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You can start fixing your health today

Published On: Sep 04 2012 03:22:35 PM CDT   Updated On: Nov 24 2009 02:01:16 AM CST
Weight lifting

We all want to get in shape and live an all-around healthier lifestyle.

The problem is that just the thought of all the time and energy it seems to take can be exhausting, let alone getting up off the couch and actually doing something about it.

Instead of focusing on the long haul, it can help to think of actions and steps you can take right now -- today -- to start living and being healthier.

Eat Better

The first step to eating better is not to think of it as a diet. A diet suggests a finite plan, a temporary adjustment to eating habits with a short-term goal of losing five or 10 pounds. Instead, simply think of it as a commitment to eat better and healthier one day at a time.

A quick trip to the grocery story today can put healthy food in the fridge that can be prepared in under 15 minutes. suggests some simple breakfast tips that can put you on a healthier morning track, such as drinking your breakfast -- in the form of a yogurt, fruit and berry smoothie -- and adding more grapefruit to your diet. Lunch tips, such using avocado instead of mayonnaise and eating natural peanut butter, can also be habits you start today.

Dinner can be the biggest pain of the day because it can take so much time and energy to prepare a meal, let alone a healthy one. And if you have a family and children, Hamburger Helper can be an all-to-easy option. has a list of 25 quick, healthy meals that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less.

And healthy doesn't have to mean tasteless and bland. Does corncakes with maple-yogurt topping sound bland to you? The kids might even prefer it to the dehydrated noodles in sauce.

That single trip to the grocery store with an eye toward healthy eating can go a long way.

Quit Smoking

So, you haven't read any of the recent literature on smoking? Haven't gotten the news that an estimated 483,000 people die in the United States alone from tobacco use? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1964, 29 surgeon general's reports on smoking and health have concluded that tobacco use is the single most avoidable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States.

Of course, most everyone knows the dangerous health risks associated with tobacco. But despite this, an estimated 20 percent of the U.S. population smokes cigarettes. And most smokers who are hooked on nicotine know the only thing harder than trying to quit is listening to non-smokers lecture them about smoking.

But how do you start on the path toward a smoke-free lifestyle? gives all sorts of tips and support options for the wannabe-ex-smoker, from toll-free telephone quitlines to information on the different prescription and non-prescription medications available to help you quit. So put that cigarette down now to feel better today.

Jog, Run, Do Yoga, Do Something

Whatever your choice of exercise, the important thing is to start. Right now. Today. Go ahead, we'll wait. The Internet's series of tubes will still be here when you get back.

The process and expense of joining a gym can be too much for some people, however. They end up spending $50 a month for a gym membership just so they can have 2,500 locations nationwide they do not go to.

The best way to get into the groove of exercising is to start off small, without committing a big portion of your pocketbook. Once you get into the swing of things and find yourself exercising regularly, maybe then you can justify that gym membership.

The key is to find an exercise that works for you and won't cost a lot of money or preparation time.

Jogging is free -- except for the shoes -- and you can get started now. Maybe just a long walk the first time out is the way to go. has a list of 100 tips that range from motivational (buy running clothes that look good) to the practical (do not increase your mileage more than 10 percent per week) to funny (give horses wide berths on trails and walk as you pass them unless you enjoy a hoof to the melon).

Yoga is another easy way to get started. Many health clubs offer classes, but you can get started in the comfort of your own home by buying a DVD or checking out moves at, has an in-depth article covering everything you would ever need to know about getting started on home yoga.