We all have regrets in life. Maybe you've didn't travel as much as you would have liked or you stayed too long in a bad relationship.
When it comes to our health, there can also be regrets. But if you start now there is still time to garner health benefits bringing fulfillment and enjoyment to your life for many years to come. The secret is to begin now and keep practicing these health habits on a regular basis to watch them come to fruition.
1. Always wearing sunscreen
Wrinkles, moles and skin cancer can largely be avoided by the regular use of sunscreen. Look for sunscreens with an SPF 15 or higher stating it has broad-spectrum coverage. This term means the product protects both types of rays: UVB and UVA. UVB rays burn skin -- thinks of the "B" for "burn." UVA rays can age skin -- think of the "A" for "aging." Also look for sunscreens stating they are water resistant.
2. Making physical fitness a priority
All that time spent on the couch or sitting in front of a computer does not do a body good. Exercise keeps your weight in check along with releasing endorphins providing a "feel good" rush after you're done. Keeping yourself in shape also pays off in the years to come as you age more gracefully looking years younger.
3. Taking care of your teeth
A beautiful smile is a healthy smile. Smiling is one of the first things we notice about another person and if they have taken good care of their teeth, it clearly shows. Brush, floss, and regular visits to the dentist are not to be ignored. Besides, wearing dentures or having poor oral hygiene makes eating a lot less enjoyable.
4. Never or having stopped smoking
If you've never smoked, you made a smart decision. People who have never picked up the habit are not chained to a paper stick that's expensive and can ruin your health. If you've kicked the habit -- good for you! Within 20 minutes after stopping smoking, your heart rate returns to normal, within 2 hours your blood pressure and circulation improve, within 12 hours your carbon monoxide levels lower, and within 24 hours your risk for heart disease is spiraling itself down.
5. Each day taking time to destress
We can't really avoid stress completely but we can do things to help us destress each day. Anything that can help you feel calm, at peace and more relaxed, is a step in dealing with stress better and healthier for you in the long run. Some ways to do this could be meditation, drinking green team, listening to music, getting a massage, taking a hot bath or going for a long walk.
6. Being grateful
Showing gratitude can help nourish your mind, body, and soul. Studies have even shown having and practicing gratitude helps us live a healthier and more fulfilling life. Being grateful promotes happiness, improves self-esteem, helps you sleep better, reduces aggression, and helps develops resilience. Writing down in a journal each day what you are grateful for can be a start towards practicing this health habit.
7. Maintaining a healthy body weight
The key here is healthy body weight -- you do not have to be stick thin to be healthy. We all come in different sizes and shapes and what weight looks good on one person will not be the same for someone else. The idea is throughout your life keep your weight within a range suitable for your age, gender, body frame size and height. It's when we go up and down the scale over the years we tend to get our metabolism out of whack making it harder to reach the weight meant for you.
8. Eating healthy foods 90% of the time
Notice I didn't say 100%! We all like the occasional dessert but when we make eating healthy nutritious food a priority and we see how it makes us look and feel, there really is no point in going back to bad eating habits. When you choose to eat lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, healthy dairy and lean protein, you'll see the result in better skin, hair, digestion and overall health.
9. Choosing water as your main beverage
Water is the cheapest most natural form of fluid our body requires daily. When we learn to like the taste of water instead of grabbing a flavored beverage we don't become reliant on an unnatural fluid choice. Water obviously keeps us hydrated but it also energizes our muscles, controls our calorie intake (water has no calories), gives us great skin, maintains normal bowel functioning and flushes out waste products our body doesn't need.
10. Regular physical checkups
Routine health screenings for both men and women are essential to keeping tabs on your health and to spot potential problems early. When we get regular checkups it can bring peace of mind when everything comes out good but even if it doesn't, because you do frequent screenings the likelihood of overcoming the health condition is much better.
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team Learn more at roboticoncology.com. Visit Dr. Samadi's blog at SamadiMD.com. Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and Facebook.