Healthy Tip # 163

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Dr. Carmella Sebastian

mancartoonsmokingThe best tip of all is and remains to stop smoking. Smoking is the only habit that gets easier to stop each time you fail. Studies have shown that it takes an average of 7 times for the average person to stop smoking. The more times that you try and fail, the better your chances are the next time of being successful. It is a well known fact that the body starts to repair itself as soon as smoking is stopped. By 3 months the lungs show signs of healing. By 15 years without smoking, a prior-smoker will have the same chance of heart disease as a person who never smoked.

For soda drinkers, the best thing that you can do this year is to stop drinking soda and replace each 12 ounce soda with water. This will do a few things:

1. Water fills you up so you will eat less.

2. Water will hydrate you while soda with its caffeine is a diuretic and will de-hydrate you.

3. An average 12 ounce soda has about 150 calories. If you drink one soda per day and replace that soda with 12 ounces of water, you will lose between 9 and 10 pounds in one year.

4. Not a soda drinker, the same applies to any sugar-filled drink like sweet tea, etc.

If you’ve tackled the soda issue, walking 30 minutes for 5 days per week would be the next health habit to include in your life. This has many benefits but those counting calories, walking at a moderate clip will burn about 200 calories and that will banish 15 pounds or more in a year.

Carmella Sebastian, MD, MS, an internal medicine physician and renowned expert on healthy, sane living.