4 Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle

4 Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle

Test yourself: How do your habits measure up?

Think you’re leading a healthy lifestyle? Aside from occasionally veering off the path, most of us think we do a fair job of maintaining our health with good (or at least OK) eating habits and physical activity whenever we manage to fit it in. But is that enough to be considered «healthy?»

According to a recent study, very few adults actually meet the criteria for a healthy lifestyle. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that only 3% of American adults got a perfect score on what the authors say are the four basic criteria for healthy living. Just 13.8% met three of the criteria; 34.2% met only two criteria. Women scored slightly better than men.

See how well you measure up on the researchers’ four keys to healthfulness:

  • Do you smoke?
  • Are you able to maintain a healthy weight (a BMI of 18-25), or are you successfully losing weight to attain a healthy weight?
  • Do you eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily?
  • Do you exercise 30 minutes or more, 5 times a week?

The good news is that these behaviors should not be foreign to you, as all but one are an integral part of the Weight Loss Clinic. Numbers 2 through 4 are the foundation of the WLC program, habits that we continually discuss, write about, and recommend.

Everyone knows smoking is bad for your health. If you are one of the lucky ones who never became addicted to nicotine, pat yourself on the back. Smokers, I hope you are working diligently to kick your habit. It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of a smoke-free life for your health — as well as for the sake of those around you.

4 Steps and More

While those four habits are indisputably important for a healthy lifestyle, some may argue that more factors should be taken into consideration. What would be on your list?

Just for fun, I came up with my own personal top 10 list of healthy behaviors (beyond the four basics) that contribute to wellness and satisfaction with one’s lifestyle:

  • Brush and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of disease.
  • 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.
  • Get a pedometer and 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.
  • Stand up straight. You’ll look 5 pounds lighter if you stand tall and tighten your abdominal muscles. Whenever you walk, think «tall and tight» to get the most out of the movement.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 («I think I can, I think I can…») to succeed.


It’s All about You

Your list of healthy lifestyle behaviors may be different from mine. The most important thing to remember is that you can make a difference in your health and well-being. Take charge of your life, and be mindful of small behavior changes that can make your lifestyle a healthier one.


SOURCES: Archives of Internal Medicine, April 25, 2005.


Top 10 Reasons to Not Eat Salmon

With summer on the horizon, many people are thinking about health, fitness, and flaunting their firm forms while having fun in the sun. If you’re eating salmon because you think it’s good for your health-think again. Here are 10 “reel” reasons not to eat it:

1. Salmon Are Smart

Fish are smart. Oxford University scientist Dr. Theresa Burt de Perera recently discovered that fish learn even faster than dogs. Fish learn from each other, have long-term memories, and can recognize one another. They gather information by eavesdropping, and some species even use tools, which, until recently, was thought to be a uniquely human trait. Like the dogs and cats with whom we share our homes, they also like to play, investigate new things, and hang out with friends.

2. Arsenic and Old Waste

Mmmm, want a plate full of poison? Fish have extremely high levels of chemicals such as arsenic, mercury, PCBs, DDT, dioxins, and lead in their flesh and fat. You may even get industrial-strength fire retardant with that catch of the day. The chemical residue found in salmon flesh can be as much as 9 million times that of the water in which they live.

3. Harm at the Farm

Four-fifths of the United States’ most popular fish flesh, salmon, consumed in the U.S. is farm-raised. These fish, who are raised by the millions in cages made of nets in coastal waters, are killing off wild fish populations as well, since it takes 5 pounds of commercially caught fish (species not eaten by humans) to produce 1 pound of farmed fish.

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4. Sea Lice Aren’t So Nice

No one wants to wear a “death crown,” but thanks to chronic sea lice, a parasite that eats down to the bones on a fish’s face, salmon commonly suffer this condition. Salmon also routinely go insane and sustain sores and other injuries from intense crowding, as they are made to live their entire lives with as many as 27 fish in a space the size of a bathtub.

5. Slammin’ Salmon

No, we’re not talking about a baseball player-but fish farmers do often use bats to beat large salmon to death. All methods used to slaughter fish are grotesque and cruel. Fish have their gills slit while they are still alive, and smaller salmon are often packed in ice and left to slowly suffocate or freeze to death.

6. Open Waters Are Open Sewers

Everybody loves the Big Apple, but would you eat something fished out of the city’s sewer system? According to the Norwegian government, the salmon and trout farms in Norway alone produce roughly the same amount of sewage as New York City. The massive amount of raw sewage, dead fish corpses, and antibiotic-laden fish food sludge settling below farmed salmon cages can actually cause the ocean floor to rot, destroying vital habitat for the already strained marine ecosystem and turning coastal waters into open sewers.

7. Breeding Brain Damage

Usually when Moms pass things on to their children, it’s a good thing-but when pregnant or nursing moms eat fish, they pass the toxins they consume on to their babies. Studies have also shown that children born to mothers who eat fish are slower to talk, walk, and develop fine motor skills and have weaker memories and shorter attention spans. Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health have found that fish consumption can cause irreversible impairment to brain function in children, both in the womb and as they grow.

8. Don’t Forget About the PCBs

Feeling forgetful? There could be something fishy going on. Scientists have proved that people who eat only two servings of fish a month have difficulty recalling information that they learned just 30 minutes earlier. The culprit is high levels of mercury, lead, and PCBs in their blood. PCBs, synthetic chemicals polluting water and concentrated in fish flesh, act like hormones, wreaking havoc on the nervous system and contributing to a variety of illnesses beyond forgetfulness and vertigo, including cancer, infertility, and other sexual problems.

9. For Your Health

Would you like tartar sauce with those cancer-causing toxins? If you’re feeling green around the gills, salmon could be making you seriously ill. The Environmental Working Group estimates that 800,000 people in the U.S. face an excess lifetime cancer risk from eating farmed salmon. Plus, salmon flesh contains high amounts of artery-clogging cholesterol and fat.

Fake it for salmon’s sake! Tempt your taste buds without tempting fate by trying faux fish. Your local Asian food mart or health-food store likely carries vegetarian mock seafood products that have all the flavor of the “real thing” without the contaminants or cholesterol.

If you’re “fishing” for a heart-smart diet that has been proved to actually reverse heart disease while also reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity and that is good for the environment as well as fish-friendly-a vegetarian diet is the perfect catch.

Order a free vegan starter kit and we’ll send you great-tasting recipes, nutrition information-and everything else you’ll need to try vegan.


What is a Healthy Lifestyle?

Is Your Current Lifestyle Making You Ill?

Are your daily lifestyle choices setting you up for illness in later life, or even worse are they impacting your life right now? Take our quiz today and find out! 15 Questions, 70 points, what’s your health score?

A healthy lifestyle isn’t just diet and exercise. So what is a healthy lifestyle? Today we go over the components of leading a healthy lifestyle and how it’s important to lead a balanced life.

I and many others are promoting the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that actually mean?

In general, most would agree that a healthy person doesn’t smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats a balanced healthy diet, thinks positively, feels relaxed, exercises regularly, has good relationships, and benefits from a good life balance.

Maybe I should start by trying to look at a few definitions for the word – lifestyle.

A definition in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language says: “A way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group”.

A final definition of lifestyle is: “The aggregation of decisions by individuals which affect their health, and over which they more or less have control”.

Definition Of A Healthy Lifestyle

The World Health Organisation in 1946 defined health as ‘A complete state of mental, physical and social well-being not merely the absence of disease’.

Wikipedia defines a lifestyle as the way a person lives. This includes patterns of social relations, consumption, entertainment, and dress. A lifestyle typically also reflects an individual’s attitudes, values or worldview. A healthy lifestyle is generally characterized as a “balanced life” in which one makes “wise choices”.

What is the definition of Healthy Living?

The actual definition of Healthy Living is the steps, actions and strategies one puts in place to achieve optimum health.

Healthy Living is about taking responsibility for your decisions and making smart health choices for today and for the future. So healthy living would consist of:

Physical (For The Body)

  • Good Nutrition, Eating Right
  • Getting Physically Fit, Beneficial Exercise
  • Adequate Rest
  • Proper Stress Management

You Also Need to Give and Receive

  • Forgiveness
  • Love and Compassion
  • You Need to Laugh and Experience Happiness
  • You Need Joyful Relationships With Yourself and Others

Emotional Wellness (For The Mind)

  • Self-Supportive Attitudes
  • Positive Thoughts and Viewpoints
  • Positive Self-Image

Spiritual Wellness

  • Inner Calmness
  • Openness to Your Creativity
  • Trust in Your Inner Knowing

And all aspects of one’s self, must work in harmony to achieve wellness, so you need to create a balanced life.

Why is it Important?

A healthy lifestyle is a valuable resource for reducing the incidence and impact of health problems, for recovery, for coping with life stressors, and for improving quality of life. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows our lifestyles play a huge part in how healthy we are. From what we eat and drink, to how much exercise we take, and whether we smoke or take drugs, all will affect our health, not only in terms of life expectancy, but how long we can expect to live without experiencing chronic disease.

Conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, joint disease, and mental illness are responsible for a vast number of deaths and disabilities. Currently, we rely almost exclusively on the provision of clinical care by highly trained health professionals as our major strategy to deal with these conditions. Many health problems can be prevented or at least their occurrence postponed by having a healthy lifestyle.

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Why don’t you have a healthy lifestyle?

It’s a busy life for most of us. And keeping ourselves healthy is all too rarely near the top of our list of ‘things to do’. Convenience often wins – we are all so busy that convenience is at a premium.

Good Health Is “Simple – But It’s Not Easy”

It is so important to make ‘keeping healthy’ a part of our day-to-day living habits. Your health depends on what you do throughout the day, everyday. A healthy lifestyle is absolutely vital. Here is a real simple solution – slowly improve your lifestyle in a step-by-step way. If you take one new health step every two months, for example, in two to three years you will be among the healthiest ten percent of people in the Western world. And boy will you see and feel the benefits.

Improvements do not have to be large steps; take one small step for your health today, keep that one going, and add another one every two months. Have a plan – maybe introduce 6 improvements over the course of a year.

Can You Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle?

Whatever your age, fitness level or body shape, its never too soon or too late to start thinking about living healthily. You can take a step towards healthy living by making one change now to your daily life. That won’t be so hard will it?

Are You Living A Healthy Lifestyle?

Do you wake up with enthusiasm for the day ahead? Do you have the high energy you need to do what you want? Do you laugh easily and often, especially at yourself? Do you confidently find solutions for the challenges in your life? Do you feel valued and appreciated? Do you appreciate others and let them know it? Do you have a circle of warm, caring friends? Do the choices you make every day get you what you want?

The Components Of A Healthy Lifestyle

Eating Healthily

The right nutrition is necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. Your body requires a well balanced diet every day in order to maintain the adequate amounts of vitamins, nutrients and minerals needed to maintain a healthy body.

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art – La Rochefoucauld (French Writer)

An Active Lifestyle

You will need to include fitness as part of your life. Physical fitness keeps your weight in check, helps you sleep better at night, prevents heart attacks and strokes and other health problems, and generally prolongs your life. Basically there are so many benefits of exercising that you really can’t live a full life without it.

Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness – Edward Stanley (Earl of Derby)

Stress Management

Emotional stress plays an important role in many illnesses, both directly and indirectly. People are also more likely to smoke, overeat, drink too much, work too hard, argue with others and so on, when they are feeling stressed. Thus, stress management is an important part of your new lifestyle, and meditation and relaxation techniques are truly a key part of living a healthy lifestyle.

Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body – Marcus Tullius Cicero (Roman Philosopher)

Make Friends With Yourself

Loving yourself is a key to a healthy, happy lifestyle. Self-esteem is all about how much people value themselves; the pride they feel in themselves, and how worthwhile they feel. Self-esteem is important because feeling good about yourself can affect how you act.

The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around… Throughout history, “tender loving care” has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing – Larry Dossey (Physician)

Powering Up Your Mind And Body

Programme your mind for total success. Develop a vision, a compelling future that excites and inspires you, and focus on it daily. Don’t let anything knock you of course, or make you question its possibility. I promise you, by taking control of your thoughts, you will improve your life in a big way.

In minds crammed with thoughts, organs clogged with toxins, and bodies stiffened with neglect, there is just no space for anything else – Alison Rose Levy (Journalist)

Life Balance

If you want to achieve a healthy lifestyle you must take steps to ensure you maintain a certain level of balance… spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, mentally and financially. You need to balance work and family, and all the other areas of your life without spreading yourself too thin and having a guilt trip when you do one thing, but think you should be doing another. All of the key areas of our lives overlap and interlink, effecting each other. Unless we create for ourselves satisfaction in each and every part of our life, we can never truly be fulfilled, or live a contented, happy and healthy life.

No success in public life can compensate for failure in the home – Benjamin Disraeli (British Prime Minister)

Being Healthy is so important. Just change one thing in your life today. Have a healthy life beginning now. Living a healthy lifestyle will bring you happiness, health and the life of your dreams. You can fit into your favourite pair of jeans again. You can enjoy all the benefits that perfect health offers you. You can feel your best at all times of the day.

I have spent over ten years working in the area of personal development and in helping others to achieve their potential. It is the belief that everyone should be helped and encouraged to reach their full potential that motivates me in my work as a coach and blogger. I’m passionate about this because I have seen its effects in my own life and the lives of others. I am 100% committed to making the difference, and I pray this is obvious to you through my blog.


Everything you need to know to treat and prevent lice

Do’s, don’ts, and why there’s no reason to panic.

Updated January 25, 2020

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Head lice are creepy, crawly, and an aggressive nuisance that has been plaguing humans since the dawn of civilization. We aren’t exaggerating: mummified lice have been found on the scalps and in the combs of ancient Egyptians and Peruvians. Head lice are an equal-opportunity annoyance; if they were good enough for the pharaohs and kings they definitely won’t discriminate against your kid or their friends.

If your kid comes home with head lice, at least take comfort in the fact that they’re in good company. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 6 million to 12 million lice infestations occur in the United States each year. Preschool and elementary-age children—aged three to 10—and their families are infested most often, but there has also been an uptick in infected high schoolers in recent years. No one is immune to the havoc that can be wreaked by the lowly head lice.

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Should an infestation hit home for your family, here are tips on how to deal with them and some expert advice on why finding out your kid has them is no reason to panic.

Head lice don’t transmit diseases

Lice look like sesame seeds in your child’s hair.

Head lice, unlike body lice—which you are far less likely to contract—do not transmit any diseases. Sure the relentless scratching could cause sores, but the only real threat lice pose is that they are really, really annoying. While dealing with them can be stressful and exasperating the only real disease lice spread is fear and misinformation. “Lice don’t live for days in a carpet at preschool, they aren’t going on jumping from one head to the next and, honestly, they are really easy to treat,” says Pam Skinner, head lice expert, and owner of Picky Pam at the Beach Lice Removal in Huntington Beach, CA, and LiceFreeKids.com.

Head lice don’t spread that easily

You are more likely to contract a cold, the flu, an ear infection, pink eye, or strep throat than lice. “Lice aren’t like fleas. They can’t jump from host to host and they can’t fly,” says Amesh A. Adalja, MD, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Adalja says the most common way lice spread is from head to head contact. If a louse should happen to go rogue and land on, say, a yoga mat or an Elsa costume at school, it would need the kind of acrobatic prowess to stick a perfect 10 to attach to a new person’s head. While it’s recommended that kids not share hats, headbands, and headphones, lice are more often spread through rolling around in contact-play and huddling together to squeeze into group selfies.

You can put your clippers down

Skip the clippers and give kids a good shampoo instead.

According to Skinner, while long cascading hair may give head lice a longer “bridge” to get from one head to the other, if your kid does come home with head lice one of the worst things you can do is buzz your child’s hair in an attempt to get ride of them. “We need some hair left for the comb to grip onto if we want to remove the eggs,” she says.

Lice eggs, or “nits”, need to be within a quarter of an inch to the scalp in order to incubate and survive. They are glued to the hair shaft by a cement-like substance and are very hard to remove without a special comb. When a nymph (baby louse) is hatched, it must immediately have the warmth and food source of a human head to survive. Skinner recommends using a good lice-prevention shampoo to deter adults from camping out on the scalp (she recommends Suave Rosemary Mint shampoo), but in order to actually remove the eggs, you need at least a half inch of hair. “Any viable nit is smack up against the scalp and best removed with a special comb. Without hair to grip onto, a lice comb can’t do its job,” she says.

Without a host, lice are toast

You are very unlikely to see a louse fall off someone’s head, but if you do, they are most-likely ill or dying. Furthermore, a head louse without a strand of hair to grab onto, can barely move around.

Lice can only survive with a human host. Any lice that might be on your couch, bedding, costumes, or Fido will die if they can’t find another human to climb onto within three to four hours, says Adalja. Lice need human blood to survive and they produce an anti-clotting enzyme in their saliva that allows them to feed. While lice can live up to 48 hours without a host, if it doesn’t find one within three hours it loses its ability to make that saliva that is crucial to their survival–so even if they do manage to find their way into your locks, they stand zero chance for survival.

You don’t need to spring clean

If you’re like me, any excuse to give your house a deep cleaning is probably a good one, however, it’s just an old myth that you’ll need to sanitize your house and throw out your carpets if you find head lice on your child or yourself. For peace of mind, you can wash and dry your bedding and towels on hot, give your house a good vacuuming, and take a lint roller to couches and cushions, but both Skinner and the entomologists at LiceWorld.com advise you to chill. “I’d just wash my sheets on hot and throw my comforter in the dryer on hot and call it a day,” says Skinner. “I think people really over estimate the life-span of head lice and their ability to survive.”

Your dog won’t spread them

While dogs and cats can get lice, lice have adapted to be species-specific and cannot go from one to the next. Head lice have adapted to live on the scalp of humans exclusively. That means that you can spare kitty a bath and your dog doesn’t need a trip to the groomer. Just focus on ridding your human family of the pest and let the animals alone.

Your kid may be back at school the next day

While some school policies may require a child with lice be sent home, there is growing research to suggest this doesn’t prevent the spread of lice and only contributes to social stigma. According to the CDC, “students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun.” Skinner agrees, “For a mom treating at home, there is a 7 to 10 day window to hatching, but if you get your child professionally treated you can feel pretty confident that the lice are gone and they can go back to school.”

A good comb can work wonders

A good lice comb is worth purchasing before any sign of infection.

“Combing works,” says Dr. Claire McCarthy, a pediatrician at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital. But, she says, it takes patience and perseverance. She also recommends checking everyone’s head in the family, adults included. “Not only does it get rid of both live lice and eggs, it’s completely nontoxic and without side effects. That can’t be said of any other treatment for head lice, ivermectin included.”

Buying your family a good lice comb before an infestation strikes is an offensive move. Because head lice don’t know that they should take a break for holidays and vacations, it’s recommended that you bring a lice comb on all family trips. “You can pop into a store and find a good conditioner anywhere, but a good lice comb is hard to find. I take one with me on every trip,” says Skinner.


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