Health plans to discover how to stay healthiest for years to come


It’s natural for most of us to pay attention to our body’s outward appearance, but when was the last time you considered the small miracles it’s performing beneath your skin? If your answer is high school biology class, take this opportunity to applaud your amazing inner machineries, such as your liver, heart and cervix, and discover how to stay your healthiest for years to come.

Organ: Your bladder

What it does:

The holding spot for urine formed in your kidneys until it’s time to go.

Keep it healthy:

1. Obey your urges. Waiting to hit the bathroom can stretch out your bladder, which may cause incontinence or a urinary tract infection. Feel the urge? Go to the ladies room!

2. Eat yoghurt. Women who ate two servings of yogurt daily were less likely to develop bladder cancer than those who skipped the creamy stuff, research finds. The lactic acid bacteria may fight the disease, so choose a lowfat version with live cultures.

Organ: Your cervix

What it does:

This canal, which links your uterus with your vagina, flattens itself out to allow a baby to be born.

Keep it healthy:

  1. Get regular exams. One out of seven American women skips her Pap smears. Without an exam, your doc can’t test for human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and cell abnormalities that up your risk for cervical cancer. Make an annual appointment and keep it.
  2. Veg out. Women who ate a veggie-filled diet were more than 50 percent less likely to have lingering HPV infections, a study from the University of Arizona in Tucson finds. Got salad fatigue? Dig into this delish Chicken, Cashew and Vegetable Stir-Fry.

Organ: Your liver

What it does:

This organ, the largest in the body, sits under the ribs, where it breaks down harmful substances, manufactures about half the body’s cholesterol and processes sugars and releases them into the bloodstream as glucose.

Keep it healthy:

  1. Stay at a right-for-you weight. Being pudgy puts you at greater risk for fatty liver, a disease that affects up to 40 million Americans.
  2. Skip weight loss supplements. These specious shortcuts to slim can harm your liver, even in small amounts. Toss the pills and slim without sacrificing your health by using these easy, all-natural weight loss secrets to shrink a size or several.

Organ: Your lungs

What it does:

These two air bellows that surround the heart are responsible for every breath you take, bringing oxygen to your blood and sending it to your brain, and pushing carbon dioxide from your blood back into the atmosphere.

Keep it healthy:

  1. Kick the sticks. Even occasional smoking can lead to cancer. Whatever is driving you to puff (stress? to avoid eating?), other habits you might take up in the absence of cigs (nail biting, nibbling chocolates) aren’t nearly as damaging as inhaling nicotine. Women often worry that they’ll gain weight after quitting. I promise, you’ll lose the pounds eventually. But there’s only one of you, so don’t squander your health smoking.
  2. Give ’em a workout. Exercising improves lung capacity, helping your body shuttle more oxygen to your muscles to make everyday activities, like mopping the kitchen floor or playing with your moppets, feel easier.
  3. Take a breather. In addition to zapping angst, a couple of minutes of deep breathing can help your lungs function better, delivering more oxygen to your body and bolstering your energy. Try this instant relaxer to mellow out the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed at work: Close your eyes and take five deep breaths, emphasizing the exhale. Consider the task you’re about to tackle. Think of a talent of yours (precision, people skills) you can use to succeed on the project. Envision the completed assignment, and then open your eyes. It’s a recipe for refreshing!

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