5 Foundations of Health to Focus on Before the New Year
What does wellness look like to you?
A long list of instructions to follow? Or a bunch of things to do?
Every day we are bombarded with “new” information that promises excellent wellness results. So we chase after one piece of advice, then another, and another.
When we don’t see results, we conclude that wellness is too complicated and doesn’t work.
Wellness is not a complicated feat, you just need to develop a few sound habits.
Here are basic do’s and don’ts that will place you on the path to good health and fulfilling life.
The Do’s of Healthy Living
These simple do’s will not only make you feel good physically and mentally but also help avoid a range of health problems.
Get Sufficient Sleep
The average American sleeps less than seven hours every night. We are pushing the envelope, working longer hours, or watching TV or gaming way into the night.
Lack of sufficient sleep may reduce your alertness, can produce mood swings, may cause excessive daytime sleepiness, and can affect memory retention.
Chronic sleep deprivation can trigger health problems such as obesity, depression, compromised immunity, fatigue, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems in the long term.
It can also affect your appearance and lower your libido. At night hormones are upregulated (growth hormone especially)
The best way to sidestep these negative effects is to prioritize sleep. Schedule seven or more hours each night for good quality sleep.
Those who get enough sleep:
- Are less prone to diseases, including serious health problems like heart disease or diabetes
- Enjoy a better mood and reduced stress
- Have healthier weight
- Think clearly and have better concentration levels
While it’s normal to experience trouble sleeping once in a while, people who regularly have this problem may need help.
Occupational sedentary behavior (sitting behind our desks too long) along with access to personal entertainment have taken movement from our lives.
This is despite the health risks linked with sedentary lifestyles.
Extended periods of inactivity may lead to obesity, reduced metabolism, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, and premature deaths.
Exercise, on the other hand, adds a spring to your step and is a stress buster. It increases the production of endorphins – the “feel good” hormones that boost happiness and help relieve pain.
Exercising also helps prevent health problems, boosts energy, keeps you flexible, builds strength, improves sleep, and helps you maintain your ideal body weight.
What exercises should you do?
We say find an activity that inspires you to move and that you enjoy. Walk, join the gym or sign up for yoga classes, pilates, tennis, or HIIT classes.
If your doctor is monitoring you for a specific health problem like heart disease or osteoarthritis, talk to them first to ensure you exercise safely.
Engage in Regular Bowel Movement
It may not rank high on your “to-do” list for wellness, but pooping is crucial to your overall well-being.
A healthy bowel movement lets you empty your colon completely and often enough so that you don’t experience bloating or pain.
For some people, this may be once or several times in a day, after two or three days. Anything beyond this is unhealthy and might harm you.
Bowel movement excretes toxins, excess hormone metabolites like estrogen, and cholesterol from our bodies.
Without regular movement, the estrogen gets reabsorbed into the body.
The reabsorbed estrogen has been linked to accelerated aging, fatigue, headaches, breast tenderness, and fibrocystic breasts.
Further, when poop overstays in your body (following constipation) healthy bacteria are replaced with bad bacteria causing intestinal toxemia.
Your body reabsorbs the very toxic waste it’s supposed to eliminate.
This may cause headaches, bad breath, sinus problems, back pain, arthritis, more constipation, ovarian cysts, depression, and dementia.
It pays to be aware of your bowel movements and how often they occur, so you’ll know quickly when something goes wrong.
Here is how to improve bowel movement:
- Eat fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables as they facilitate the digestive process.
- Replace alcohol and caffeine with good old water since the former dehydrates your gut, causing digestive problems.
- Add probiotic foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, or high-quality yogurt into your diet. These foods encourage good bacteria to thrive, keeping your gut in good health.
- Engage in activities that help calm you down to minimize the effect stress has on your body (read constipation)
There are many times when we feel bogged down with cares and uncertainty. There is a place for that, but if we linger, then our wellbeing suffers.
Take time to put aside some of those concerns and enjoy everyday life.
- Put yourself first. Caring for or doing things for others at your expense places you at risk of stress, fatigue, and illness. Learn to say no from time to time.
- Connect with nature. Get some sunshine, breathe the fresh air, dance in the rain, or hike in the woods. It will help reduce stress and improve your mood.
- Allow yourself to be whimsical from time to time. Dance, play some fun games, watch a comedy, a funny movie, or enjoy a couple of good jokes. Laughter releases endorphins, which will leave you feeling happier.
- Make a conscious and consistent effort to meet new people. It will introduce different perspectives and ideas and expand your support system.
- Create new memories, explore new places or foods, revisit old memorable places to add a dose of inspiration, motivation, and possibilities to your life.
- Come up with a wish list each year and commit to working on a certain number of items you wrote down. It will remove monotony from your life and give you something to look forward to.
- Celebrate your successes no matter how small. You’ll feel motivated to keep going and tackle more goals.
- Appreciate your friends and family. They are the ones we turn to for support when life deals us unexpected challenges.
The Don’ts of Healthy Living
Now here is what you shouldn’t do.
Don’t Complicate the Process
Avoid jumping from one health fad to another in search of wellness. That includes unrealistic diets or popping too many supplements or protein powders.
Not only is it unsustainable, but you’ll soon lose the ability to stay consistent. Inconsistency will not bring on any desirable results, which will soon demotivate you.
Speak to a naturopathic doctor or dietician who will help determine if you need dietary changes or supplementary nutrients.
Don’t Focus on How Negative Your Health is
We come down on ourselves harder than anyone else.
While some health problems may occur due to negligence, don’t allow yourself to focus on what you did wrong.
A positive outlook is the first step to better health and healing. Keep your mind on the steps you can take to improve the situation.
While Dr. Google may be helpful, it can also create scenarios where people over-analyze symptoms and come up with incorrect diagnoses.
If you feel unwell or need an energy boost, consult your Naturopathic doctor.
They have the know-how to assess your symptoms and share natural ways of treating or improving your symptoms.
Uncomplicated Wellness with Livv Natural
At Livv Natural, we believe in finding wellness naturally. Our naturopathic team is available to guide you towards attaining wellness for a longer and more fulfilling life.
Talk to us today