Cutting out bad habits and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be tough, but adopting a new health-conscious regime will soon start to pay dividends if you can make changes and stick to them. If you're feeling a little green around the gills or have started to think about your longevity, reforming your lifestyle could put a spring back in your step and add years to your life.
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Cut down on the booze. The habitual overenthusiastic consumption of alcohol can lead to a host of unpleasant diseases and conditions such as alcoholic liver disease, stroke, various types of cancer, high blood pressure and fertility problems. If you're male, avoid regularly drinking more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol a day. If you're female, try not to exceed 2 to 3 units a day on a frequent basis. Both genders should try to have at least two alcohol-free days a week. If you must overindulge, eat well before getting started and try to alternate alcohol drinks with glasses of water.
Quit the fags. While some studies have suggested moderate consumption of alcoholic drinks such as red wine may have some benefits, smoking is a definite no-no for the health conscious, even if its an odd social smoke. If you want to cut your chances of suffering from emphysema, lung cancer, heart disease and a bunch of other nasty conditions, talk to your GP about the help available to smokers. You can join an NHS Stop Smoking Service, use nicotine replacement therapy or ask for prescription drugs such as Zyban or Champix if you're really struggling to cut out the evil weed.
Eat well. Regularly consuming processed foods that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar can lead to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and increased blood pressure. A typical man should eat no more than 30g (1 ounce) of saturated fat a day, while an average woman should take in no more than 20g (0.7 ounces). Both genders should consume no more than 6g (0.2 ounces) of salt a day. Check out the nutritional information on your food packaging to get an idea of what you're putting into your body. Try to eat at least five portions of fruit or vegetables a day and plenty of oily fish, while limiting your intake of processed meats such as sausages, bacon and ham.
Take 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. This can include brisk walking, jogging or cycling and muscle-building activities such as weight training or yoga. If you're fairly sedentary right now, start off slowly. Walk to work instead of taking the bus. Use the stairs at work as opposed to jumping in a lift. Build up to 150 minutes in your own time if you're in worse shape than you could be. Avoid over-exerting yourself when just starting out. If you have any underlying health issues, talk to your GP before embarking on a new exercise regime.
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