Better Health: Easy Routines to Change Your Life, Part 2
By Dr. Molly Casey
I’ve seen it for years. People get trapped in the cycle of ingesting so much information about health that they get paralyzed to the point of inaction; they do nothing to get healthier in their daily life. I don’t want that for you.
This two-part series offers a way to look at healthy living and daily life from a broader perspective that focuses on basics and consistency.
If applied consistently, the less complex approach will frequently be exactly what the patient needs to embark on the phenomenal journey to optimal health.
We looked at the elements of communication, water, and breathing in Part 1. We I round it out with the last three foundational elements, food, movement and sleep.
These are easy routines to help change your life.
Feed yourself with intention, cleanly and enough. What does that mean? Your food is your fuel; your body can only perform as good as the fuel you put into it. More often than not, folks are on auto-pilot. Become intentional in what you and and how you eat. Don’t eat in the car, on the phone, or watching TV. Carve out time to eat in peace with or without others in a calm and enjoyable space. This provides the body the calm and stable environment to do with the food what it is intended to do -- digest and utilize it for fuel.
Eating clean means choosing foods as close to their natural state as possible -- not-processed and packaged. Eat as much food as you can that comes straight from the earth with as few man-made chemicals or alterations as possible. When you do eat meat and dairy, pursue products that are labeled 100 percent grass fed with no additional hormones. Avoid meat and dairy bolstered by hormones or man-made tricks to fatten those bad boys up to grow quicker.
Make sure you eat enough. A common mistake is to eat too infrequently or not enough of the right types of food, such as not enough protein or vegetables. This comes back to putting a conscious effort into awareness of your eating habits and routines. For some, two meals a day will be perfect; for others, four small meals will work. The point is that you must pay attention to figure it out and feed your body enough in both portions and types of food. If weight is an issue and you want to lose, understand that you can’t out-train a poor diet; no matter how much you work out, if your diet Is a mess, the weight isn’t going anywhere. So address the food.
It seems like there is a new fitness fad every five minutes. One of the things people forget first is the premise of simply moving. You don’t need a gym membership, though it’s great if you have one and use it. Move your body every single day.
I like to think that for every hour a person sits, they should put in 10-15 minutes of movement. Don’t freak out; that doesn’t mean all movement must take place at the gym. This is up, down, all-around everyday kinds of movement, though ideally 60 minutes would be of higher heart rate activity whether it’s walking fast, lunges at home, lifting weights, or interval training. The less the body moves, the quicker all muscles, cells and systems deteriorate and atrophy. That means death comes quicker -- no joke. Move your body daily. Figure out a plan and stick to it.
Consistent and good quality and quantity of sleep is critical. Your fuel (food) is important for your body to run, but sleep is the mechanism that allows the engine to run on all cylinders. Here are some guidelines to ensure you get the good quality sleep you need.
Routine - Consistency and repetition in routine will create great habits. Go to bed and wake up at the same time, every day, every week, every month of the year. Yes, there will be times when it will be nearly unavoidable, but those times should be the exception. Pick times that fit your lifestyle. For example don’t choose an 8:30 p.m. bedtime if you’re home daily at 8 p.m., and go into the office at noon. Be realistic.
One hour before bed - No screen time, which includes TVs, phones, tablets or any other new device that technology develops. Keep the hour before bed calm and, if you’re able, create some time for yourself and your loved ones. That joy will likely be fulfilling, hopefully calming, and decreasing stress. The point is, don’t rev up in the hour before bedtime.
No light - This means blackout shades and no intense clock colors. You literally want to have the room as dark as humanly possible no matter if you’re a first- or third-shifter. This helps the body go into deeper levels of sleep and increase the quality of rest. It’s imperative.
Consistency in the basics will get you on the path of optimal health faster than you might think. If you get paralyzed to the point of inaction because of all the information that’s floating out there on the internet, TV, books, magazines, commercials, infomercials … remember the basics.
Keep communication lines clear both inside your body by getting a chiropractic adjustment and outside your body by creating high-quality personal and professional relationships. Water yourself with regularity as every single cell of the body requires hydration. Breathe deeply, properly, and often to increase cellular and body function and decrease stress. Feed yourself with intention, with healthy food in the proper quantity. Move daily, probably in the amount you could consider “a lot.” Create a sleep routine that includes a one-hour quiet time beforehand that fits your life, is consistent in time, and is in a room void of light.
The Joint Chiropractic has doctors who are focused on improving your daily quality of life. They’re ready and willing to help you along your journey to optimal health.
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