Six steps toward a better you

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Leading a balanced and healthy life is not easy in Ho Chi Minh City.

The noise, pollution and heat put many people off going outside and getting some exercise. Many urbanites lead a sedentary lifestyle and sometimes stress at work can get the better of us. We all dream of the perfect lifestyle, but, sometimes it just seems that little bit too hard to achieve. Thanh Nien Weekly is here to help. To get you started, try these six simple steps:

1. Stand up straight

This will ensure that your body weight is evenly distributed. It is important not to put unnecessary pressure on any part of the body. Standing up straight will strengthen your back and present your figure at its best.

2. Do some weightlifting

Lifting moderately heavy weights or objects will fortify muscles, according to research. If you go for long periods of time without using muscles, they will turn to flab and your body will lose its form. A little weight training will reap benefits for weight loss, health and quality of life.

3. Run and jump

Running and jumping will help you get rid of any excess belly fat. The best way to lose this unwanted "˜you' is to walk, run and jump as much as possible. Exercise for 60 minutes every day. It can be something as simple as walking the dog, going to the supermarket, doing the housework or going to the gym.

4. Take the stairs

Walking upstairs and downstairs can help with weight loss as well as keep you fit and improve cardiovascular health. A person weighing 150 pounds (or 67.5 kilograms) can burn nine calories a minute climbing stairs, while someone weighing 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms) can burn 12 calories a minute, according to the online Health Status calorie calculator.

5. Eat your greens

Eating vegetables, fruit and beans will see that you get the necessary nutrients to stay healthy and strong. Vegetables have low levels of protein and fat, and are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fruit contains fiber, water, vitamins and natural sugars while beans have protein, complex carbohydrates, folate, and fiber, which can help reduce blood cholesterol. Consuming vegetables, fruits and beans will slow the ageing process as well as lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes and kidney stones.

6. Get some alone time

Take 15 minutes every day to zone out and focus on breathing deeply. Not only will this be good for your peace of mind but it will help eliminate stress and wrinkles. Thanh Nien Weekly recommends that you choose a quiet place and sit down on the floor in the cross-legged lotus position. Keep your back straight and relax your hands on your thighs. Close your eyes and relax. Breathe in and out slowly for 15 minutes. When you've finished, do some stretching and then get on with the rest of your day.

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