Healthy habits can change your life
Grandmothers have many roles. They serve as confidants, mentors and teachers in many areas such as history, psychology and culinary arts. Among their many areas of expertise, healthy living is on top. I dedicate this article to my grandmother, Mary Diaz, who has taught me to value life and family every day.
With our busy lifestyles, it's easy to forget everything they have taught us. Here's to remembering the basics:
• Drink plenty of water every day. Our brains consist of 78 percent water, and a lack of it can lead to a multitude of ills such as migraines, fatigue and dry skin. The common rule of thumb is to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and much more if you live in hot or dry weather.
• Veggies? Yes, please! Decrease the amount of meat, cheese and high processed foods and enjoy an extra portion of fruits and vegetables every day. Eating plenty of servings of fruit and vegetables on a regular basis can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and even certain cancers. Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber resulting in a healthy digestive system. It's no wonder why they say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
• Take a natural multivitamin every day. To make up for any deficiencies in your diet, but don't let it become a substitute for healthy and nutritious food.
• Move! Many of us hold jobs that consist of staring at a monitor all day only to go home and relax on the sofa. With obesity on the rise, exercising at least 30 minutes can make a world of difference. Mow the lawn, dance, swim; even walking can improve your health. Regardless of age, adopting a healthy habit of exercise once a day for only 30 minutes can improve your cholesterol, make you stronger and increase your overall well-being. Talk to your doctor about what exercise regime to follow.
• Reduce, reuse and recycle. Our planet needs to stay fit, too. Slowly we become more wasteful in the name of convenience. However, many of what we consider waste is actually quite useful. Do the right thing and take the extra time to separate your trash and drive to the recycling center. You can begin making small steps by placing a bin in your backyard to place paper, plastic and aluminum. Not only will you feel good about it, but also you may even end up with extra change in your pocket.
• Sharing is caring, and that includes sharing our time. Spending time with family and friends is an important part of maintaining a healthy state of mind. Having a successful career and being a good employee is important. It sets a great example for our kids and community, but unfortunately, work never ends. Children on the other hand do grow up, parents do age; therefore, make the extra effort to have quality time as a family.
• Say grace. In this life you will have trouble, but we sure have plenty to be thankful for. Take a moment to reflect on your good fortune and you will find that the good outweighs the rest.
Susanna M. Zambrano is the academic advising and student services coordinator for South Yuma County and the associate professor of psychology at Arizona Western College. Email her at Susanna.Zambrano@azwestern.edu.