Reduce Stress. Easier said than done, stress reducers come in many forms. Some techniques recommended by experts are to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like. (i.e., soak in a hot tub; walk on the beach or in a park; read a good book; visit a friend; play with your dog; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie. Get a massage, a facial or a haircut. Meditate. Pause or count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible, or at least get away from them sooner.

Thought for the day: Take a deep breath. . . the more you concentrate on exhaling, the bigger breath you can more easily and naturally take.

Protect Yourself from Pollution. It is difficult to live smog-free in any urban area. At least try avoiding smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, driving with your windows down breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rate and pollen count is low and around trees and greenery. Otherwise exercise indoors in air conditioning, which filters some pollutants. Plant lots of shrubbery and greenery in your yard. It’s a good oxygen builder and pollution and dirt barrier.

Thought for the day: Take a vacation from pollution. . . head to the country. You usually don’t have to go that far to be in the country. Even a short trip can be a big leap forward in reducing stress and pollution.

Move More. Make it a daily mission to find ways to move your body. Park further away from store and work entrances. Take the stairs; walk your dog; tickle your kids; pull weeds; scrub the floor; even stand up and down at your desk every 15 minutes. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool; it’s a stress reliever. Think ‘move’ in small increments of time. It doesn’t have to be an hour in the gym or a 45-minute aerobics class or karate. But it’s great when you do it regular enough to get the habit. Meanwhile, start moving on purpose!

Thought for the day: Walk more. . . Now do it!

Cut Fat. Avoid the extreme fatty foods, such as any fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions or not at all. Sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts, and continually reduce the amounts and how often. Most are available in substitutes at your local health food stores. Most of the new substitutes are even better tasting and more satisfying than the ones we thought we liked.

Thought for the day: Be like Jack Sprat and eat NO fat. Think “less fat for more life!”

Quit Smoking. The jury is definitely in on this verdict. Ever since 1960 when the Surgeon General announced that smoking was harmful to your health, Americans have been reducing their use of tobacco products that kill everyone that uses them in a most gruesome fashion.

Thought for the day: You can’t stop smoking for the rest of your life . . . You can only stop the next one. Stop smoking only the next one!