3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health

1. Get to bed earlier.

Most of us don’t get the seven or more hours of sleep adults need, according to Quintana.

Over time, a shortage of shut-eye can raise your risk of a heart attack or stroke — regardless of your age, weight or exercise habits.

“If you’re consistently sleep-deprived, going to bed even 15 minutes earlier every night could help,” Quintana says. Also set a regular sleep and wake schedule, and stick to it — even on days off.

2. Make a few dietary substitutions.

Swap white bread, rice, crackers and pasta for healthier whole grain versions.
Use skinless chicken and turkey in your recipes instead of skin-on, and leaner cuts of other meats such as beef or pork.
Replace one sugary drink (soda, juice, etc.) each day with a tall glass of water.
If you get hungry between meals, snack on a handful of almonds or cashews, a piece of whole fruit, or carrot sticks dipped in hummus rather than reaching for candy bars or potato chips.
In addition, Quintana recommends incorporating an extra serving of nonstarchy vegetables into your daily diet.

3.Stretch it out.

“Regularly stretching your muscles helps you avoid injuries, stay limber and move freely as you age,” Quintana says.

Take a few minutes to stretch out before and after you exercise. If you aren’t working out that day, take a few stretch breaks. Find a quiet space in the office where you won’t be disturbed. On the go? Look for natural opportunities in your daily routine to stretch, such as getting out of your car or reaching for items on a high shelf at the store.

Stretching right before bed can also help you relieve tension and help you get to sleep.

And balance exercises — like tai chi — can help dramatically reduce your risk of dangerous falls.

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