Califonia Bountiful

Healthy living: 5 quick tips you can use today

Sept./Oct. 2008 California Country magazine

Exercising and eating "smart foods" are just a few easy ways to improve your health.

As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” A great place to start is with these five easy-to-do tips for healthy living:

1. Make appointments for well-visits and check-ups with your doctor.

Many health plans offer preventive care guidelines, which you can use to create a complete schedule of check-ups, immunizations and screenings for your family. Or ask your doctor for recommendations.

2. Eat smart foods.

Fill your grocery cart with a mix of foods that deliver a powerhouse of good nutrition and health benefits:

  • Tomatoes
  • Low-fat proteins such as fish, poultry, eggs, lean beef and low-fat yogurts, milk and cheeses
  • Whole grains, oats and fibrous foods
  • Red and blue berries, and grapes
  • Almonds, cashews, pecans and walnuts
  • Fish and fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines
  • Olive, canola and soybean oils—the best kind of unsaturated fats for your diet
  • Calcium-rich foods including low-fat dairy products, legumes and dark green leafy vegetables
  • Vegetables
  • Beans and lentils

3. Ask your doctor if you should have a flu shot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu shots are essential for some people including young children and older adults. To keep the whole family healthy, parents and siblings of young children may benefit from a flu shot too.

4. Avoid colds and flu.

The best defense is the simplest. Wash your hands often, and cover your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze.

5. Exercise.

As little as 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day helps protect your heart, relieves stress and decreases risk of diabetes.

For information about the California Farm Bureau Members’ Health Insurance Plan through Health Net Life Insurance Co., visit the Health Net Web site at, click on “See Our Plans,” then “California,” then “Individual & Family Plans,” or call 800-839-2172.

Sam Cole is a regional vice president for Health Net of California Inc. He can be reached at 916-935-1215 or

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