Five Ways to be Healthier outside the Kitchen

Five Ways to be Healthier outside the Kitchen

Frequent driver? Get an air cleaner for your backseat. Dirty air contributes to everything from lung disease to low birth weight. Driving or jogging along heavily trafficked highways is hazardous. Breathing in particulates, nitrogen oxides, benzenes, and other air pollutants can increase your risk of dying from heart failure and respiratory disease. Pollution contributes to the hardening of the arteries, abnormal heart rhythms, even the thickening of the blood according to a report commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2004. Don't pump your own gas. If you do, find a pump with a fume-diffusing nozzle and look away. Benzene is an immunity-depleting toxin, also found in some commercial household cleaning products. Switch to all-green cleaning products.

Snooze on schedule. Sleep deprivation increases your C-reactive protein (CRP) levels fivefold, indicate some studies. Worse, it becomes a pattern remedied with pharmaceuticals that, in the long run, compound the problem by generating more toxins and creating dependency

Think pharmokinetically. All prescription drugs deplete essential nutrients, commonly B vitamins, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium. All statin drugs deplete coenzyme Q10, which is critical for normal heart function and energy. Even ordinary aspirin depletes vitamin C, folate, potassium, iron, and sodium. Don't take drugs that you don't need. More than 100,000 people die annually of side effects from prescription drugs (twenty times the number of deaths from illegal drugs).

Learn to breathe deeply. Breathing in the typical shallow-chested way keeps your lungs under exercised, deprives you of the rewards of fully oxygenating your brain and all the body's tissues, and keeps stress locked into your joints and organs. Watch a video or take a workshop on Yogic breathing (pranayama). Aerobic activities also force you to use your respiratory system optimally.

Zone out and bond. Get a grip on your emotions. Negative feelings set off alarms in all of the immune centers (especially those where you are most vulnerable). Develop give-and-take relationships you can fall back on, even if it's just your bridge partner and your dutiful dachshund.

Frances