Taking care of our bodies is one of the most important things we can do and it really isn’t that complicated. Below are 5 simple tips for health and wellness that anyone can incorporate into their lives. Just by taking these simple steps you will greatly decrease the chance of major disease, increase your energy level and help regulate your weight. The holidays are just around the corner and that is always a good excuse to pack on the pounds by eating and drinking all manor of substances. Then comes the big day of reckoning, New Years, when all bad habits are denounced and everyone makes resolutions for big changes. Why not get started now and not wait until the first of the year? Your body will love you for it.
Eat more Whole Plant Based Foods Eating a whole food plant based diet is one of the healthiest changes in lifestyle you can make and is the best thing to do for reducing your risk of the major leading causes of death. The healthiest populations of people in the world are plant based such as the Okinawans who live longer than anyone else on the planet. They have reduced their risk for disease by eating fewer calories, eating mostly fruits and vegetables, including good fats in their diets and getting plenty of fiber. The do consume a small amount of fish and a trace amount of pork on special occasions but are highly plant based. Plant based food as the majority of the diet is common among all the longest living populations on earth. Books such as The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. are two excellent sources showing how effective a plant based diet can be for preventing and fighting disease.
Drink more Water There are a myriad of reasons for keeping your body properly hydrated throughout the day. It greatly assists in flushing toxins out of the body through sweat and urination. This decreases the chance of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Drinking plenty of water is great in the fight against aging as it helps to moisturize, get rid of wrinkles and keep your skin glowing and smooth. It also boosts your immune system and helps to maintain regularity. Drinking water throughout the day, even when not thirsty, is the best way to stay hydrated. Experts tell us that when we feel thirsty we are already at least a little dehydrated. So keep that water bottle handy.
Get Sufficient Sleep In this hectic, crazy world we live in it seems that most everybody is moving through their days in a state of sleep deprivation. The effects of eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise are greatly diminished when one is not getting an adequate amount of sleep. One of the most important benefits of getting plenty of sleep is that it helps the body repair damage caused by things such as stress, UV rays and free radicals. More protein is produced by the cells during sleep which helps to repair damage to the cells.
Adequate sleep also helps to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, reduces stress and might even help with weight loss. There are many opinions when it comes to the ideal amount of sleep needed each know. This differs for each person and you have to find the number of hours that works for you, leaving you refreshed, recharged and energetic for your day.
Get Moderate Exercise You don’t have to put countless hours in the gym or run endless miles outside or on the treadmill to experience big results when it comes to an exercise routine. Many experts are now even suggesting that moderate exercise might be superior to intense training when it comes to health. Remember, fitness does not always equal health but that is that is another topic entirely. The biggest recommendation I have is to choose something you enjoy and that is easy. If you enjoy it you are more likely to stick to it and also more likely to be consistent if it doesn’t involve equipment or travelling somewhere. One of the simplest and easiest forms of exercise is walking. I’m not going to get into the particulars of how often or how intense you should exercise. That depends on your current fitness level as well as other health factors. I can tell you from personal experience that walking is a phenomenal way to get exercise and greatly increase your fitness.
Yoga is also good, for exercise as well as stress relief. It is great for improving circulation and increasing flexibility, both which are very beneficial as we age. Many studies also tell us that weight training or body resistance exercises are beneficial for increasing bone density. The main thing is you want to get your body moving. Whether it is walking, rebounding, practicing yoga, going to the gym or whatever, just do it! Consult a professional before beginning an exercise program, especially if exercise is new to you or if you haven’t been active in a while.
Meditate/ De-stress Stress is as bad for the body as drinking, smoking and eating an unhealthy diet! The body is designed to handle stress and react to it up to a point. It can be a positive thing helping us avoid danger by keeping alert. When it becomes not so good is when it is continuous and you face challenge after challenge without a break. This is how stress-related tension builds. This continuous stress leads to distress which can manifest physical symptoms to the body including raising blood pressure, chest pain, headaches and more. Accumulated stress can bring on worse ailments and can even lead to disease.
Doing meditation to decrease the stress in your life is much less complicated than many people think. It can be as simple as just being aware of your breath. There are many techniques you will find on the internet. Try out various ones and see what works for you. Yoga is a great way to get both exercise and a moving meditation at the same time. The focus on the breath in yoga gives the mind little time to wander. Don’t neglect this aspect of a healthy lifestyle because stress can most definitely kill!
Focus on these 5 simple tips for health and wellness and make changes at a pace that suits you. Many times people get overwhelmed by trying to make too many changes at one time. Any change you make is going to improve your health and I think you would agree these are pretty simple tips to incorporate into your daily routine. We all get caught up in our daily lives and sometimes forget that we have to take care of the machine that carries us each day. Start now and you will be pleasantly surprised at how much small changes will make to your overall health and energy.