Community Health Association

of Richmond & West Stockbridge

10 Easy Tips for Good Health

Call Emilie at 413-232-0122

Are you looking to improve your life? Get healthier? Feel better? Here are ten great, healthy habits you can adopt this year for a happier, healthier, and potentially longer life.  Pamela Avery, MD, author

1. Reduce stress. Stress affects your health in a very negative way. It affects your immune system. It affects your ability to sleep and to digest your food properly. It causes you to gain weight and impacts on pain. If you're looking for one thing you can do better for yourself and your health this year, it would be to find methods of reducing your stress. Stress reduction tools are easy to learn and create relaxation. Relaxation reverses the impact of stress on your body.

2. Drink more water, not just because water is good for you but because when you drink more water, you stop drinking soda or other sugary drinks. Diet soda isn't much better because it's full of artificial sweeteners and chemicals. They are excessively sweet and make your tastebuds crave excessively sweet foods.

3. Walk/exercise. Adding exercise to your day adds years to your life. You don't have to run a marathon or become iron man triathletes. Walking for 30 minutes a day is an excellent start. Plus, you'll just feel better as your brain produces more neurotransmitters for positive emotion - nature's "feel good " molecules!

4. Get your vitamins. A well-balanced diet is excellent; however a multi-vitamin is an excellent tool for a little extra insurance, since few of us consistently eat the right foods at the right time in the right amounts.

5. Eat more fruits and veggies. It goes without saying that eating your fruits and veggies is good for your health. Add one extra serving of fruits and veggies each day to your diet every week until you are eating at least 5-7 or more servings a day. You'll be well on your way to improving many aspects of your health.

6. Eat less saturated fat. Instead of ordering a burger or a steak at dinner, consider chicken or fish. Have a no-meat day once a week. Use more olive oil and canola oil for cooking. Eat low-fat or no-fat dairy. Avoid trans-fats and saturated fats found in butter and some margarine spreads.

7. Eat less sugar. Sugar causes a rapid rise in blood sugar and an initial feeling of well being. It also causes a rapid drop in blood sugar and a feeling of no energy. Then you eat more sugar and the cycle repeats itself. This roller coaster of sugar highs and lows wreaks havoc on your body. The solution, eat less sugar, refined and processed foods. Make your complex carbohydrates whole grains, beans, yams, sweet potatoes and long-grain rice. This is called low glycemic impact eating.

8. Fish oil. Fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in our bodies. It may help reduce cholesterol and may help protect your brain against degenerative diseases. Take a supplement or eat at least 2 servings of cold-water, fatty fish twice a week.

9. Go to the doctor. Are there regular tests you should be taking to test for hereditary illnesses or preventative measures that are appropriate to your age? Cancer screenings are the most common, but cholesterol checks, blood pressure readings and blood glucose levels are all important. Take the steps necessary to see your doctor this year. Schedule it around your birthday each year as a reminder.

10.Laugh. Laughing reduces stress and puts you in a positive frame of mind. It's scientifically proven that stress has a direct effect on your health. Laughter counter-acts the effects of stress. Laugh, you'll be glad you did!

Dr. Pamela Avery, the Natural MD, is a board-certified physician and specialist of over 30 years in the management of pain through natural methods. She offers free articles, weekly newsletters and online pain management lifestyle coaching. She has developed a lifestyle system for chronic pain entitled "Live Pain Free! 6 Steps to a Pain Free Life." It can be accessed at Her free special report, "The Truth about Supplements", as well as her E-zine, "Natural Solutions", can be accessed at 

                                             Dr. Pamela Avery