Four Tips for Staying Healthy and Living Longer

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Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. What can you do to gain the benefits of prevention? How can you apply this for living a healthy life?

Paul Erwin, professor and department head of public health in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, offers four suggestions that may help you live a longer, healthier life.

Be physically active. Current recommendations call for 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). If you are not into running, swimming, or yoga, try mowing the lawn with a push mower rather than a riding lawn mower. Park at the far end of the parking lot rather than the spot closest to the door. Take the stairs up to the second floor rather than riding the elevator. All of these are simple healthy tips.

Achieve good nutrition. Eating well can be both enjoyable and affordable, but it requires a level of thoughtfulness about foods of all types. What we eat is much more important than how much we eat. Be mindful about what you eat.

Stay tobacco-free. This is the most important preventable cause of early disease and death. Model this good behavior for family, friends, and co-workers. If you currently use tobacco, make an effort to quit.

Pursue balance. Practice and pursue harmony and balance in life—between work and play, between rest (sleep is important!) and activity, and across the spectrum of mind, body, and spirit.

The Bottom Line for Staying Healthy

Longevity may seem beyond your control, but many healthy habits may lead you to a ripe, old age. These include drinking coffee or tea, exercising, getting enough sleep, and limiting your alcohol intake. Taken together, these habits can boost your health and put you on the path to a long life.

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