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10 lifestyle steps to protect you from disease, premature aging

When it comes to staying healthy or reclaiming your health, we always advocate getting 10,000 steps a day and eating seven to nine serving of fruits and veggies daily while dodging refined grains, processed and red meats, added sugars and syrups, and trans and saturated fats. But if you want to achieve your healthiest life, follow these 10 steps. You’ll decrease your risk of heart disease and dementia by more than 80 percent (according to data in five large studies), slash your cancer risk and increase your happiness quotient.

>> Embrace the four forms of physical activity: Use a pedometer to measure your daily steps, aiming for 10,000. Get 150 or more minutes of aerobic activity weekly. Every morning, do a sun salutation (video at bit.ly/2rH9m8t) to promote flexibility and balance.

Twice a week, do 30 minutes of strength-building with bands or hand weights. And if your doc says you can jump safely, do 20 jumps each morning and 20 each evening.

>> Enjoy speed-of-processing games: Dr. Mike advocates games like Double Decision to increase cognitive capacity. Research shows that these can decrease dementia in 73- to 83-year-olds by over 33 percent when practiced for five weeks.

>> Avoid “snake oil foods”: “Snake oil foods” make empty promises and deliver either zero benefits or are harmful. They include energy drinks, sugary protein bars and supplements claiming to make you stronger or thinner.

>> Practice daily meditation to manage your stress response: Stress causes your body to secrete hormones that raise blood pressure, suppress your immune system, raise cancer and heart attack risks and shrink your brain cells. Meditation routines dispel stress hormones.

>> Dodge toxins: Steer clear of tobacco and secondhand smoke; eliminate unnecessary contact with hormone disruptors in plastics, personal care products and receipts; avoid pesticides; and dodge air pollution (exercise indoors on days with poor air quality).

>> Drink coffee — no additives, please — daily: Decaf and caffeinated coffee temper inflammation; are brain-friendly; lower postmenopausal women’s risk for Type 2 diabetes by 15 to 25 percent; lower the risk for esophageal, colon and rectal cancers by 20 to 30 percent; and reduce the risk for endometrial, aggressive prostate and estrogen-negative breast cancer.

Drinking several cups a day of caffeinated coffee does all that, plus it may help you dodge heart disease, kidney problems and diabetes — not to mention premature death.

>> Eat salmon/ocean trout twice a week (or take 900 mg of DHA omega-3 daily): Anti-inflammatory omega-3 DHA fatty acids are essential for eye and brain health. If you’re not a fish-eater, omega-3 DHA supplements fill the bill.

>> Enjoy an infrared sauna for 20 minutes, four times weekly: Infrared spectrum light triggers heat within your body (but not in the room around you) to ease aches and pains, and reduce stress. Ask your doc if it’s OK for you if you have heart issues.

>> Take Fab 8+ supplements daily: They are 1,000 IU vitamin D-3; a multi- vitamin with nutrient levels close to the recommended daily allowance (half in the morning and half at night); 600 mg calcium and 300 mg magnesium for bone and cardiovascular health; 900 mg daily DHA omega-3; two anti-cancer and heart-loving uncoated 81-mg aspirin (one morning, one night); 420 mg of purified omega-7 to reduce insulin resistance and inflammation; a probiotic (lactobacillus or spore form) containing 4 billion colony-forming units for gut and immune health and regulation of weight and insulin levels.

PLUS: 200 mg coenzyme Q10 to reduce the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and NAD+, a coenzyme essential for delivering nutrients to cells.

>> Give sleep the respect it deserves: You won’t achieve super health if you’re not getting seven to eight hours of restful sleep nightly.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to youdocsdaily@sharecare.com.

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