book, working in the garden, taking a walk, meditating or going to the movies, you need some decompression time. The key is to make sure it is an activity that relaxes you and is not destructive. For example, eating a large buttered popcorn and drinking a soda may be relaxing for you but the net effect on your health is destructive so it ultimately is not a de-stressor.
  5. Get some sun: Letting the sun hit your skin for 15 to 20 minutes a day will help optimize the vitamin D levels in your body. Sun exposure is a vital component for overall health and wellbeing so make it happen.
  6. Move more:  Regardless of the type of movement it is, the key here is just that you are doing an activity that is weight bearing. If you do nothing else, spend one hour exercising 3 days a week. Unsure what to do? Try this – 45 minutes of walking at a brisk pace followed by 15 minutes of getting on the floor and stretching.

Between the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry and a host of other big businesses and government agencies that benefit from you being unhealthy, staying healthy is a struggle to say the least. By settling for an unhealthy lifestyle, not only are you stealing from your own valuable limited life span but you are contributing to the very companies that profit from a world of poor habits.

It’s up to you to learn how to improve your health and then take the action steps to get it done. If at a minimum you follow the 6 suggestions listed above and couple that with occasional chiropractic adjustments, massage, acupuncture and of course any needed medical intervention if needed, you will be light-years ahead of the average person living in America.

[The above post is taken from the Six Essentials for Better Health – author Daron Stegall, DC, 2012. ]