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7 Days to Your Future

Put your hands up if you’d like to feel better, look good and be more kissable? We can all do with a bit more sparkle, but did you realise the choices you’re making right now lay the foundations for how good you’re going to feel in 10 years’ time?

Everyone understands about healthy eating and watching your weight, but what else can you do today that will support wellness for all your tomorrows? Here’s a week’s worth of ideas.

Monday: Where there’s smoke…

First things first, put that ciggie down – it’s a habit, and a deadly and expensive one at that. If you continue to puff away, you’re playing with fire, increasing your chance of cancer and risking damage to your lungs, arteries, eyes and mouth, according to Quitline.

However, the gains you can make in quitting are impressive. In five years, your risk of a brain haemorrhage drops almost 60% and after a decade, your chances of developing diabetes is the same as your non-smoking mates. And, just imagine how kissable you’ll be!

Tuesday: Cheers to no tears

Now that you’re feeling more kissable, perhaps a glass of wine to celebrate? Not so fast, or not so much, actually.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation recommends less than two standard drinks daily and says using that as a guide, your risk of dying from an alcohol-related injury is less than one in 100. Heavy drinking will take us on a swagger down the road to cirrhosis of the liver, heart muscle damage, and an increased risk of cancers, so put the stopper on the bottle after one or two.

Wednesday: Make love not war

With your glass or two of wine and being more kissable after giving up the smokes, you might be feeling a little sexy.

Did you know that making love is known to have all sorts of health benefits? Enjoying sex two to three times a week can lift your immunity by up to 30%, as well as ward off depression, relieve pain and even fight off prostate cancer, so clear the cobwebs out of the boudoir!

Thursday: Outfox the box

See that big screen over there? It not only disrupts social interaction, a correlation has been found between the time spent watching TV and a higher incidence of cancer, heart and liver disease, diabetes, pneumonia, Parkinson’s, respiratory problems and suicide.

The problem is being sedentary for long periods – while it can be fun binge-watching My Kitchen Rules or crime dramas, try spacing out your viewing or cutting back and heading outdoors instead.

Friday: What about that view!

While you’re out and about, if you spend at least 20 minutes a day doing moderate aerobic exercise, you’ve doing yourself a big favour.

If you keep it varied, think of all the things you could see! Why not jump in the car and walk, run or cycle by the ocean or perhaps in the national park? This can reduce your risk of stroke, type two diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure, as well as breast and colon cancer, so get cracking.

Saturday: Avoid the bewitching hour

When you’re satisfied with your daily 20-minute self-investment, the Sleep Health Foundation says you should aim for 7-9 hours’ sleep a night. If you’re burning the midnight oil, you’re upping your chances of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, depression, heart attack and stroke.

It also impedes your daily functioning, like concentration and hand-eye-foot coordination. More importantly, it can put the kybosh on your plans for longevity – enjoying time with the grandkids, travelling and doing things you love.

Sunday: Putting on your sun day best

By now, you’re getting more sleep and exercise because the telly’s off. You’re enjoying a tipple of your favourite wine each day because you can afford it having given up the smokes, your sex life has picked up, as has your well-being, and you’ve discovered what the nearby areas to home have to offer.

But, you’re now spending more time in the sunshine. That’s great, but not without your SPF50+ on. While we all need vitamin D, Cancer Council Australia says two out of three people in this country will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70, so it’s still a slip, slop and a slap for all of us!

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