10 Lifestyle Steps to Protect Your Heart, Brain and Body

Shield yourself from certain diseases and premature aging with these simple habits.

10 Lifestyle Steps to Protect Your Heart, Brain and Body

When it comes to staying healthy or reclaiming your health, we always advocate getting 10,000 steps a day and eating seven to nine serving of fruits and veggies daily while dodging the Five Food Felons: refined grains, processed and red meats, added sugars and syrups and trans and saturated fats. But if you want to super-charge your efforts to achieve your healthiest life, incorporating all of these ten lifestyle tips may help do the trick. You’ll decrease your risk of heart disease and dementia by over 80 percent according to data in five large studies, slash your cancer risk and increase your happiness quotient exponentially. So here they are:

  1. Embrace the four forms of physical activity: Use a pedometer to measure your daily steps—and aim for 10,000. Get 150 minutes or more of aerobic activity (interval walking; cycling; etc.) weekly. Every morning, do a sunrise salutation  to promote flexibility and balance. Twice a week, do 30 minutes of strength-building with bands or hand weights. And if your doctor says you can jump safely, do 20 jumps in the morning and 20 in the evening, daily.
  2. Enjoy speed of processing games: Dr. Mike advocates games like Double Decision. Research shows it can decrease dementia in 73- to 83-year-olds by over 33 percent when practiced for five weeks.  
  3. Knock out the Five Food Felons and avoid “Snake Oil Foods”: We mentioned the felonious foods before, but Snake Oil Foods are the ones that make empty promises and deliver either ZERO benefits or are harmful. They include energy drinks, sugary protein bars, and supplements claiming to make you stronger or thinner without changing your habits.
  4. Practice daily meditation to manage your stress response: Stress causes your body to secrete hormones that raise blood pressure, suppress your immune system, raise cancer and heart attack risks, and shrink your brain cells. Regular meditation routines can help dispel stress hormones.
  5. Dodge toxins: Steer clear of tobacco and secondhand smoke; eliminate unnecessary contact with hormone disruptors in plastics, personal care products, and receipts pesticides; and air pollution (exercise indoors on days when air quality is poor).
  6. Drink coffee (without additives)—daily: Decaf and caffeinated coffee temper inflammation, are brain-friendly, lower postmenopausal women’s risk for type 2 diabetes by 15 to 25 percent, lower the risk for esophageal, colon and rectal cancers by 20 to 30 percent; and reduce the risk for endometrial, aggressive prostate and estrogen-negative breast cancer. Drinking several cups of caffeinated coffee a day does all that too, plus it may help you dodge heart disease, kidney problems, and diabetes—not to mention premature death.
  7. Eat salmon/ocean trout twice a week (or take 900mg DHA omega-3 daily): Anti-inflammatory omega-3 DHA fatty acids are essential for eye and brain health. If you’re not a fish-eater, omega-3 DHA supplements fill the bill.
  8. Enjoy an infrared sauna for 20 minutes, four times weekly: Infrared spectrum light triggers heat within your body (but not in the room around you!) to ease aches and pains and reduce stress. If you have heart issues, be sure to check with your doctor first.
  9. Take Fab 8+ supplements daily: They are 1,000 IU vitamin D3; a multivitamin with nutrient levels close to their RDA (½ morning and ½ night; 600mg calcium and 300mg magnesium for bone and cardiovascular health; 900mg daily DHA omega-3; two anti-cancer and heart-loving uncoated 81mg aspirin (one morning, one night); 420mg of purified omega-7 to reduce insulin resistance and inflammation; a probiotic (lactobacillus or spore form) containing four billion colony-forming units for gut and immune health and regulation of weight and insulin levels. Plus: 200mg coenzyme Q10 to reduce the risk of diabetes and hypertension and NAD+, a coenzyme essential for delivering nutrients to cells.
  10. Give sleep the respect it deserves: You won’t achieve super-health if you’re not getting seven to eight hours of restful sleep nightly. Having trouble? Here are some tips to help. Make sure you’re also tracking your sleep, with Sharecare, a free app for iOS and Android: enter your sleep manually or let the app track it for you. Either way, it’s sure to help you get more ZZZ’s.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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