Upgrade Your Life

Wish improving your health was as easy as scoring a better cable TV package or getting a sweeter deal on your cellphone plan? It is! Here, little changes that pay off big.

Upgrade Your Life
Pin it Dominick Guillemot

Put the “multi” in your multivitamin
The idea of taking a single pill every day to cover all of your multivitamin needs is nice—but it’s important to think beyond one-a-day for optimal health, says Terry Lemerond, a Green Bay, Wis.-based health food industry pioneer. Find a formula with a suggested dosage of two tablets, three times a day—and look for one that delivers more than the Food and Drug Administration’s Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) minimums.

Take a purified fish oil
Fish oil has come under fire recently as lawsuits have been filed charging some manufacturers with producing toxic products. But fish oil—and the omega-3 fatty acids it contains—should be on everyone’s daily supplement lineup, says Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers. “Omega-3s promote mental health, improve your blood lipid profile, and are terrific anti-inflammatories,” he says. What’s more, an omega-3 supplement is essential if you’re considering having a baby, says Christiane Northrup, M.D., OBGYN, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (Bantam). Take 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams every day. To know whether your fish oil supplement is a good one, give it a sniff test, suggests Teitelbaum. “If it smells rancid, don’t take it,” he says. Brands he trusts: Carlson Labs, Nordic Naturals, Enzymatic Therapy and EuroPharma. 

Create a pre-shower ritual
The time you spend in the shower is about cleansing, yes. But it’s also about personal space and self-reflection. For many of us, it’s as close to meditation as we get. To make the most of this time, keep it sacred and clean. Take a tip from Ayurveda and do this pre-sudsing self-massage, says Stephanie Tourles, author of A Spa of Your Own: Recipes for Refreshing Skin, Hair and Body Treatments (Storey Publishing). “It will increase circulation, firm skin and strengthen your nervous system,” she says. To do it: Warm a tablespoon of organic sesame oil in the palm of your hand and massage your body, using a circular motion on your joints and an up-and-down motion on your trunk and arms.

Add aromatherapy
Simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a washcloth, and toss it onto the floor for diffusing. Use your favorite essence, or choose from one of these: Cardamom calms and eases tense muscles. Eucalyptus is stimulating and can clear clogged sinuses. Grapefruit stimulates the lymphatic system to rid the body of toxins.