8 Healthy living dos and don’ts

Be healthy and happy

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A healthy life is a happy life. Here are eight easy ways to boost your health today!

woman eating breakfast

Do: Sleep well.

A well-rested body is the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. If you're constantly missing out on sleep, you're hurting not only your body but your mind. Sleep helps to improve your memory, your creativity and even your lifespan.

Don't: Stay up for "just one more show."

It's easy to get caught up in what you're doing, whether it's folding laundry, perusing Pinterest or staying up to watch Mad Men. Make sleep a priority, and set your DVR to watch that show tomorrow, or leave the dishes in the sink for the following morning. You'll have a lot more energy to deal with anything that comes your way after getting at least eight hours of sleep.

Do: Eat breakfast.

Jump-start your metabolism and your day with a good breakfast. Even if you're short on time, you can grab a quick piece of toast with nut butter, banana and honey. Grains are another healthy breakfast option.

Don't: Skip breakfast.

The first meal of the day fuels your body and your mind. Unless you like being in a zombielike state, don't skimp on your morning fuel-up. Don't think you're helping your weight by skipping breakfast either. A 2009 study conducted by researchers at Imperial College London showed that skipping breakfast could lead to weight gain.

Check out Healthy ways to serve grains for breakfast >>

Do: Stay hydrated.

The human body is comprised of approximately 60 percent water. We're constantly excreting water throughout the day due to our normal bodily functions. Replenish that water by keeping a reusable bottle of ice water with you to sip whenever you feel thirsty.

Don't: Hydrate with soda.

If your idea of hydration is grabbing a jumbo soda from the mini mart, you're not doing your body any favors. Satisfy your cravings for carbonation with soda water. Machines are now sold for home use that allow you to make your own carbonated drinks the healthy way. We'll drink to that!

Check out Can you eat your water? >>

Do: Move your body.

Don't make excuses for sitting at a desk all day and on the couch all evening. A sedentary body is not a healthy body. Get on a regular schedule, and do something active. It could be running, dancing or just taking a walk around the block.

Don't: Postpone starting an exercise regimen.

Start today! Be realistic about the exercise that fits your schedule and your capabilities. Start small, and work your way up to longer and more intense activity.

Do: Snack.

Snacking is not just for kids anymore. Help rev up your metabolism and energize your body and mind with healthy snacking in between meals.

Don't: Overeat at mealtime.

Shoveling down massive amounts of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner is not the healthiest approach. Eat more frequent, smaller meals or snacks throughout the day and you won't be starving when mealtime comes around. Your digestive system will thank you.

Check out these 5 Snacks under 200 calories each >>

Do: Unplug.

Smart phones, computers, tablets and e-readers make it very easy to get stuck in front of a screen for hours on end. Take a break and walk away from the screens to have a stretch and enjoy some time outside. It will help your posture, eyesight and clear your mind.

Don't: Let computers replace human interaction.

With texting and email replacing conversations, you need to make a real effort to connect with colleagues, family and friends in person. The next time you start an email, try picking up the phone instead.

Do: Practice moderation.

Make a long-term commitment to a healthy lifestyle by being realistic about your goals.

Don't: Go to extremes.

Enthusiasm for health is one thing. Overdoing it is another. Implement a diet and exercise regimen you can stick with for the long run.

Do: Relax.

Treat yourself to a massage, a pedicure or a yoga class when you need to unwind. Relaxation not only feels good, it has a proven positive impact on your health.

Don't: Stress out.

The past is behind you, the future is yet to come. Practice mindfulness and appreciate each moment as it happens. Breathe in. Breathe out. Visualize feelings of worry, anger or frustration floating away.

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