stay-healthy-350x122Getting and staying healthy is not a single choice or action. It is a process. A recent article in suggests a “stealth health” approach. Just choose any three of the following twelve changes, and practice them for four days. When those changes begin to feel second nature, choose three others. When you have incorporated all twelve, you should feel a significance difference within a few weeks.

To Improve Nutrition:

1. Shop for whole foods. Those can be canned, frozen or – best of all – farm fresh. Use them instead of processed foods.
2. Ditch any drinks or foods manufactured with corn syrup, which is high in calories but low on nutrition. Corn syrup is wide considered to be worse for your body than sugar.
3. Begin every dinner with a mixed green salad. This will reduce your appetite for higher calorie foods, and will ensure you get more vegetables.

To Improve Physical Fitness:

1. When you pick something up, don’t bend over; this stresses the lower back. Instead, bend your knees and squat, guaranteeing you will strengthen your leg muscles.
2. Each time you stop at a traffic signal (or your bus does), tighten and release the muscles in your thighs and buttocks. This will increase your strength and blood flow.
3. Every time you have to stand in line, lift one foot a half-inch above the ground. This stresses your opposite foot, ankle, calf, thigh and buttocks, firming and toning your muscles. After a few moments, switch feet.

To Improve Stress Control:

1. Start every day with a hug, whenever possible. Studies have proven this simple action helps you remain calm in stressful situations.
2. Let yourself have a good cry. Crying boosts the immune system, reduces stress hormones, eliminates depression, and allows you to think more clearly.
3. Two times every day, breathe deeply for three to five minutes.

To Improve Sleep:

1. Scent your freshly-washed sheets with a natural form of lavender water. Lavender has been shown to support relaxation and improved sleep.
2. Experiment with a new pillow, perhaps one with an indent in the center. These have been shown to improve sleep and reduce neck pain. You might also try a “cool” pillow that contains all natural fibers or a mix of sodium sulfate and ceramic fibers.
3. Snack on a handful of walnuts before bedtime. These tasty treats contain fiber and essential fatty acids, as well as the amino acid tryptophan, which aids sleep.