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4 Surprising Ways to Safeguard Your Health

You know that you should exercise regularly, eat well, and “manage stress” in some manner. However, there are many others ways to protect your health including your mental, physical, emotional and financial well-being. These approaches aren’t always obvious, and unfortunately they’re not a priority for many people. From securing a reputable social security attorney should the need arise (instead of randomly choosing someone from the yellow pages) to practicing your breathing, there’s more than a handful of ways to get healthy.

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Here are some of the best ways to optimize, protect and preserve your health. Who knew there were avenues so much easier (and more enjoyable!) than hitting the gym?

1. Learn to say no

It’s considered admirable when someone (especially in the US) has such a full plate they can barely carry it. However, taking on too much is one of the easiest ways to push your stress level over the limit. Saying no leads to more peace, more time to enjoy, and better balance. If you need help, check out Real Simple’s tips for learning to say no in ways that won’t offend.

2. Reduce screen time

Americans spend way too much time staring at screens of all sizes. Sometimes this is unavoidable, like when it’s your job, but a lot of the time it’s a choice. Commit to reducing the time you watch TV, stare at your smartphone or other device out of boredom, and schedule a pop-up at work that makes you look away from the screen every 20-30 minutes. If you’re not sure how screen time is hurting you, take a look at Everyday Health’s recent coverage of the side effects.

3. Walk more

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need X amount of minutes straight working out in order to reap the benefits. Every movement counts, and there are probably at least a few times per week (or day) when you could walk instead of drive or sit. Encourage more movement by wearing a pedometer and challenge yourself to new levels of movement every day.

4. Smile

The simple act of smiling actually boosts your mood. If you want ever more benefits, try smiling at people, from the person you pass on the street to the barista. It’s a way of spreading kindness, and if you work on making your default setting more “smiley”, there’s a smorgasbord of good side effects that could come your way.

Treat yourself and your body how you’d want someone to treat your child. The more good you welcome, the more it will show in your health.