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July 16, 2009

5 Health Move Musts

The health choices you make now will dictate your health in the future; start being healthy today and you'll feel the positive effects for years to come.

woman drinking juice from a straw

If you change the words you use to talk about your body and nutrition, you'll be more likely to lose weight, according to Every Word Has Power, by Yvonne Oswald. We don't think we'll be calling our Cheetos "empty filler food" any time soon, but Larson finds substance in the theory. "Positive self-talk about our bodies or healthy food choices reinforces positive behavior," she says.

Photo Credit: Taghi Naderzad

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People who feel a sense of purpose in life and a responsibility beyond taking care of themselves—like organizing adopt-a-thons at the animal shelter or throwing not-to-be-missed soirees for friends—tend to deal with stress better than those who don’t, Dr. Roizen says. These activities give you a strong sense of self and a support system to ground you when stress strikes.

Everyday. Not flossing can increase chances of periodontal disease, which could increase your risk of giving birth to a premature or low-birthweight baby. Inflammation from periodontal disease can also set you up for heart disease.

This makes you more likely to eat at home, which is better for your heart and your weight than living on takeout. But one warning: Most people use too much oil when they sauté and end up deep-frying food accidentally, Dr. Roizen says. For two boneless, skinless chicken breasts, you need no more than one-and-a-half tablespoons of oil.

Other than major life stressors (like a death in the family), nothing ages the body like cigarettes. Quitting is the best thing you can do for yourself—and your health, and your looks …

A daily, brisk, 30-minute walk is the closest thing we may get to a wonder drug, says Dr. Roizen. “It’s one of the best ways to keep your arteries young and your immune system strong—two keys to living well beyond age 90.”

If you commit to these steps, “by the time you’re 75, physiologically you’ll be about 55,” says Michael Roizen, M.D., coauthor of You: The Owner’s Manual.

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