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
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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.