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Kondo-Mania: Tidying Up Your Health Habits

By Martha Michael

Tidying Up Your Health

The state of your health may have little to do with the condition of your closet, but when you look at life holistically, you can sometimes pick up pointers across disciplines. Marie Kondo is making a mint from her bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by sparking joy in every neat-nick from here to the moon. And thanks to her new Netflix series, her impact has probably extended beyond the Milky Way by now.

The author and TV sensation’s KonMari Method teaches you to fold your T-shirts while also offering benefits such as a life of Zen.

An editor for One Kings Lane, a successful home décor and decorating website, wrote a clever synopsis of principles from Marie Kondo’s book about tidying up. And while her lessons tackle the physical work of decluttering, many of the same ideas can be applied to your conduct affecting health matters.

Tackle Categories, Not Rooms

The first step to nearly everything is analysis -- look at what is so you can change what will be. And in this case, the KonMari approach to your health means looking at your habits categorically, as opposed to just looking at each behavior as you go about your day.

You can create your own health categories such as:

Exercise regimen - The fact that healthy people exercise is nothing new, but we may be motivated to change by looking more closely at the actual benefits to working out. The Mayo Clinic website lists some of the major boosts to your health when you get in shape.

Exercise combats diseases that include stroke, diabetes, some cancers and arthritis. It minimizes cardiovascular disease by boosting high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and decreasing unhealthy triglycerides.

People who exercise tend to have more energy. Your tissues gain oxygen and nutrients to make your systems work more efficiently.

Diet - What you eat is key to reaping the benefits of getting into shape. Overeating works in contrast to exercise, so it’s important to coordinate the two habits.

A balanced diet is the healthiest version of any dietary program you choose. Whether you’re a vegetarian or follow a different prescribed menu, a healthy mix of colorful fruits and vegetables tend to be a best practice method. Make sure you get enough protein as well.

Routine checkups - If you don’t already have chiropractic care on your calendar, make it part of “tidying up” your health habits. You should begin with a bird’s-eye view of your overall wellness, which your chiropractor offers through an initial health history and exam.

By maintaining regular visits you stay on top of changes to your health, which are indicators that more changes to your health habits may be in order.

Respect Your Belongings

You’ve heard it before -- your body is your temple -- and you honor that principle when you remain cognizant of its strengths and limitations.

“To respect your body means to hold it in high regard and honor it,” says Cherie Carter-Scott, PhD, in an article in Innerself: “Respect is treating your body with the same care you would give any other valuable and irreplaceable object.”

Each body has unique needs and when you partner with your body by paying attention to its unique needs, you benefit from everything it’s capable of doing. But those who ignore or abuse their bodies eventually experience a breakdown, which is sometimes the point when they learn to respect it.

Your body has a personal formula that’s optimum, Carter-Scott says. Your job is to find out what that is and by feeding it properly you reap the benefits.

Nostalgia Is Not Your Friend

If your lifestyle choices stem from childhood, you may be doing harm to your health, or at least not maximizing outcomes.

From trans-fatty chips to “fruit” snacks, consumers have spent the last 50 years buying and devouring artificial groceries. And some of the fitness fads lull you into thinking you’re getting in shape when you’re barely breaking a sweat. Wii Fit is better than sitting, but not by much, and any workout with a one-digit minute in the name is unlikely to meet your daily requirements for healthy fitness.

The 1990s saw sales for supplements from Creatine powder to Ephedra dominate the marketplace. Some diet products were banned by the FDA, but younger generations have abandoned many of them anyway.

A symposium brought together food and beverage industry professionals to report on new attitudes by the progressive wellness culture affecting consumer habits. An article in Forbes summarizes the shifts in behavior communicated by experts at the event.

Energy is nearly as important as weight management and fitness to modern Americans. Approximately one-third of consumers think their energy level needs improvement and see it as a part of balancing their wellness -- and balance is of great importance to Generation Z, the article says.

Plant-based and paleo diets are the two approaches to eating that stand out for progressive consumers, and there’s a convergence of health, wellness and sustainability. Young adults place a premium on mindfulness, integrity and authenticity -- which wouldn’t have made the list of health-related concerns a couple of decades ago.

In another health practice trending, there are growing numbers of Americans turning to chiropractic care for maximum health outcomes. A Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Report found that 62 percent of expected users of chiropractic treatment are under the age of 50. In the case of neck or back pain, the survey shows Americans would overwhelmingly choose to see a chiropractor over a physical therapist or massage therapist.

The last chapter in Kondo’s book is entitled “The magic of tidying dramatically transforms your life.” And whether or not you find that organizing your sock drawer “sparks joy,” creating your own method to improve your health habits contributes to feeling better and living longer, which inevitably promotes happiness.

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