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Live longer or live better. Whatever your intent, simple lifestyle changes can transform your overall health, and certainly improve the quality of your day-to-day. Drop the idea that you have to overhaul your whole life. It’s simply not true.

Outside Magazine called these “the 5 most basic rules of health and fitness” and asked a Mayo Clinic physician and researcher to make it super simple. We love simple (and love it more when it’s been proven over and over over), so we’re paying it forward (again).

  1. Do Something Active Every Day.  Decades of studies show that just 30 minutes of moderate to intense daily physical activity lowers your risk for physiological diseases like heart disease and cancer, as well as psychological ones like anxiety and Alzheimer’s.  Don’t overthink it – just get moving.
  2. Stay Engaged in Life.  This means activities you find meaningful and people you care about. Face to face, as much as possible. Outdoors helps too. This is critical for both mental and physical health.
  3. Don’t Overeat.  Obesity is one of the gravest health threats in the world – and now the second leading cause of early death, behind only tobacco.
  4. Don’t Drink to Excess.  One drink per day for women and up to two for men—carries minimal risk.
  5. Never Smoke. There is absolutely nothing more damaging to health, wellness, and fitness than smoking. Enough said. (If you do smoke, here is some good news: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your body literally starts repairing the damage caused by smoking within days of stopping.)

Chances are you can find something on that list to focus on. It’s nice to have a well-stocked toolbox, so we went a little further and made a bigger list, the “10 Elements of Wicked Good Health”.

Take action. Feel better.  And now is better than later. 🙂

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