Easy Steps to Improve Your Overall Health
It’s crazy to think that 75% of Americans are dehydrated. But you must realize that 60% of our body is simply water and electrolytes whereas the brain itself is 85% water and muscles comprise 75% water. Knowing this, we should all be hydrating regularly with clean filtered water and eating fruits and vegetables to avoid dehydration. A good estimate of how much water to drink daily is take half your body weight in pounds and convert to ounces. This does not only have to include water but also can be unsweetened seltzer water, herbal teas, broths, soups, and vegetable juices.
Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration includes odorous or dark urine, chapped lips or dry mouth, headaches, tiredness or fatigue, ‘foggy brain”, light headedness, weight gain or difficulty staying slim, ulcers, or even arthritis. This does not even include how it affects the immune system on a daily basis or helps promote bowel movements. Need I say more?
What about our diet? You hear me mention a lot about what we eat because that truly is the key to optimal health and longevity. Each individual’s perfect diet varies according to their own constitution, health issues, and their genetics. Whole food diet is the best choice. Real foods are real nutrients which the body readily uses. Also, watching how your body responds after consuming certain foods, can help eliminate food allergens. If needed, keeping a food journal to help monitor not only your digestive issues but your mood, inflammatory changes of joints, or your energy levels. Also, it is good to know that over time, our body may change its tolerance to different foods. As we age, we definitely need more quality protein and more phytonutrients are even more necessary.
Eat like a champ by making ¼ of your plate in quality protein. Another ¼ of your plate should be complex nutrient dense carbs, ½ of your plate should be full of phytonutrient vegetables. And don’t forget a little ‘good’ fat for brain, heart, hair, skin, joints, and nerves. These include flax, hemp, chia, walnuts, fatty fish, EVOO, coconut oil unrefined, avocados, eggs, and olives. The best fish is salmon, mackerel, trout, erring, sardines, and black cod for the highest levels of Omega 3’s.
Overall, healthy living is determined by our daily regimens that we partake in. These include:
- Day to day activities
- Positive relationships of friends, coworkers, and spouses/family
- Sleep quality
- Daily perspective and coping ability
- Physical fitness
- Daily meditation or prayer
Choosing better daily habits significantly improves optimal health, increases overall vitality and energy on a day-to-day basis. Start out with small changes and keep moving forward as you continue to progress to better health.
Benefits of staying active are many. We know through much research that these are some of the reasons to get up and take a bike ride or a brisk walk:
- Longevity- we all want a longer life with optimal quality
- Improvement in cognition and brain health
- Stronger joints and bones
- Balancing blood sugar
- Improved quality of sleep
- Improved mental health and overall mood
- Increase energy levels and vitality
- Reduces stress hormones
- Increase metabolism so easier to maintain proper weight
- Reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Lowers risk of certain cancer, strokes, diabetes, heart disease and many others
Practitioner prescribed herbal formulated tonics quarterly for certain disorders can help keep the body balanced and stop progression of the disease. This practice is based off one’s individual health concern and constitution. Prescribed herbal formulas from a practitioner is safe and effective and has been shown to both help fight off inflammation and nourish the body according to need. Many herbs are full of antioxidants, minerals, and a variety of tonics for each organ of the body to help prevent disease. Some herbs/foods that are used for heart health include hawthorn berries, holy basil, passion flower, pomegranate, berries, tart cherries, grape juice, cacao, and garlic.
Food therapy for lowering cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglycerides includes foods with soluble fiber, flax, oats, beans, berries, grapefruit, artichoke leaves, fermented foods, vinegar, and turmeric. For lowering blood pressure, use foods such as hawthorn berries, garlic, dandelion leaves, kelp, parsley, nettles, chicory root, and especially celery.
Quality sleep is clearly something not to take for granted. This is the time our body rejuvenates and cleanses and rewires. To get the best sleep, we should unplug from phone/television/tablet at least one hour before bed. Have a bedtime routine whether it involves meditation, lavender bubble baths, herbal teas or a way of winding down from the day both mentally and physically. Avoid caffeine, chocolate, soda, and other stimulants before bed. This can also include certain medications, late night eating and alcohol. No exercise prior to sleep, only light stretching or yoga is advised.
Certain pitfalls to avoid to maintain good balance:
- Overwork which leads to injury
- Prolonged stress
- Lack of quality sleep
- Immobility OR Inactivity of mind/body
- Too much sugar leading to blood sugar glucose imbalance
- Poor posture
- Lack of variety in diet leading to nutrient deficiency
Rather divulge in these lifestyle improvement tips:
- Spend time in nature
- Dance, even by yourself
- Play an instrument. Not musically inclined? Pick up a wind flute or tambourine or harmonica and be amazed!
- Get some sun!
- Get artsy and color and paint or draw.
- Volunteer in something that is near and dear to your heart.
- Find social connections “safely”.
- Meditate- tai chi, yoga, prayer, etc.
- Spend time with children and animals. Find your inner child.
So, in a nutshell, eat like a champ, hydrate, stay active in both mind and body, and have quality sleep, and have fun. Enjoy nature, enjoy life, and be patient with yourself and loved ones. Life is precious and so are you!
Find your optimal health today, call 772-626-6419 for your appointment today!