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Five Things You Can Do to Improve Your Health Today

By Dr. Allegra Deucher
OB/GYN at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

1. Drink an extra 8 oz. of water

It is a good idea to stay ahead on hydration because if you wait until you are thirsty, then you are already dehydrated. Consider substituting water instead of juice or soda as this will keep you better hydrated and decrease your total caloric intake for the day. Good hydration will decrease the urge to snack, decrease constipation, and improve kidney function.

2. Walk an extra 15 minutes

Any extra amount of activity helps! Not only does it get your blood flowing and improve your cardiovascular health, but it also aids your digestion and metabolism. Many people know they can't do the recommended amount of exercise per week, so they give up completely! Every little bit helps. Going for a walk after a meal will help burn more calories and fat and give you more energy.

3. Go to bed an hour earlier

Sleep is not only restorative, but it helps boost your memory, creativity, and immune system as well as help keep you slim. Our bodies use sleep as a time to repair damaged cells, store information into memory, and grow new cells. If you don't get enough sleep, you increase your risk of hypertension, obesity, more frequent illnesses, and increased mistakes at work or on the road.

4. Take 15 minutes for yourself

Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which causes decreased immune system functioning, increased weight gain, and increased damage to our cardiovascular and other organ systems. Decrease your stress by taking a break for even just a few minutes. Stop, take a deep breath, and clear your head. You will be able to concentrate better and have a boost of energy which will make you more efficient in the long run.

5. Eat breakfast

Many people think skipping breakfast will help them lose weight, but they are wrong! Having breakfast starts your metabolism for the day, making you more productive at using the calories you take in the rest of the day. Breakfast also gives your brain fuel to help it work. Having something with protein in the morning will keep you going longer and help eliminate the need for snacking later in the day.

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted September 2011

Contact Information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
East Campus
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215