Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seven Steps to a Holistically Healthier You

It’s the first month of the New Year, and many of us have “get healthy” or “stay fit” up toward the top of our list of resolutions. And although information flows more freely than ever because of the Internet, people are still having a hard time learning about natural ways to stay healthy. Sadly, westernized medicine only focuses on treating or masking an illness rather than focusing on the things people can do to fight or prevent illness. It’s all about prevention, yet in the media, we only hear about whether to take a vaccine or not or what pill to pop if we are feeling a certain way. What we don’t hear is what we can do to fight illness beyond washing our hands and covering our mouths when we cough or sneeze. There is so much more we can do to treat ourselves holistically, and if we can change our thinking about health, we can change our bodies.

There is a whole world of natural remedies and lifestyle choices, and I am trying to learn something new about it everyday. I encourage you to do the same. Personally, I haven’t vaccinated for a single thing in more than fifteen years, and I haven’t had the flu or been to the doctor for an illness in my entire adult life. I’ve been blessed by very good health, and I have to believe my lifestyle choices are helping me in that journey to perfect health. That being said, I can only share what’s worked for me based on personal experience, but I share some links at the bottom for support.

So, here are some helpful tips—that if implemented on a regular basis—could greatly improve your health in 2010:

1. Say Goodbye to Empty Sugars- According to Maggie Ward, a leading nutritionist from The Ultra Wellness Center, “studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after ingestion.” This means that excessive sweet treats and desserts during may taste awfully good going down, but once your body digests it, the overload of empty sugars will leave you susceptible to illness.

2. Stay Hydrated- With all this cold, dry weather, your body has a harder time staying hydrated, which means your immune system can’t function as it should. Be sure to keep a bottle of water at your fingertips. Drink all you can, but make sure that the liquids aren’t high in sugar, because that will defeat the purpose. Broths, teas (green and black are best), and coffee (sans the sugary additives) are great choices.

3. Get Your Vitamin A and C- Vitamin A boosts antioxidant activity and immune function, and Vitamin C contains ascorbic acid, which is an antioxidant that fights the free radicals that make you sick. You can get Vitamin A from carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and spinach. You can get Vitamin C from oranges, kiwis, sweet red and green peppers, strawberries, guava, and vegetable drinks such as V8.

4. Get Some Sleep- I’ve written about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. No matter how busy you are or how stressed you get, don’t skip on sleep. If you can, be sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night so that your body can rest and rejuvenate. A steady seven hours of sleep is considered optimal by many doctors and health professional.

5. Get Some Exercise- Believe it or not, getting regular exercise helps to increase your immune system. Most people are so tired when they get home from work or after they are done taking care of their children that the last thing they think their body can do is exercise. The best thing you can do for your health is to push through you exhaustion and exercise. Find a routine that is about 30-45 minutes in length that increases your resting heart rate and implement it three to four times a week. I have lots of other tips on easy home exercises and tips here: http://theuniversalsoul.blogspot.com/2009/12/10-things-you-can-do-to-stay-fit-and.html and here: http://theuniversalsoul.blogspot.com/2009/11/full-body-makeover-for-under-100-part-1.html.

6. Get Your Fish Oil- Doctor Oz calls omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) a miracle worker. Please see my earlier post on the myriad benefits here: http://theuniversalsoul.blogspot.com/2009/11/one-little-supplement-that-transforms.html.

7. Don’t Keep It In- If you have congestion building up, the worst thing you could possibly do is sniffle it down and ingest it. Be sure to excuse yourself to blow your nose or rid yourself of the mucus buildup in your throat. This seems like an obvious point, but so many of us just ingest these fluids since it’s not always convenient to purge yourself.

There are so many more tips. If you have any, please post them here or on the Facebook thread so others can benefit from your knowledge and experiences.


Sources:
http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/top-sources-vitamin-C-44102808
http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/Tips.aspx
http://www.vitaminsdiary.com/vitamins/vitamin-a/sources.htm

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