10 Ways To Improve Your Outlook On Life

It’s hard to slow down these days.  There’s always something to do, and ten more after that.  If you feel like your day ends before it begins, you’re not alone.  But this isn’t healthy.  Stress increases your chances of heart attacks and creates other health risks.  But what do you do?  The first step is to slow down.  Once you do that, you can improve your outlook on life.  After that, you might find some of the things that are keeping you so busy aren’t as important as you think.

Here are some tips to get started.  These ten ideas can help slow you down.  Once you do that, you may find that you will improve your outlook on life.

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Checking In On My 2017 Fitness Goals

I’ve written a few times about how I have really tried to focus on better fitness this year.  I worried about our long camping trips and how that would affect me.  I’m happy to report that things are going well.  Here’s an update on my fitness goals.

Recap of My Goals And My Plan

I wanted to lose some weight and lose some body fat.  I’d spent most of 2016 gaining 0.5 to 1 pound per month, and there was no excuse for it.  I was just lazy and full of poor decisions.

I decided to commit 2017 to make better decisions.

My goals were two fold:

  1. I wanted to lose 13.5 pounds.
  2. I wanted reduce my body fat from 21% to 15%.

My plan was pretty simple:

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Why I Keep Bugging My Wife About My Fitness Goals

I’ve been driving my wife a little nutty, and she has no idea why. I’m not normally one for New Years resolutions, but I set one this year.  And it’s not really a resolution as it is a goal.  Here are my fitness goals and why I keep talking about them to my wife.

My 2016 Fitness Goals Fail

I’ve had a target weight for a number of years.  I’m about 5’8″ (or maybe a little smaller as my wife says I’m shrinking).  I’ve never been muscular and I’ve never been dramatically overweight.  I hover somewhere in the average range.  My ideal weight is 155 pounds, along with a 15% body fat percentage.  I’m normally closer to 160-165 pounds, and around 20% body fat.

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Health Updates To Finish Out 2016

It seems like the end of the year always brings health to the forefront.  Maybe because we have to sign up for insurance for next year.  It could be because we want to get ourselves ready for a healthier version to start off next year.  Perhaps it’s because we know that we have put off stuff we need to do.   Or, in our case, a combination of pretty much all of those.  Here are a few health updates in our household.

Health Update 1: Flu Shots

We all got our flu shots within a couple of days.  My employer gives them to us for free right on site (I work for a hospital system), so it just took about 15 minutes of waiting in line and I was done.  My wife got hers at Target, and took our kids after school, and all were covered 100% by our health insurance.  Hopefully we stay flu free for the season!

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Eating Healthy for Less Money In 6 Easy Ways

Eating healthy is all the rage.  As fads go, it is an especially beneficial one. From college kids to busy moms, people everywhere are thinking about health.  It seems pretty straightforward in theory, yet obesity and diet issues are on the rise. So, what’s the problem?
 
Well, there is a widespread belief that it is too expensive to make healthy eating a lifestyle. Chain health food stores and boutique markets are partially to blame for this belief.  Those heavily marketed, expensive diet programs are part of the problem. Whatever the source of the rumor is, it has got to stop. You can eat well just by using what is available in your regular supermarket. Here are a few ways to do just that.

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Breaking Up (With Our Dentist) Was Hard To Do

Nobody actually enjoys going to the dentist, right?  It is, after all, roughly 30 minutes of sitting there with your mouth open while someone pokes around with various instruments, some of which are sharp.  So, with all that fun, it does make things slightly more tolerable to have a dental practice that you are comfortable with.  I had that, for roughly 37 years, which is a very long time. Still, after considering a lot of different things, we decided it was time to switch dentists.

37 Years At One Dentist

That’s right, I went to the same practice for that long.  I started going when I was around five years old, and at the time, it was picked for me by the same logic by which I’m sure many people pick their dentist: It was closest to where my family lived at the time.

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Rashes and Scratches: How I’m Dealing With My Eczema – 2016 Edition

I’ve had eczema for a few years now.  It’s pretty rare, though not totally uncommon, to develop it as an adult.  Typically children are more prone to it.  Adults that have it tend to have had it as a kid, which wasn’t the case for me.  In any case, it’s been an ongoing thing but as time has gone on, I’ve learned more and more ways to work through it.

Here are some of the recent activities in my ongoing battle with eczema.

Understand My Eczema Triggers

I don’t have breakouts all of the time, but when I do, I’ve found that there are often things that lead to them for me.  All of these things are quite common as far as triggers go:

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Money And Health: Money Should Never Be Top Priority

Money is important.  I don’t focus this blog exclusively on money or finance related articles, because I’ve been doing it for quite a few years now.  I just don’t have it in me to crank out post after post about why everybody needs an emergency fund or how to get a mortgage.  Those are great topics.  But, there’s so much more, including some hard looks about money and health.

Sometimes it takes life to remind you that while money is certainly important, it isn’t your number one focus in life.

The Phone Call

A week ago Sunday, the family was out for breakfast when my phone rang.  I looked and saw it was my parents.  I sensed something was odd because we typically don’t talk during the daytime hours.  We usually reserve our chats for the evening so that it’s a good chance that everybody is home and settled in.

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Medicare Fraud With A Sickening Twist

There’s an ongoing story that’s received a lot of local attention over the past few years, but I’m not sure how much national coverage it’s received. It really deserves attention just to put the word out there in hopes that such terrible acts are never committed again.

Typical Medicare Fraud

Defrauding Medicare is unfortunately a fact of life and probably will be for as long as the system exists.  Typical fraud by a healthcare provider involves submitting bills for services that were never done, enhancing claims to include bogus items, or something along those lines.

This is dishonest, immoral, and it cheats taxpayers out of money, as money goes to pay for things  that never happened, but a Farid Fata, a doctor here in the Detroit area took it one step further.

One terrible, sick step further.

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Do You Brush Your Teeth During The Day?

For just about all my life, I have brushed my teeth two times per day.  I brush once in the morning after I wake up, and once in the evening before I go to bed.  Outside of that, I never brushed during the day.  Well, I would on days I went to the dentist.  So, two times per year, I guess!  After all, you don’t need to gross out your hygienist, right?

This has served me well, and for a long time.   I would even kind of laugh to myself when I would see someone brushing their teeth in the bathroom at work.

But, after my latest cleaning, the thought popped into my head.  Maybe a mid-day brush wouldn’t be a bad idea!

No Cavities!

Thankfully, I did not have any cavities during my cleaning, as those are pretty rare.  However, my hygienist did say that I had one particular area that I needed to make sure I got a little closer, as she saw a little plaque buildup.

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