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A Body Spring Clean!


The cheapest and easiest health move you can make is to up your water intake- most of us don't get anything like the two and a half litres (that's about five pints) we need daily. Aim for a glass an hour of pure still water, hot or cold - though it seems like a lot at first your kidneys will soon adapt. The acid test; if your urine is dark yellow, you're not getting enough water to flush out your toxins, hydrate your skin and other organs and avoid dehydration headaches.


Caffeine in tea, coffee, soft drinks such as cola and even chocolate can cause some degree of addiction, and is linked to raised blood pressure (which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease). Just one cup before bedtime can lead to a sleepless night. Reduce your intake gradually by two cups a week to avoid withdrawal symptoms, and switch to decaffeinated versions, herbal teas or preferably water - you're aiming for no more than two cups of caffeine a day.


Many common health problems are now believed to be rooted in nutritional deficiencies. Even though we've never had such a varied diet, it is nutritionally less rich than in previous generations due to intensive farming methods (including the use of pesticides and soil that's depleted of goodness), over processing and long storage times in transport or store. To refresh your system and get more goodness from what you eat, think about doing the following:- going organic; taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement if you eat processed foods or eat on the run; and making sure you get plenty of calcium (either through dairy produce and leafy green vegetables like broccoli or via a supplement). Calcium can help prevent the brittle-bone disease Osteoporosis which affects large numbers of men and women in later life.


Exercising little and often will have a dramatic effect on your fitness - just walking for half an hour a day can cut your risk of heart disease by 40 per cent. Exercisers visit the doctor 50 per cent less than non-exercisers, and two-thirds say they are less stressed than before. Choose something you enjoy and can easily fit into your day - dancing, swimming or even gardening will boost fitness levels.


Fruit and vegetables are packed with anti-oxidants - which fight the ageing process as well as helping to prevent degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular problems. Have at least five servings a day (one serving is the size of a tea cup filled with chopped fruit, salad or vegetables, or one apple, orange, banana etc., or one glass of fruit juice). Try and eat across the colour spectrum (red peppers and tomatoes, green apples and broccoli, orange carrots and satsumas, black currants and aubergines etc.) to get the full benefits of a wide range of nutrients. Eat raw or lightly cooked, or make delicious juices.


Keep a watch on how much alcohol you drink; it's a depressant and it's easy to go over the healthy limits. Give your system a break by never drinking on consecutive days, alternating with a glass of water between drinks, and drinking slowly (your liver can only process around one unit an hour - that's a small glass of wine at 9% alcohol, though most glasses are large and and many wines are 12+%). Remember also that guidelines are now switching from units per week to recommended daily units - it's a bad idea to accumulate your weekly allowance and 'binge drink'.


TATT (Tired all the time) syndrome is one of the most common reasons to visit a GP; research shows that on average we get at least an hour's less sleep than we really need and are consequently in permanent 'sleep debt'. Though the amount of sleep needed varies from individual to individual, you're missing out if you don't go to bed when you feel tired. Sleeping when you need to and rising when you naturally wake will help you catch up and establish your natural pattern and hours. Try it for a month and see how refreshed you feel, mentally and physically.


Did you know that half of all smokers will die early from tobacco-related diseases; yet only about three per cent quit each year? If you've previously tried and failed, look for new ways to help boost your willpower - patches, counselling or gum. Talk to Quitline (0800 00 22 00) or check out the Action On Smoking and Health website at:

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Last updated: 18 July 2015 ..................... ehealthbody.htm ........................ Grahame Newnham's Web Pages İMM