It’s often hard to keep up with a demanding life and still find time to work out. You may be wondering what will happen if you stop doing regular workouts. This is a common question.

Unfortunately, there are negative consequences to not exercising anymore. So the answer, more accurately, becomes a matter of what you’ll be giving up if you stop exercising.

Before you quit the gym or stop working out at home, think about these effects:

1. Loss of lean muscle mass. If you miss one workout, you probably won’t notice the difference in your muscles. However if you miss several weeks or months of workouts, then the muscles will be affected.

* You can lose lean muscle mass by skipping regular workouts on a long-term basis. If you don’t use your muscles, you can lose them.

* Once your body reaches a certain level of lean muscle mass, it can’t maintain it without more exercise.

2. Possible weight gain. You know that exercise can help manage your weight, so stopping it can cause unpleasant surprises on the scale.

* The weight gain may appear if you don’t adjust your calories and meals. If you continue to eat the same amount as before, your body will store the extra calories since you’re not burning them.

* To prevent this, pay attention to how much food you eat and make adjustments if you can’t work out.

3. Decreased endurance. Your body’s endurance in both strength and aerobics will go down. You may have a harder time cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, gardening with flowers, or doing other tasks.

* Eventually, even walking or going up the stairs can become hard.

4. Brain function is affected in a negative way. Exercise helps increase the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain. Without it, you may have a harder time thinking clearly. You may not remember things as well or concentrate as easily.

* If your brain gets used to a certain amount of oxygen and blood, you may notice the difference.

5. Trouble sleeping. Without regular exercise, you may have more trouble sleeping because of a variety of reasons:

* Many people use exercise to relieve stress and anxiety. However, if you stop doing regular workouts, you may end up staying up late at night and worrying.

* Another thing to consider is that exercise can help promote sleep. If you’re tired after a long day at the gym, then you’re more likely to fall asleep faster at home.

* Research shows that exercise can help fight restless leg syndrome, which keeps many people up at night and affects sleep.

* Studies also show exercise can also lessen sleep apnea for some patients, because this condition is associated with greater weight.

Exercise is essential, but it’s not easy to do it every day. Try to find ways you can incorporate fitness into your daily routines.

Otherwise, you’ll notice a variety of issues ranging from the loss of muscles to weight gain. If you can’t exercise every day, try to do it as often as possible throughout the week.

Did you know that your diet can affect anxiety levels? If you’re tired of only using medications for your anxiety, consider how you can incorporate lifestyle changes such as diet modifications to help.

As with any change you may be considering, talk to your doctor ahead of time about any concerns you may have.

Try these diet strategies to help lessen anxiety symptoms:

1. Eliminate alcohol. Although there is a belief that alcohol can relax the body, it can be harmful for those with anxiety.

* Alcohol affects the body in many ways, including making you more dehydrated. It can also affect hormone levels and other things that can lead to anxiety.

* If you drink too much, you may not be eating enough food. Alcohol has a lot of calories and carbohydrates, but they’re not healthy. Not getting the right nutrition can hurt your entire body and increase anxiety. Avoid using alcohol as a substitute for lunch or dinner.

* Experts point out that the toxins in alcohol can increase anxiety attacks.

2. Watch out for caffeine. It may not be easy to stop your coffee habit, and mornings may be more difficult. However, eliminating caffeine can help reduce anxiety.

* Too much coffee can act like a stimulant for anxiety.

* Coffee can increase your heartbeat and make you feel as if you’re having a panic attack.

* Caffeine is addictive, so you may have trouble eliminating it at first. Pay attention to the hidden sources of caffeine such as dark chocolate and other products.

3. Beware of refined sugars. Refined sugars can make anxiety worse, and these sugars are hiding in many of the foods you may eat.

* These types of sugars are included in a variety of products. Carefully read labels to ensure that there are no refined sugars.

* Sugar acts like a stimulant, so your anxiety symptoms can increase.

* Refined sugars can be in many things that you might not even suspect, including bagels, cereals, oatmeal, crackers, and other products. Even canned vegetables may have unnecessary added sugar.

4. Get enough B vitamins. Research shows that a lack of B vitamins in your body can contribute to anxiety. Pay attention to how many B vitamins are in your diet.

* It’s easy to get a deficiency of these vitamins, so try to eat more legumes, meats, eggs, rice, leafy greens, and other sources of these nutrients.

* Consider eating more asparagus and avocado. Studies have revealed that these two vegetables can lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Avocado has B vitamins and asparagus has folic acid.

5. Look for your own triggers and eliminate them. You may have specific foods that trigger anxiety, so it’s important to determine which foods can negatively affect you in this way.

* In some cases, the anxiety-triggering foods or beverages are linked to traumatic events. A difficult memory can rise to the surface after eating or drinking them, causing anxiety.

* In other cases, food intolerances and allergies may cause anxiety. There are reports that show some people react to dairy, and it can mimic some of the symptoms of anxiety.

* Many of the common triggers include dairy, gluten, processed foods, soda, and fried foods.

* Keep a food journal and track how you feel after eating dairy, fried foods, or other things you suspect may be triggers. Make a note about your emotional well-being before and after eating each item. This will help narrow down the list and make it easier to see what food should go.

The food that enters your body can affect more than just the scale. It can also affect anxiety levels. Pay attention to what you eat each day and keep track of anxiety symptoms that manifest themselves after you eat certain foods.

Some adults love a tough workout, and others dread any activity more strenuous than washing their hair. Given that 80% of Americans fail to meet government guidelines for aerobic and strength training, it’s obvious that most of us fall into the second camp.

A new study by the University of Freiburg in Germany suggests that just 2 changes can make you enjoy exercise more. Participants with similar fitness levels were asked to ride a stationary bicycle for the same amount of time. Those who considered themselves to be athletic said the activity was more enjoyable, and required less effort.

The researchers concluded that personal expectations made the difference. The secret is to believe in your athletic abilities and the benefits of exercising.

Think how much easier it would be for you to stick to a workout program if you really enjoyed doing it. Try these tips for building up your confidence and knowledge.

Believing in Your Athletic Abilities:

1. Develop your own style. Each of us has our own personal interests and signature strengths. You may like ballroom dancing or playing competitive sports. You may excel at sprinting or long-distance running. Choose activities that make you feel accomplished.

2. Create challenges. Set goals that will encourage you to keep going. Work at strengthening your tennis serve or increasing your lung capacity so you can swim more laps.

3. Use external rewards. Intrinsic motivation is more powerful, but you can give yourself treats to help you feel fulfilled while you’re waiting to reach major milestones. Promise yourself a pedicure or a weekend outing to celebrate any week you visit the gym consistently.

4. Share social support. While you’re cheering yourself on, it also helps to have family and friends on your side. Team up with an exercise buddy, post your workout plans on a fitness forum, and ask your family for the help you need.

5. Find a role model. Look for someone who has qualities and achievements that you admire. You can pick someone close to you or someone you see in the news. Study what they do and focus on what you have in common.

6. Repeat affirmations. Create positive statements that help you to realize your worth and make changes in your life. Write them down and read them when you’re feeling stressed.

Understanding the Benefits of Physical Activity:

1. Do some research. Browse online or visit the library to read about how exercise affects your body and mind. Visualize yourself having more energy, strengthening your muscles, and reducing your risk for serious medical conditions.

2. Take a course. Sign up for rock climbing lessons or take an anatomy class at a community college. Learn more about your body and how to care for it.

3. Work with a trainer. Maybe you prefer working with a professional one-on-one. Ask friends and fellow gym members for recommendations. A customized program can deliver impressive results.

4. Talk with your doctor. Ask your physician about any concerns you have. They may be able to suggest what priorities would be helpful for you, such as lowering your blood pressure or rehabilitating a previous injury.

5. Evaluate your performance. As you become more physically fit, you may notice the effects spilling over into many areas of your life. Maybe you’re eating more vegetables or responding more effectively to feedback at work.

6. Listen to your body. Feeling good may be the ultimate benefit of working out. Take pleasure in your flat stomach or glowing skin.

When you want to exercise, you’ll find ways to overcome any barriers like being too busy or avoiding discomfort. A positive attitude about your athletic abilities and the benefits of physical activity will help you to stay healthy and fit.

Winter can be a wonderful time of year, with families gathering for the holidays and the sun glistening on ice and snow. Yet, it can also pose some extra health challenges, especially for older adults.

If you’re a senior or caring for one, learn how to protect yourself and those you love during the colder months. Study these tips before winter arrives.

Protect Your Heart:

1. Raise your awareness. Shoveling snow isn’t the only winter hazard, but it may be the most obvious. Keep in mind that your heart is working harder all winter long to keep your body warm, so blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks increase.

2. Shovel safely. When you do shovel, take it easy. Go indoors for a break about every 15 minutes, and check your pulse until it returns back to normal. Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco because they’ll add to the strain on your heart.

3. Watch your diet. Holiday parties and sitting around indoors can lead to weight gain. For the sake of your heart and your waistline, choose nutritious foods and measure your portions.

4. Review your medications. If you’re taking prescriptions for your heart or any chronic conditions, ensure you have an adequate supply. You don’t want a blizzard or holiday closing to catch you by surprise.

Stay Warm:

1. Limit your exposure. Seniors are especially sensitive to falling temperatures, which can increase the risk of lung spasms as well as heart attacks. If possible, stay inside on the coldest days or bundle up, including covering your face with a scarf or ski mask.

2. Prevent hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when body temperature drops to 95 degrees or less. Call 911 if you see warning signs such as cold skin, confusion, and sleepiness. You can reduce your risk by staying indoors and keeping the thermostat at 65 degrees or higher.

3. Treat frostbite. Frostbite can spread to your bones unless treated promptly, so cover up when you’re outside. If your skin becomes white or numb, soak the area in warm water and get medical help immediately.

4. Check your heaters. If you use space heaters, keep them at least 3 feet away from anything flammable. Double-check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors too.

Other Suggestions for Avoiding Winter Health Risks:

1. Avoid slips and falls. Watch out for icy sidewalks and streets. Wear sensible shoes and take small steps.

2. Get your flu shot. Most medical experts recommend flu shots for anyone over 65, with very few exceptions. Early immunization is more effective, but a later shot may still help you stay well or lessen your symptoms.

3. Shine a light. Shorter daylight hours can affect your sleep and aggravate symptoms of depression and dementia. Try to get some sunlight in the morning by taking a walk or just sitting by a window.

4. Exercise regularly. Staying fit can help you manage many chronic conditions that often become more intense in winter. In addition to keeping your heart healthy and watching your weight, you may be able to reduce joint pain associated with arthritis.

5. Socialize more. Feeling isolated could be as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, according to one major study. If heavy snowfalls and freezing temperatures are keeping you inside, stay connected with regular phone calls or see if there is anyone who can visit you occasionally.

6. Talk with your doctor. Your individual risks may vary depending on factors such as the state of your health and the medications you take. Discuss any questions you have with your doctor.

Start preparing now for a safe and comfortable winter season. Taking the appropriate precautions can help seniors to stay warm and happy until spring returns.

What do registered dietitians avoid when they’re eating at home or out at a restaurant? The answer may surprise you. You already know they wouldn’t indulge in fast food or fried items, but their other avoidance foods are unusual.

Consider these choices and talk to your own dietitian:

1. Fat-free salad dressings. Health experts know that the fat-free salad dressings you can purchase in most stores are misleading.

* Fat-free salad dressings tend to compensate for the removal of fat by adding more sugar and salt. They may also add other unhealthy ingredients like chemicals.

* Registered dietitians don’t want to eat emulsifying agents commonly found in this product.

2. Refortified grains. These are grains that have been refined, but important nutrients are added back to refortify them.

* Registered dietitians don’t eat refortified grains and don’t recommend them.

* Although they have nutrients added back, they are not as healthy as the real versions that are whole grains. It’s better to stick to whole products like unrefined wheat, rice, and corn.

* Companies often use synthetic versions of minerals and other nutrients to refortify grains, and your body may not absorb or utilize them as well as the natural versions.

3. Rice cakes. If you’ve been on a diet before, you’ve probably eaten rice cakes. Rice cakes tend to taste bland. Although there are some flavored versions on the market, people still complain about their blandness. Plus, they’re not as healthy as they seem.

* Registered dietitians don’t often eat rice cakes. Rice cakes can spike your blood sugar levels and they have a detrimental, high glycemic index.

4. Diet soda. You’ll often see people choose diet soda over regular because they think they’re making a wiser decision. However, registered dietitians won’t drink it.

* Diet soda isn’t a healthier option. It has artificial sweeteners that have been linked to a higher risk of obesity and diabetes.

* You may think that by drinking diet soda you’ll lose weight. However, the opposite is true, and the word diet is very misleading in its name. You may actually gain weight and hurt your health.

5. Pretzels. Pretzels tend to have a lot of calories and salt. They’re also high in carbohydrates. In most cases, they lack fiber, vitamins, or minerals.

* You may think they’re a healthier alternative to chips, but the truth is that they’re just as bad. Both types of food can hurt your weight loss plans and spike your blood sugar levels.

6. Farm-raised shrimp. The fact that many registered dietitians won’t eat farm-raised shrimp surprises people.

* This type of shrimp isn’t the healthiest option because it can be filled with chemicals and antibiotics. You really don’t have any way of knowing what additives might be in your shrimp from the farm.

* Unfortunately, it can be hard to find shrimp that isn’t raised on a farm.

* Ask where your shrimp is from and try to avoid the farmed versions. One report found high levels of bacteria in farmed shrimp, so ask questions before buying them and ensure you know they’re safe.

Registered dietitians avoid some items that many people think are healthy. Their training and experience has shown them that it’s better to avoid these specific products. Take advantage of their knowledge and use it to help you and your family be healthier.

Cauliflower often gets a negative rap because it’s associated with broccoli, and most of the time, kids don’t like it. However, cauliflower is low-calorie, has multiple health benefits, and is easy to add to different recipes. You can even disguise the taste!

Consider these benefits:

1. Lower cancer risk. Research shows that cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower can reduce the risk of cancer.

* Cauliflower has several compounds that have shown an ability to make cancer less likely in humans. Don’t miss out on this vital health benefit!

2. Potassium. Bananas tend to get most of the attention for their potassium levels, but cauliflower is also a great source of this mineral. Cauliflower has a high amount of natural potassium that can benefit your body. It is estimated that a cup of raw cauliflower can have 320 mg. of potassium.

* Potassium is important because it helps to help regulate your blood pressure and other body systems.

3. Vitamin C. Oranges aren’t the only food source of vitamin C. Even though cauliflower is white, it still has high amounts of this vitamin. That same cup of raw cauliflower has an estimated 52 mg. of vitamin C.

* Vitamin C boosts your immune system and fights free radical damage inside of your cells.

4. Glucosinolates. These compounds are found in cauliflower and may be responsible for its ability to fight cancer. The compounds have sulfur in them and affect the body’s detoxification system.

5. Other health benefits. Cauliflower also has fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin B.

6. Diet benefits. If you’re trying to lose weight, cauliflower can be a blessing. It’s a versatile vegetable that isn’t starchy. It can help you lose weight and feel full at the same time.

* Cauliflower doesn’t have many calories, so you can eat it without worrying about your weight loss plans.

* You can modify many comfort food dishes to use cauliflower instead of potatoes or other higher-calorie items. One of the easiest diet changes is to switch to cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. You’ll still get a mushy, comforting plate of white fluff, but it’ll be healthier.

* Another good diet modification is to make cauliflower rice instead of regular brown or white rice. You’ll get more fiber and fewer carbohydrates. You’ll also be able to trick your eyes into thinking you’re eating white rice.

If You Need to Change the Taste

If you struggle with the taste of cauliflower, then it may be the sulfur compounds that are to blame. However, you can change the taste of this white veggie.

Try these techniques:

* Use a sautŽ recipe and hide the taste with onions or garlic. Thyme and rosemary are also good options.

* Pepper and salt are classic ways to boost the flavor.

* Another option is to use dairy products such as low-calorie cheese or sour cream in your recipe to mask the cauliflower taste.

* Roasting or grilling cauliflower can make it sweeter.

Cauliflower can provide you with a multitude of health benefits. It’s easy to cook and use in the kitchen, and it’s inexpensive, so you can feel free to experiment with it. Put cauliflower on your grocery list today and you can start reaping the benefits tomorrow.

Your pharmacist is a valuable source of information and wants to help you. They can help you figure out which medications to take and which ones can interact with other things, but they also have other knowledge to share.

Consider these things that they wish you knew:

1. Feel free to ask about the ads you see. Your pharmacist will be glad to discuss the health ads you see online or on TV.

* They understand you may be curious about the medications you see in advertisements, but your doctor may not have the time to address your concerns.

* Your pharmacist can help you by discussing the new drugs and directing you to legitimate, verified sources of information. They can help you figure out if a drug is right for you.

2. Share all the medications and supplements you take. It’s hard to keep track of all the things you take each day. It will benefit you to keep a careful, updated list and give a copy to your pharmacist whenever you make a change.

* It’s important for your pharmacist to know all of these medications and supplements. This is because they can interact with each other and hurt you. They can also make other drugs less effective and prevent you from benefiting from your prescriptions.

* Your pharmacist needs to know about every prescription, herb, vitamin, or mineral you use.

3. Save money by getting vaccines and flu shots at a pharmacy. In many parts of the country, you can get flu shots at a pharmacy. However, did you know that they can also give you a vaccine?

* Some pharmacies are able to give you vaccines such as Hepatitis A or B.

* You can save money and time by visiting your pharmacist instead of your doctor. Your bill may be lower, and you probably won’t have a long waiting time.

4. It’s also important to be careful with OTC medications. Your pharmacist wishes you were more careful about OTC, or over-the-counter medications.

* Over-the-counter medications can interact with each other and prescriptions.

* They can also cause liver damage and other issues if taken with alcohol. In some cases, overdoses are possible that can put you in the hospital.

* Your pharmacist wants to talk to you about your over-the-counter medications and ensure they’re safe. They’re ready to help you pick the most effective ones and the best dosages for you. They can clear up confusion about ingredients.

* Your pharmacist can help you figure out how often to take OTC drugs.

5. Your privacy matters. Your pharmacist will keep your information private. You don’t have to worry about sharing things with them. They’re obligated to keep your data safe and won’t discuss it with strangers.

* However, they may need to talk to your doctor about your concerns. This is normal and will actually help you. Your pharmacist may call your doctor and asks questions about the drugs you’re taking. In most cases, this is to ensure they’re not interacting with each other or to check on the dosages. They may also need to call your insurance.

It will benefit you to get to know your pharmacist and talk about your medications. They can help answer your questions, guide you, and reassure you. They can also be a powerful source of knowledge that can be very important for your health.

If you’ve ever had a pimple or a cold sore show up right before a job interview or a big date, you already know that stress can affect your skin. After all, the signs of stress can be physical as well as mental, and they can appear anywhere on your body.

Many skin conditions are the result of chemical and hormonal changes caused by stress. That can include rashes, hives, and pimples. For example, your body produces more cortisol when you’re tense, and that makes your skin oilier and prone to acne.

While stress is an unavoidable part of life, you may be able to reduce the impact it has on your comfort and appearance.

Try these tips for treating and preventing stress-related skin symptoms:

Treating Stress-Related Skin Symptoms

1. Understand the interactions. Stress can be the direct cause of what’s going on with your skin. It can also slow down healing regardless of what caused your symptoms. Plus, skin troubles can cause more stress, creating an unfortunate cycle.

2. Cleanse carefully. Scrubbing too hard can damage skin more. Wash gently and be sure to select products for your skin type.

3. Relieve itching. Resist the urge to scratch. Keeping your hands off your skin helps to prevent scarring, and reduces the risk of spreading any infection. Antihistamines and cold compresses are safer ways to soothe itching and burning.

4. Talk with your doctor. If your symptoms don’t clear up within a few days, call your doctor for an appointment. That way, you can rule out potentially serious causes like allergies.

5. See a specialist. If your doctor is unable to eliminate your symptoms with treatments such as antibiotics and prescription antihistamines, they may refer you to a dermatologist.They can provide further tests and treatments.

6. Take your time. Skin conditions often need awhile to heal fully. Follow your doctor’s recommendations and continue taking medication as prescribed even if you think your skin looks better.

Preventing Stress-Related Skin Symptoms

1. Exercise regularly. There are many ways to deal with stress constructively, and physical activity is a great option. Plan workouts you’ll look forward to, like dance classes or playing tennis.

2. Sleep well. Proper rest is also essential. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Go to bed and rise on a consistent schedule.

3. Eat a balanced diet. Your skin needs nourishment just like the rest of your body. Avoid crash diets and too much processed food. Consume at least 7 servings of vegetable and fruits a day, along with adequate protein and healthy fats.

4. Talk it out. It helps to have someone you can confide in. Call a friend when you need validation and support. Consider seeing a therapist if you think it would help you deal with recurring issues.

5. Limit alcohol and caffeine. Cocktails and fancy coffee drinks can be tempting when you’re under pressure. Unfortunately, alcohol and caffeine can also aggravate skin conditions. Drink in moderation or substitute water and herbal teas instead.

6. Practice relaxation techniques. Experiment with methods that encourage refreshment and recovery until you find what works for you. You might want to start a daily meditation practice or take a warm bath when you return home from work.

7. Keep a journal. Writing about your feelings may also be useful. A journal can help you to track how your emotions may be affecting your skin.

Rough days at the office and visits from your in-laws don’t have to take a toll on your epidermis. Protect your skin with regular maintenance, appropriate medical care, and a healthy dose of stress management.

Although golden milk is recently becoming more well-known in the USA, golden milk has been popular in many Asian countries for quite some time. It’s considered to be an ancient recipe, and you can see dramatic health benefits from drinking it.

Learn more about this beneficial beverage:

1. What is golden milk? Golden milk is also called turmeric milk. It tends to be a yellow liquid that combines milk and turmeric together.

* You can make golden milk at home or buy it at some health food stores. These stores may also sell different versions of golden milk. It’s possible to find both dairy and vegan varieties.

2. How do you make golden milk? There are many recipes for golden milk and they vary greatly. Experiment with them to find your favorite.

* One common recipe for golden milk is easy to make: Combine a glass of milk with half a teaspoon of turmeric together in a small pot on the stove. Add a little pinch of black pepper. Mix them together and let the mixture warm up on the stove.

* Some recipes use coconut milk or almond milk instead of dairy milk.

* Other recipes add cinnamon and more spices. There are also versions that add extra fat such as butter.

3. What are the benefits of golden milk? Many health benefits have been linked to golden milk, and scientists continue to investigate it. Most of the benefits come from the turmeric in the recipe. Golden milk and turmeric have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including:

* A possible reduction in the risk of cancers
* Better digestion
* More energy
* Reduction in inflammation
* Fighting common illnesses

4. How much golden milk should you drink? The answer depends on your health, lifestyle, and other factors.

* Some people claim to see benefits from drinking several cups of golden milk a day, while others only drink it once a week. Most experts recommend drinking at least one cup of golden milk a day.

* It’s important to verify with your physician that turmeric won’t interfere with any of your medications or other supplements. Turmeric may increase bleeding, so discuss it with your doctor before drinking it or using it in recipes.

5. Risks of golden milk. In general, golden milk is considered safe as long as you’re not sensitive or allergic to any of the ingredients. However, be aware of these risks:

* You may experience stomach discomfort after drinking it. A large amount of turmeric is more likely to cause stomach issues than a small amount. You may want to start making the recipe with smaller amounts.

* It’s also possible to have some stomach issues if you take it on an empty stomach.

* Acid reflux has been reported in a few cases. If you start to experience it, consider changing how you make it or discontinue it.

* Bleeding risks are a possibility with turmeric. If you’re on medication that can increase the risk of bleeding, such as blood thinners, you may not be able to safely take turmeric without talking to a doctor first.

* Always consult your doctor or dietician before making any serious diet changes and ask for advice.

Golden milk has health benefits and can taste great. Consider making it at home the next time you want a healthy beverage.

If you’re trying to lose weight or want to eat healthier, drinking a little more water could make a big difference. A recent study found that adults who increased their consumption of water by 1% ate fewer calories, and less sugar, salt, fat, and cholesterol.

According to researcher at the University of Illinois, drinking 1 to 3 more glasses of water a day helped participants to cut out 68 to 205 calories, along with the other positive changes. To put that in perspective, you’d have to jog for about 25 minutes or walk for about 45 minutes to burn 200 calories.

For such significant results with so little effort, you may want to try this for yourself! Use these tips to help you drink more water and make other quick and powerful changes.

Drink More Water

Individual needs vary, so the old rule about drinking 8 glasses of water a day is just a suggestion that may or may not work for you. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about how much water would work best.

Use these guidelines to add more water to your diet:

1. Carry a bottle. Bring a bottle of water along with you wherever you go. That way you can take sips throughout the day.

2. Add flavor. Plain water can taste great, but maybe you want a little more excitement. Add cucumber slices, ginger, or limes. You could also brew a cup of green tea or drink sparkling water.

3. Buy a filter. If your tap water has an unpleasant aftertaste, invest in a filter. They’re relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

4. Eat your water. Many foods have a high water volume. Good choices include celery, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, watermelon, oranges, and strawberries.

5. Limit alcohol. On the other hand, alcohol is dehydrating. Most experts recommend up to 1 cocktail a day for women and 2 for men.

6. Measure your intake. If you have a hard time keeping track of how many glasses you’ve had, you can use the latest technology or old fashioned methods. Browse online for free apps that will measure your total or use a water bottle with markings on the side indicating the number of ounces.

Other Ways to Make Your Diet Healthier

Staying hydrated isn’t the only easy way to easily transform your diet. There are lots of minor daily changes that add up to a major impact.

Try these simple strategies:

1. Read labels. Processed foods are the most common source of excess sugar and salt. Check the label first.

2. Order black coffee. If you cut back on sugar gradually, you may not notice what you’re missing. Try putting half as much sweetener in your coffee each day until you’re down to nothing.

3. Eat more fiber. Fiber fills you up with fewer calories. Indulge in plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

4. Enjoy nutritious treats. Speaking of indulgences, you can still satisfy your sweet tooth. Bake an apple with cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir fresh fruit into your yogurt.

5. Control portions. Diets that are too restrictive can leave you feeling deprived and vulnerable to binging on junk foods when you have a lapse. Stay in control by enjoying smaller servings of the foods you love.

6. Cook more. Preparing your own food lets you decide on the ingredients. You can modify any dish by using less sugar or salt.

Smart lifestyle choices will help keep your mind and body strong and fit. Drinking more water is one easy habit to work into your plan for healthy living.