Basic Health: How to Stay Healthy at Home
By Dr. Molly Casey
Many folks right now are reaching their limit, in more ways than one, with the quarantine status in America right now. Most states have some sort of restrictions on where you can go, when you can go there, and how many people can be present at one time. As you have heard over and over again, this is a time like no other we’ve seen or those before us have seen. Regardless of where you fall in your level of staying at home or being out in the world, certain things still hold true that are helpful to your health and wellness: the basics. If you’re trying to create big goals during this time, don’t bother. Believe me, many have been. Instead, stick to the basics and let them serve you.
Your existence and the quality of your life depends first and foremost upon the brain’s ability to communicate optimally with the rest of the body. The brain sends electrical impulses to every single cell, organ, structure, and system in the body. When this is interfered with at any level, your body is functioning less than optimally, regardless of whether or not you have symptoms. Your brain, your spinal cord, and the nerves collectively are called your nervous system. The brain and the spinal cord are called your central nervous system. This central nervous system is the main highway to and from the brain, so all messages are carried on it. Clear communication on this path is vital.
The spine houses and protects the central nervous system. When the spine’s movement is less than optimal, the communication is likely to be less than optimal. It’s inescapable that a system’s level of functioning is determined at the foundational level by either poor or clear communication. The better your central nervous system is functioning, the better your chance of optimal health and experience in life.
Chiropractic adjustments restore proper range of motion of the spine with the primary intention of facilitating optimal nervous system communication. One tangible thing you can do at a structural level, especially in this highly stressed time, is to visit and get adjusted by your regular chiropractor to assure that your spine is moving to the greatest possible degree and thereby facilitating optimal nervous system communication.
Our bodies require oxygen for life. It is the second-most important thing in our life because oxygen doesn’t matter if electrical impulses from the brain to the body are stopped. On the flip side, oxygen comes before proper hydration because you can live longer without water than you can oxygen.
Most Americans are chronically overstressed and stay in fight or flight mode at a low-grade level. We are not meant to live in this state but now, more than ever, people are hanging out here. In this state, humans do not focus on long, deep breaths. They breathe fast and shallow, mostly from the chest. This has become such the norm that folks don’t realize they are breathing improperly and their body is not oxygenated enough. Throw in that people spend less time than ever outside and that good clean oxygen -- in sufficient amounts -- is less common than you think.
Take some time that you’d otherwise be out and about and use it to learn how to properly breathe deep into your belly, and go outside for a daily walk. Both of these practices will serve you well.
Every cell of your body requires water. Every single one. Hydration is that important. It’s logical that much of America suffers from many chronic health issues when they also report drinking water at a rate that falls into levels of chronic dehydration.
I am not saying that if you drink more water your chronic health issues will disappear. What I am saying is that when a machine has requirements for function and those requirements are not provided in proper amounts, proper function will suffer. Continue this cycle for long periods of time and it’s totally logical that major processes will suffer and create problems in the form of chronic symptoms and illnesses. Stick to the basics: hydrate your body with half your body weight in ounces of water daily to help your machine function as well as it possibly can.
Eat as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible; eat organic if you can but frozen is fine if that is what the current situation allows. Clean fuel does more than just support the immune system. It is the energy for your action. Even if you’re eating more because of boredom or stress, although it’s not ideal, at least it’s as clean as possible. The point is that we want to improve as many elements as possible of basic foundational health. When we take small steps in many areas, and are consistent in our behavior, our journey of health improves and stressful times take less of a toll.
It’s imperative to understand that quarantine is not an excuse to not move. Life is movement. Movement helps with aerobic capacity, heart health, and building strength. The lymphatic system (which removes waste) is dependent upon you moving. Plan on moving your body 15 minutes at least three to four times daily; anything will work -- a walk, body weight squats, wall sits (with your back against a wall, squat down and pretend you are sitting in a chair), jumping jacks, push-ups against the floor or wall. If you want to be healthy, move, move frequently, and move consistently.
Your health and your sanity is dependent upon the basics. Staying home and slowing down does not have to negatively affect your health. By the same token, you don’t need to drop 30 pounds or set personal records in your workouts either. It can be about the basics and not losing your mind along the way. It is better to take small but consistent steps than attempting to tackle large, life-changing steps. Chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic are working to help you stay safe and to support you through this unique, and for many, stressful time.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.