Many like to think that it won’t happen to us. Drowning, however, is the number one cause of death while boating, with statistics showing that 80 percent of these drowning victims were not wearing life jackets. Don’t risk it; make sure everyone on board has a life jacket.
Fruits are the most convenient way to get the vitamins you need to get through the day. They also provide fiber and antioxidants to keep your body working its best. Fruits are a quick snack that can give you a mid-day pick-me-up that you can feel good about!
Hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. Key times to wash your hands include before making food, putting in/taking out contact lenses, treating wounds, and after coming into contact with a sick person.
This one is a no-brainer. An act as simple as fastening your seat belt when you get into a car can prove to be lifesaving in a crash. If you have young children, it is also important to properly secure the child seat in your car.
Wearing sunscreen is the best thing to do to protect your skin from too much sun exposure. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, affecting 1 in 5 Americans over the course of a lifetime.
Your mom was right; breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does breakfast fuel you up for your day, a Harvard study showed that men who simply ate cereal for breakfast consistently weighed less than those who did not eat anything.
Especially important when camping or out in the wilderness, insect repellent keeps pests like mosquitos away from you and inhibits the spread of insect–borne diseases. Some of these diseases include malaria, Lyme Disease, and the West Nile virus.
While salt, or sodium, is necessary for us to survive, we too often overindulge in it. Excess salt in your diet can lead to the development of high blood pressure, as well as complications as serious as heart failure.
Ignoring your propensity for bad decision making while drunk, chronic heavy drinking leads to a multitude of health problems. These problems can include cancer, cardiovascular disease, cirrhosis (liver damage), depression, high blood pressure, and nerve damage, among many others.
Having regular check-ups with your doctors is the best way to practice preventative medicine. Doctors can spot problems with your health early on before they develop into something larger. One of these visits could be the key to living a longer life.
Like regular doctor visits, it is also important to visit your dentist regularly. They too can spot minor problems before they turn into big problems. Oral cancer is a big risk factor in the United States, killing over 12,000 people a year, even though dentists can easily diagnose and treat it in its early stages.
Although many of us love a good steak, it’s best to only eat them in moderation. Red meats are high in saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol and the risk for heart disease. Some studies have even shown a link between the over–consumption of red meat and certain types of cancer.
Similar to regular doctor check – ups, staying up to date with your vaccinations is preventative medicine. Instead of waiting to contract a disease and go through treatment, it makes much more sense to vaccinate yourself against the disease. The CDC even offers a schedule of what vaccinations to take and when.
Nuts are loaded with a myriad of different chemicals that are beneficial to your body. They are high in unsaturated fats, Omega–3 fatty acids, fiber, Vitamin E, and plant sterols. All of these substances are helpful in lowering bad cholesterol and improving heart health.
Whether you are riding a bike, motorcycle, skateboard, or any other device that puts you in a position to take a hard fall, it is a good idea to wear a helmet. In those situations, helmets are your only defense against head injuries which can range from minor to life threatening. Purchase a discounted child’s helmet from the UI Children’s Hospital Safety Store.
This one is simple enough to understand: By switching from whole milk (or any full fat dairy product) to low–fat or skim milk, you are cutting both calories and saturated fat. It can help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol, and reduce your risk for heart disease.
As you age, it becomes more and more important to get yourself screened for diseases or warning signs that come with growing older. Even though you may not show signs of these complications, they become ever more frequent the older you get.
Studies have proven that reducing your calorie intake by 20 percent increases life-span. Similarly, reducing your calorie intake will cause you to lose weight, which can be especially beneficial to those who are overweight.
It’s important to know that your smoke detectors are working in case of an emergency. Most smoke detectors have test buttons to indicate if they are working. Another smart strategy is to change the batteries whenever you change the time for daylight savings.
When you fry your food, you are literally cooking it in fat. This will result in a meal that is both high in saturated fat and cholesterol. By using one of these different methods to cook your food, you eliminate all the extra fat you’re cooking with and opt for a healthier meal.
While it may be tempting to approach a cute and cuddly animal in the wild, it is usually best to leave them alone. Some may attack out of fear, while others could be host to any number of diseases or disease–carrying insects.
While fiber is mainly known for its laxative properties, it provides many other benefits to the body as well. Found in fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, fiber can also lower your cholesterol. For those with diabetes, fiber helps control blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar.
Whether a knife slips in the kitchen or you take a hard fall outside, it’s important to clean and disinfect your injuries before you bandage them. Your skin is your biggest defense against harmful bacteria, so when your flesh gets exposed it’s easier for harmful bacteria to take root and multiply.
Studies have shown that foods high in soy protein, such as soy beans or soy milk, can help lower your blood pressure or keep it low. One of the easiest ways to do this is by substituting soy milk for regular milk.
Using excess fats and oils such as butter adds unneeded health risks to your meal. Instead, try cooking with oils that are high in unsaturated fats, such as olive, canola, or sesame seed oil
Remarkably enough, by stretching every day you become more flexible, which will in turn improve your posture and reduce aches and pain. This is increasingly important in old age as the added flexibility can make you feel years younger than you actually are.
You have heard it all before: smoking increases your risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and any number of respiratory problems. Ninety percent of lung cancer cases are due to smoking. Don’t do it.
After 15 years of not smoking, your risk of contracting lung cancer will be the same as a non–smoker. Don’t quit for yourself, quit for your family and friends that will have to watch you suffer if you continue to smoke.
It is never a good idea to get behind the wheel when you are in an altered state of consciousness. After only two drinks, your reaction time begins to slow. In 2009, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol–impaired driving crashes, nearly one–third of all traffic–related deaths in the United States that year.
Garlic has been proven to increase hydrogen sulfide levels in red blood cells. The higher levels of hydrogen sulfide in the body may boost resistance to cancer. After you crush garlic, be sure to let it sit for about 15 minutes before cooking so that the enzymes in the garlic are fully activated.
A study following centenarians (people who are older than 100) found that a majority of these people had a very positive disposition toward life. This bright optimism may have helped them avoid stress, which has a way of weakening the body’s immune system.
As anyone with a pet will tell you, having a pet is a great source of companionship. Having a pet has been shown to be especially beneficial to the elderly, who may not have as many opportunities for companionship. This is a great way to increase quality of life when seniors may not be as active as they used to be.
Bring out your inner Buddhist. Studies have found that those who can achieve deep levels of meditation through meditating or yoga release numerous chemicals in the brain which fight stress and aging. It also reduces the level of the hormone cortisol, which is the result of stress and interferes with learning and memory.
Seafood is the most prominent source of Omega–3 fatty acids. Research indicates that a diet that consists of enough of these healthy fats can reduce the risk of heart disease and many other lethal health conditions.
A study performed in Norway found that laughing really is the best medicine. On average, the people who lived longer had a more humorous view of the world and laughed more often than people with shorter life spans. People with cancer who laughed more were 70 times more likely to still be alive at the end of the 7–year study.
Chronic stress causes wear and tear on your body and can be a factor in myriad conditions that range from heart disease to suppression of the immune system to loss of sexual function. Find an activity that helps you de-stress and make time for it every day, if only for 10 or 15 minutes.
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of spirituality as you age. Seniors who said that they were spiritually active were consistently shown to live longer than their non–spiritual counterparts. Being involved in a faith community also gave seniors an active social life.
It is necessary to cook all of your meats thoroughly in order to kill off harmful bacteria such as E. coli. The best way to do this is to purchase and use a meat thermometer. Each type of meat has different temperatures that it must be cooked to; make sure you know that temperature before you cook.
It is hard to put a finger on exactly why married couples live longer than life–long bachelors or bachelorettes. It could be that they receive better mental and emotional support, or that married couples tend to take fewer risks. It could even be as simple as having someone to take care of you when you are sick.
Many people overlook one of the best tools they have that can keep them young—their friends. Friends can make great support groups, and research has shown that older people with a larger circle of friends are more likely to live longer than those with few or no friends.
This can be one of the simplest and easiest ways to incorporate exercise into your day. Taking your dog on a brisk 10 or 15 minute walk twice a day fills the recommended daily amount of exercise for an average adult. Rover probably wouldn’t mind getting out more either!
Antioxidants help clean up the by–product your body makes by digesting food, which can harm your DNA and speed the onset of cancer. Antioxidants can be found in fruits, especially berries and grapes, as well as in vegetables, tea, and chocolate.
When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it starts to produce more Vitamin D. This vitamin is essential to bone health and may also be beneficial in preventing heart disease and diabetes, as well as reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.
Although you may not think something as simple as flossing can make an impact on life expectancy, think again. It prevents gum disease, but more importantly, it prevents heart disease. The bacteria that forms between your teeth can find its way to your arteries where it builds up plaque, making your heart work harder.
Sometimes distractions while driving are avoidable, sometimes they are not. In 2009, distracted drivers accounted for 4,898 crashes, 16 percent of the total crashes that year. Of those crashes, there were 5,474 fatalities.
Whole grains have been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of a multitude of chronic diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Eating three servings of whole grain a day will also make it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight.
Sex has numerous physical and psychological benefits. Men who have sex three times a week can decrease their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50 percent, while women who enjoy sex have been shown to live longer than women who don’t. Having sex can both increase your self–esteem while at the same time reducing your risk of depression.
Working out just two or three times a week provide a plethora of benefits for your body, especially as it ages. By lifting weights or using resistance machines, you will build lean muscle which will stave off muscle loss. Working out also leaves you feeling great due to the release of endorphins in your brain.
As people age, they tend to become more narrow minded and focused on a narrow set of skills, usually related to their job. However, it is vital to keep testing your mind and trying new things. By keeping your brain stimulated on a day-to-day basis, you will fight off memory loss associated with old age.
Multiple studies have shown that volunteers who contribute 40–100 hours a year live longer than those who do not volunteer. Multiple studies have been conducted to rule out other variables that could influence the result, but their conclusions are all the same: Volunteering leads to longer lives.
Tea, green tea in particular, is loaded with unique antioxidants called catechins, which search your body for harmful free radicals and eliminate them. Tea also has the potential to fight cancer, though studies are inconclusive because it is hard to pinpoint results to the consumption of tea.
America is facing an obesity epidemic that it has never faced before. Being extremely obese (more than 100 pounds overweight) can take an average of 10 years off an adult’s life, while moderate obesity (more than 40 pounds overweight) can take as much as 5 or 6 years off of your life.
This one will make mom happy. Studies have found that Americans who have adult children and living parents live longer than the national average. A close-knit family is also a strong support group and can provide young members with strong role models.
In 2005, more than one–third of American adults admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel! While it is hard for police to determine when drowsiness is a factor in a crash, it is estimated that around 1,550 people die each year as a result of the driver being overly–tired.
While processed foods are often more convenient and (let’s face it) tasty, you often pay for it with more calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Continually eating processed foods will lead to higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol, and most likely, weight gain.
Some people find keeping a journal to be very therapeutic. This can also be a very helpful tool to your doctors. By recording your day to day life, you may be able to go back and find warning signs for certain diseases or complications and report them to your doctor.
No, your television does not emit harmful light rays or melt your eyeballs if you sit too close, but the average American spends over two and a half hours in front of the TV every day. Needless to say, this sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to our health, and that time could be more effectively used.
While this may seem strange, it is an often unnoticed problem with most people. Yoga and meditation instructors often teach of the importance of proper breathing. In fact, pulmonary performance is one of the best indicators of general health and potential life span.
Sugary drinks have become the biggest source of sugar in the American diet and calories in teens’ diets. While soda is the biggest culprit, even beverages such as fruit drinks or sports drinks are guilty, hiding their sugar content behind “all–natural ingredients.”
One of the most important preparations you must take before leaving the country is getting immunized. Depending on what country you are going to, different vaccines may be required. Different countries have different germs and prevalent diseases, so you need to prepare your immune system to deal with these new threats.
As we age, our lifestyles typically become more sedentary and less physically active. This results in weakness, stiffness, and overall worse health in general. By taking up a new sport, you are keeping your heart healthy, staving off muscle loss, and increasing physical activity.
Lots of us try to eat healthy, but it can be hard to squeeze in all the vitamins and minerals that we need. Multivitamins are great for filling in those gaps and making sure our body has all the tools it needs to keep us protected and in good health.
Speeding is another reckless mistake that drivers make with deadly consequences. In 2009, 33,808 people were killed in traffic accidents where speeding was involved, with 372 of these fatalities occurring in Iowa.
This shouldn’t be a hard rule to follow. Your doctors have received a lot of education, and they usually knows what they’re talking about. The advice they give you is for your best health, and ignoring it could be costly.
Researchers have found that one habit that most 100-year-olds share is that they make walking a part of their day–to–day life. By doing the same, you can add years onto your life.
A glass or two of red wine each night has been shown to improve heart health, just don’t overdo it! Red wine contains an ingredient call Resveratrol, which helps prevent damage to blood vessels and reduces your bad cholesterol.
If you begin to organize your life you will see the immediate benefits it provides, but you may not know the long term benefits. As you fall into a consistent daily pattern, your circadian rhythm will be restored, which has been proven to increase longevity.
An Australian study of people aged 70 and older found that those that had a larger circle of friends on average live 22 percent longer than those who had few or no friends. It is unknown why friends seem to extend life expectancy, but multiple studies have shown the effectiveness of it.
A study following centenarians (those older than 100) tried to pick out habits that these people shared. One of the most common was waking up each morning with a purpose. For some, it was their grandchildren or great–grandchildren, for others it was a job or volunteer position they held.
By eating fresh fruit, you avoid all the extra chemicals and preservatives that have been added to canned or frozen food to keep it good for weeks on end. A great source for fresh meat, dairy, vegetables, or fruit is a local farmers market.
Forgetting to check blind spots is one of the most common mistakes drivers make. According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, every year more than 413,000 accidents are caused by blind spot related problems. These accidents injure and kill more than 160,000 people every year.
Condoms are important because they reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV or AIDS. Needless to say, you can also cut your risks of contracting these diseases by being abstinent or only having one sexual partner. However, if you engage in risky sexual behavior, be sure to always have a condom.
Those who remain seated for several hours a day are most susceptible to having bad posture. Short term effects of bad posture include muscle aches and stiffness, but the long term effect is hyperkyphosis—having head and shoulders hunched over. People with hyperkyphosis are over two times more likely to die of pulmonary causes.
One of the new driving epidemics is the use of the cell phones while driving, including making phone calls, texting, and even browsing the internet or social media sites! Current figures estimate that about 6,000 people each year are killed in an accident where someone was texting and driving.
Cross–contamination is the transfer of harmful bacteria between foods and other surfaces. It is important to use a separate plate or cutting board when working with raw meat, and remember to always wash your knife or utensil after it has come into contact with raw meat.
A famous study started in the early 1900s followed and chronicled the lives of 1,500 children. It found that of these subjects, the longest–lived ones shared the attribute of being conscientious; they were well organized, persistent, and paid attention to details.
Naps reduce the level of cortisone, the stress–causing hormone, in your brain. A Greek study asked participants whether they napped frequently, napped sometimes, or didn’t nap at all. Those who napped frequently had a significant decrease in the rate of heart disease over those who did not nap at all.
While it is common for many of us to hold grudges, it may come as no surprise that this can be detrimental to our emotional and mental health. In fact, it can even have effects on your physical health. A common trait among those with high blood pressure was holding one or more grudges for a long period of time.
This may seem counter–intuitive; retirement is about relaxation and care–free living. However, once people stop working they stop using many of the mental processes that were once commonplace in their life, and that opens the door for brain deterioration.
Over half of your body is made up of water, so it makes sense to stay hydrated. Not only can it help suppress your appetite, water also performs many maintenance services for your body to make sure you don’t lose a step!
The older we get, the harder it becomes to find the time or energy to exercise. However, the older we get, the faster our muscles and cartilage begin to deteriorate, but research shows that exercising can help you maintain muscle density and fend off arthritis and osteoporosis.
Waking up, eating breakfast, exercising, and going to bed at the same time every day may seem simple, but doing this consistently can drastically improve your day to day life. Changes can include more energy while awake and a more restful night’s sleep.
This one shouldn’t be new to you. Your teeth are meant to last you your entire lifetime, so it’s important to take care of them. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day. This will eliminate the germs in your mouth that cause plaque, which causes cavities and tooth decay.
As if you needed another reason to eat chocolate! Recent studies indicate that dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that improve heart health. The antioxidants are naturally occurring in the cacao bean, the substance that chocolate (especially dark chocolate) is made of.
This is another we–shouldn’t–have–to–tell–yous. Doctors have gone through extensive study and training in order to write prescriptions. Do not think prescription drugs are safe because they come from a doctor; taken in the wrong amounts, they can be very toxic and have unexpected effects.
You will spend around one third of your life asleep, so it makes sense to do it in comfort. We’re sure you know how much good one restful night of sleep can do, so why not make sure you are doing what you can to ensure you get the best night’s sleep possible?
Eating vegetables every day is an essential part of living a long and healthy life. Load your plate up with lots of different colors of veggies; they will provide you with myriad beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.
New research is showing us that sitting for extended periods of time (4–6 hour periods) is a strong predictor for obesity and heart health. A sedentary lifestyle will slow down your metabolism, which means you will burn fewer calories and gain weight more easily than if you led an active lifestyle.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that is shown to cause lung cancer. It can be found in any building across the United States. Luckily, Radon testing kits are inexpensive, and treating a house with high Radon levels is relatively easy.
Unhealthy fats include saturated and trans fats. Both can increase your LDL (Unhealthy) cholesterol levels as well as your risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Unhealthy fats can be identified by being solid at room temperature, as opposed to liquid.
No one knows your body better than you do. That’s why it’s important to give yourself a check-up every month to see if there is anything new or worrying that you should talk to your doctor about. Most doctors can provide a checklist of the types of things you will want to look for during these check-ups.
This is another tip that is simple and easy to execute. Not only is it completely free, but it gives you more bang for your buck than other cardio workouts. It is also easier on your feet and knees than running, which induces almost twice as much pressure on your joints.
Many research studies have shown that people who get 7–8 hours of sleep a night live longer than people who get less than 7 hours of sleep or more than 8 hours of sleep. The chemical in our brain that makes us sleepy, melatonin, has actually been proven to have antioxidant properties.
A study of men aged 35–57 concluded that those who took a vacation every year as opposed to those that only took vacations sporadically reduced their risk of death by 20 percent. Taking vacations will help relieve you of stress and simply make you feel happier, giving you a more positive outlook and lowering the risk of depression.
Snoring is a red flag for sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that will disrupt your rest and prevent you from getting a restorative sleep. A poor night’s sleep will leave you feeling lethargic the next day and more likely to make unhealthy choices like eating junk food and skipping exercise.
There are many drugs out there, some more harmful than others. Illegal drugs are not regulated and therefore you can never be completely sure of what you are getting. In addition, drugs usually have addictive properties and when used over extended periods of time they often have awful effects on your brain as well as the rest of your body.