Of course exercise is going to help with weight loss, and so will counting calories. These are hardly “tips” or ground-breaking news. But do you know what else can make you healthier from the inside out?

Everyone has heard the old adage “You are what you eat.” This saying exists for a reason. It doesn’t, however, just mean that you should eat low calorie foods or watch your junk food intake, both of which are critical to maintain a healthy weight. It also means eating foods that are both nutritionally dense and powerful in every way they can be. How can these foods be powerful, you ask? Food can make your moods improve almost as much as exercise. It can make your skin appear more youthful. In short, it can make you more beautiful and healthy from the inside out! Some foods to consume freely are almonds, salmon, broccoli and berries.

Almonds are high in the “good” fats, or the kind that lower cholesterol. They are also filling, so you won’t be tempted to binge on the sugary, salty stuff if you have a handful of almonds. They are high in Vitamin E, and make a great-tasting natural snack. Salmon is also full of the good kind of fats. Although its high fat content makes some people shy away, it is actually quite healthy to eat a good amount of salmon a week. The Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are good for your heart, your hair skin and nails and your complexion. Again, they are not problematic for your cholesterol. Try substituting your chicken meal once a week with salmon, and having grilled salmon in your salad for lunch. There is good evidence out there that fish such as salmon improves and elevates your mood as well, as does getting in a good workout! Broccoli is just one of the most potent foods around. It is chock full of vitamins, fiber, protein and antioxidants. Your body would benefit greatly if you ate your broccoli! Berries, too, are a powerhouse in antioxidants. Vitamins and antioxidants like the kind found in broccoli and berries are great for your complexion, heart, stress, and overall health.

Other than eating better, more healthfully, and exercising, what else can one do to stay fit and healthy? Go to the doctor!

Immediately, you may be thinking “I am healthy and fit. Why do I need to see a doctor?” Not because anything is wrong, but because you should get various check-ups that you may just be missing. In other words, you should see certain professionals for preventative reasons. If you are over 40 and female, for example, you should be having a mammogram annually. If you have had breast cancer in your family, you may want to check with your doctor about having your first one at 35. Your dentist – twice annually – can stave off periodontal problems and other health concerns. Believe it or not, diseased gums have been linked to serious conditions such as heart disease and stroke! Even if you feel you are not at risk for such things, the health of your mouth is important. You want those natural choppers for as long as you can keep them, so when you are elderly you don’t miss out on the pleasures of food! While we’re on the topic of pleasures, what about the pleasure of the warm, summer sun? There is no reason you can’t still enjoy the sunshine so long as you wear protective sunscreen. However, most people don’t think to go to the dermatologist at least once a year and get an all-over skin screening. The dermatologist is another doctor to keep on your regular calendar of appointments so that he or she can check for unusual moles, skin discolorations, and any other pre-cancerous causes for concern. You don’t just need a dermatologist for acne, you know! Regular checkups with your general practitioner can also be beneficial, for blood pressure screens, checking your thyroid, and just over-all health checks once a year.

A more fun visit to a health care professional could involve the alternative therapies, such as chiropractic or massage. Both of these tools for health have proven beneficial in healing back or neck pain, or other pain not easily corrected by anything other than surgery. If you have muscle or joint issues that don’t seem to be resolved with rest, but you are not prepared for or in need of surgery, a visit to the chiropractor may be just what the doctor ordered, so to speak. Spine alignment has been shown to greatly improve back and neck pain, shoulder pain, hip pain and even headaches or sinus problems. And who doesn’t enjoy a good massage? A qualified massage therapist can lift your spirits, ease muscle tension, and relieve stress – all of which help to produce a happier, healthier you!

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