How to Live Better | Reader's Digest

How to Live Better

14 secrets for staying healthy and happy.

By Michael F. Roizen | MD from Reader's Digest | May 2007

Here are the seven best tactics I’ve developed for staying healthy, happy and close to my family — no matter how busy my life gets:

     

  • 1.

    Learn and challenge yourself every day.

    You want to kick back at night and know the day made a difference.

  • 2.

    Fight stress by deep breathing.

    As you breathe in, push out your bellybutton so your lungs can fully expand. As you exhale, pull your bellybutton toward your spine.

  • 3.

    Keep nuts available to avoid foraging for junk.

    I love hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts.

  • 4.

    Never miss a chance to put the kids to bed.

    As they wind down, I hear their true voices. My bedtime stories craft mythical experiences that uphold our family’s values and send them dreaming of a better world.

  • 5.

    Even a busy surgeon needs sleep.

    I try to get to bed by 11 p.m. and wake up just before 6 a.m.

  • 6.

    Super-short yoga at dawn...

    loosens my back and energizes my spine. I love to do the sun salutation followed by the triangle pose.

  • 7.

    Invent family games.

    We play ball tag: I kick a ball at the kids, who must freeze if hit until another child tags them. If I can freeze all of them before they rescue one another, I win a kiss. The game forces them to strategize and builds team spirit.