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Living a healthy lifestyle: start small by making these simple life changes.


Be a health ambassador and encourage health screening.

Reach out to others--your mother, aunts, sisters and friends--who might not be proactive about getting necessary health screening tests like mammograms, colonoscopies and Pap smears. Log on to the National Women's Health Information Center at 4woman.gov/screening charts for a list of tests and when to get them.

Living a healthy lifestyle: follow the two-bite principle.

Indulge in two bites of anything you want that's unhealthy and then pass on it. Those first nibbles have the most flavor and give you the most pleasure--and you'll often find they're enough to satisfy a craving.

Use the right breathing technique.

Take five minutes to energize yourself with this simple aromatherapeutic breathing technique: Hold your favorite tea bag (dry, not brewed) near your nose (try autumnal flavors like cinnamon, apple spice, ginger or a peppermint blend), then inhale through your nose for a count of four, holding your breath for a count of eight, and finally exhaling for a count of four. Repeat 10 times. You'll feel instantly more revved.

Use visualization exercises for success.

Before, say, giving a presentation, take three minutes to visualize things turning out wonderfully. A calm feeling will come over you as you do your visualization exercises that prepares you and sets a positive tone.

Keeping reading for three more healthy lifestyle tips that will leave you feeling more energized.

[header = More energizing healthy lifestyle tips, including fitness workout advice.]

Find out more about how living a healthy lifestyle can energize you today.


Effective desk organization is key.

It will save time and will establish a visual path for the workflow through your office. Create three areas: "In," "In Process" and "Out." The In area should be at the corner of your desk closest to the door and should contain only things that are brand-new. Once you've started work on something, it goes into the In Process area (the largest in the system), which should be within arm's reach. The farthest end of your desk is the Out area; this includes letters and packages to mail or interoffice. Taking just half an hour to create this simple desk organization system will help you stay calm and in control.

Schedule a fitness workout wake-up call.

Make a pact with a friend to phone each other for your a.m. workouts. It may be just the extra push you need to get out of bed and into your fitness workout clothes. Use the same idea to lure your workaholic friend out of the office and into the Spinning class you both love.

Living a healthy lifestyle: admit when you don't know.

We're constantly pressured to have answers to and opinions about everything. Such pressure can make us painfully conscious of the gaps in our knowledge. Accept your blind spots, and realize that knowledge is not the most important thing--wisdom is, and often this is best gained by asking questions, listening and engaging others.

Read on for four more healthy lifestyle tips for a happier, healthier and more energized you.

[header = Living a healthy lifestyle: four healthy lifestyle tips from Shape online.]

Living a healthy lifestyle: Shape shares simple and straightforward ways for a healthier you.


Choose creative calcium rich foods and drinks.

An 8-ounce serving of fortified soy milk, 16 ounces of fortified orange juice and one Luna bar give you close to the 1,000 milligrams of bone-building calcium recommended daily. The mineral also eases PMS symptoms and improves sleep, so be sure to add calcium rich foods to your diet.

Living a healthy lifestyle: declare an e-mail-free zone for an hour.

E-mail has become a terrible addiction that can interrupt you thinking and ability to concentrate. Try to spend the first hour of your day doing your most critical task and you'll feel a sense of accomplishment.

Do a breast exam.

When doing a breast exam, imagine what the lump would look like if the skin weren't in the way. If the breasts feel the same all over, it's just the way they're made. You only need to be concerned about an area or lump that's different from the rest. But even if you feel something odd, don't panic. Watch it and if it doesn't go away after two menstrual cycles, see your doctor for a physical breast exam and ask about a mammogram or ultrasound. Don't let it go if your physician dismisses your concern, either; you're the world's best expert when it comes to your breasts.

Select a quick stretching routine of the day.

Write the stretch on a Post-it note that you place on your keyboard; then do the stretching routine for 20-30 seconds (no bouncing) every time you think of it (aim for two or three times a day). Stretch these five areas to get you through your first workweek: wrists, neck, shoulders, calves, back.

Living a healthy lifestyle: indulge in flower power.

Besides adding a nice decorating touch, keeping a mixed bouquet in your office may help improve memory, learning and concentration.

Keep reading for five more practical healthy lifestyle tips.

[header = 5 more healthy lifestyle tips, including how fast to boost workout routines.]

Shape shares five more healthy lifestyle tips that will help you become happier, healthier and more energized.


Living a healthy lifestyle: create a "get to do" list.

On every to-do list you create, alternate tasks to accomplish with ways to reward yourself. So if No. 1 on your list is "laundry," No. 2 could be "call best friend"; if No. 3 is "post office," No. 4 might be "enjoy some chocolate, guilt-free."

Offer specific help.

People often don't know what to say in a time of crisis. If you have a friend who has health problems, has lost a loved one, or is going through a particularly rough time, try this approach: Say, "I'm sorry you're facing this," and rather than just asking if there's anything you can do to help, follow up with concrete assistance. Call and offer to take your friend's kids to the movies, for example, or bring dinner over one night.

Living a healthy lifestyle: say no.

At least half the time you're asked to do something you don't want to do (but feel like you should), say no--it's like saying yes to yourself.

Follow the 10 percent per week rule when increasing workout routines.

Working out at too intense a pace or for too long increases your chances of injury, but it also can wreak havoc on your digestive system, causing constipation, diarrhea or even vomiting. To keep your gastrointestinal system (and your joints) happy and running smoothly, aim to increase your workout routines (meaning time-wise and resistance-wise) by no more than 10 percent per week.

Stop a snack attack.

Eliminate a taste trigger to a snack you can't stop nibbling by eating something that is the exact opposite. For instance, if you're craving something sweet, sip something tart, such as water with lemon in it, or nosh on a dill pickle. When chips or nuts are tempting, reach for an apple or a piece of cheese to counter the salty, crunchy taste trigger.

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