Currently, health is a very trendy topic. We are all trying to do what we can to strengthen our immune system and focus on improving our overall wellness, which is great. The problem is that health is not a trend, it is a lifestyle. It is a commitment to yourself to be dedicated and educated. Bottom line, our health takes work. It takes time to create new habits that will help fight disease not encourage it. It takes education to understand that what we eat affects how we live our life. It takes patience to work with you body as it adjusts to a healthier way of living. Below I will share with you a half dozen habits that can change the way you approach your health:
Limit time on electronic devices: The more we are on our phones, tablets, etc. the more we are exposed to blue light. Excessive blue light exposure can lead to disruption of melatonin production (our sleep hormone). Most of our melatonin is produced between 10pm-2am. It is vital to put away electronics at least one hour prior to going to sleep. If you haven’t already, invest in a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Additionally, when we spend more time on electronics, we become more at risk for forward head posture and upper cross syndrome. These conditions can lead to chronic headaches and neck pain (a condition currently called text neck).
Prioritize your sleep: It is vital that our bodies get enough sleep. We need sleep to recover and reboot. Aim for 7-9 hours per sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, call our office for a consult. There could be nutrient deficiencies or hormonal imbalances affecting this.
Eat the rainbow: Focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. It is proven that bright colors added to your plate make you more inclined to want to eat it. No one wants to eat a one-color meal. Adding in fresh berries will give you more antioxidants which are great for anti-aging properties and reducing the formation of free radicals within the body. Adding in leafy greens will give you a lot of essential vitamins needed for processes within the body. It is important to switch up your fruits and vegetables regularly. Each fruit and/or vegetable has different nutrients. Adding variety helps you get a greater variety of micronutrients which our bodies need to thrive.
Focus on daily movement: Exercise is a great way to release endorphins, increase blood flow, and de-stress. Aim for 25-30 minutes of movement per day. It doesn’t always have to be strenuous. We are in a society that is forced to sit a lot more, so movement is more vital now than it was before. Find an exercise that you enjoy doing and prioritize it. Adding in outdoor exercise (walk/run/biking) is great to not only move but get vitamin D (an immune booster).
Practice gratitude: Instead of focusing on what could be or what you wish you had, truly take a couple minutes each day to be thankful and appreciative. Mental health is just as important as physical health and digestive health.
Drink your water: Roughly 50% of my patients do not drink enough water. Dehydration can lead to pain, that “crunchy” feeling people get in their muscles and joints, impaired sleep, poor digestion, and headaches. Aim for half of your body weight in ounces per day. Also, when possible, try to drink alkaline water (water with a higher pH). Diseases tend to thrive in an acidic environment. Alkaline water is more basic which means it can also help fight disease.