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The Guide to Happiness

Stay Healthy and Happy

Real Simple readers share their tried-and-true tricks for maintaining good health.

Sudoku puzzle and cup of coffeeYunhee Kim

Back to Basics

I try to eat things that appear as close to their natural state as possible, such as raw or steamed vegetables; fresh, in-season fruit from the farmers' market; and "natural sweeteners," such as honey. I also like knowing that I'm giving the local economy a boost by buying locally grown products. Plus, I get some fresh air shopping outdoors.
Sandra Taylor
Knoxville, Tennessee
I end my evenings with sudoku puzzles. They settle my mind and help me drift off to sleep, so I'm better rested and less vulnerable to colds.
Lisa Geisness
Culver City, California
I wash my hands often, especially when shopping or traveling. I keep an alcohol gel in the car and wipes in my purse. I also keep my hands off my face, especially around my lips.
Kay McGuire
Palo Alto, California
Learning to knit has been a big help for my waistline. In the winter especially, it's easy to veg out in front of the TV and snack mindlessly. Instead, I knit to keep my hands busy with something other than food, and I wind up with great handmade gifts.
Grace Flecha
Brighton, Michigan
When I start to feel sick, I rest. Your body can't do everything it normally does and heal itself at the same time.
Trina Dietz
Sartell, Minnesota
As an elementary-school teacher in constant contact with little sniffly noses, I stay healthy in the classroom by taking an Airborne every morning. It really does seem to work.
Julie Shoemaker
New York, New York

Love and Laughter

My secret for staying healthy is simply being around healthy people. Alone, I'm a 160-pound chocolate-popping, Wendy's-eating, deep-fried couch potato. When I surround myself with my legume-guru buddies, I become a 145-pound mandarin-orange-popping (fresh, not canned, to avoid heavy syrup), Wendy's-salad-eating (easy on the dressing), sitting-on-a-stability-ball-for-core-strength-and-balance-while-watching-TV baked-potato half (no butter).  Arielle Sewell
Westbrookville, New York
Everything in moderation, except love and laughter. You can never have enough of those two things.
Jeannie Brown
Wayland, Massachusetts
I know this sounds silly, but when I think of my health, I don't think of the normal "staying fit, eating healthy, and exercising" bit. I think of happiness. My secret for staying healthy is staying happy, which I think we could all accomplish if we simply let into our lives people who make us smile every day.
Jennifer Sieber
Vicksburg, Michigan
I have an active collie-mix mutt who likes to be on the go. My walks with her keep me moving and happy at the same time.
Denise Ricotta
Windsor, Connecticut
Playing with my child like a child keeps me healthy and in shape. Actively playing, while laughing hysterically, always makes me feel good and youthful. I think the key to staying healthy is learning to let go and have fun.
Ginni Anderson
Fort Mill, South Carolina
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