How to stay healthy

Your health is the most important part of your life because if you’re sick, nothing else seems to matter.  There are many things you can do to stay healthy.  The first and most important of these is exercise, both physical and mental.  Your physical exercise should be regular.  Apart from the daily short walks that all of us do, you should set aside three twenty-minute exercise periods every week.  During these times you can do things like sit-ups, push-ups, running and weight training, but even extended walking can have health benefitsWeight training builds more muscle and increases your metabolism, which helps your body burn more calories and keeps your weight down.  Your heart is an important muscle that needs to get exercise to stay healthy, so when you’re exercising, get your heart rate up and keep it up during your exercise time.

Besides your body, your brain also needs to get exercise.  As you get older, you get mentally lazier because you do the same kinds of thinking everyday.  To make your brain healthier, do more mental exercises like reading, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or other mental games.  This will create more connections between your brain cells and keep your brain working well.  You can also challenge your brain by learning new things such as a new language or how to play a musical instrument.

The next most important thing to staying healthy is to eat right.  Eat foods that are high in nutritional value, and stay away from junk food, which has too much sugar or salt.  If you love to eat sweets, eat fruit, which has natural sugar.  Avoid eating too much salt.  Most processed food has lots of salt in it, so cook your own meals and don’t add much salt.  Caffeine in coffee is not a bad thing if you limit the amount you drink.  Never have coffee in the evening because it can effect your ability to sleep.  Finally, drink lots of water.  It keeps your whole body, inside and out, working well.  Carry a liter of water with you all day and take a drink when you’re thirsty.  It should be filtered to remove the chlorine and fluoride which are added to kill bacteria.

Stress also needs to be managed.  To reduce your stress you can learn to do yoga or meditation.  Even watching TV, especially shows that make you laugh, and listening to music can lower your stress.  Taking walks along the beach or in a park and staying mentally in the present also lower your stress level.   Staying in the present and not thinking about the past or the future allows you to focus on being alive.  Smell the roses, feel the air on your skin, notice the clouds above and everything else happening around you.

Your relationships are also important to your health.  Everyone needs somebody they can talk to and tell their thoughts and feelings to.  Everyone also needs love in their lives.  Apart from the people that you love, pets are wonderful companions that you can love and that will love you back unconditionally.  People need to feel that they’re part of something bigger, and joining an organization can give you this feeling.  Get the feeling of belonging by joining a church, a club, or even an online community.  People who have a lot of social contact get sick less often than people who don’t.

Of course, being clean protects you against diseases that can make you sick.  Develop the habit of washing your hands after a visit to the bathroom and before eating to kill the germs on your hands that can make you sick.  When you’re away from home, try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth at anytime.  Bacteria and viruses usually enter your body through these openings.  When you get home at the end of your work day, wash your hands to keep your home a safe place.  A bath or shower should be a regular activity, even a daily activity.  Brushing your teeth and tongue twice a day will help prevent the many diseases that start there.

Finally, staying healthy requires enough sleep every night.  Adults should get between 7 and 9 hours, and school-aged children should get between 10 and 11.  To sleep better avoid caffeine for at least 6 hours, alcohol for at least 4 hours, and eating for at least 3 hours before bedtime.  People who exercise regularly sleep better, and a good night’s sleep will prevent overeating.

All of the above can become habits if you make the effort to do them regularly.  When they become habits, it will be easier to keep your good health because you won’t have to think about it.  It will be automatic.

Click on the audio recording below to hear the above lesson.


matter:  be important
physical:  of the body
mental:  of the mind
apart from:  in addition to
set aside:  reserve, plan the time
periods:  times
sit-ups:  an exercise where you lie on your back and lift your upper body to a vertical position
push-ups:  an exercise where you lie on your stomach and push your hands against the floor until you rise up.
weight training:  exercises where you use heavy weights to develop your muscles
extended:  longer
benefits:  things that are good for you
metabolism:  your body’s ability to burn calories
rate:  speed
crossword puzzles:  a game where you put words into little boxes that cross each other
Sudoku:  a number game where each row, column and square contain the numbers 1 to 9
cells:  the smallest living parts
challenge:  do something more difficult
nutritional value:  food goodness
natural:  from nature, not artificial
avoid:  don’t do
processed:  made in large quantities with unhealthy preservatives added
caffeine:  a drug that makes you alert and keeps you awake
limit:  not do too much
effect:  have a result on
bacteria:  tiny life forms that can make you sick
managed:  taken care of
reduce:  make less, lower
yoga:  a practice where you stretch your body gently
meditation:  a practice where you make your mind quiet
focus:  put your attention
companions:  friends that stay with yo
unconditionally:  for no reason
social contact:  meeting and talking to people
habit:  something you do without thinking
viruses:  tiny life forms that need your body to live
regular:  happening often
daily:  happening everyday
prevent:  stop from happening
diseases:  sicknesses
requires:  must have
overeating:  eating too much
automatic:  done by itself

Pronunciation Exercise:  Listen and repeat the vocabulary above on the audio file below.

© 2014 Ambien Malecot

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