What does being healthy mean to you? We’re all aware by now, especially during these times of Covid-19, just how important our health truly is.
Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy, given our busy, stress filled lives. Fortunately, I’ve outlined 5 simple ways to improve your health overall that you can start implementing today!
We call it living the DREAM: Diet, Rest, Exercise, Alignment and a positive Mental attitude! If you can master all 5 of these (or just start adding small piece of them), you’ll be on your way to a healthier you!
Eat a Healthy DIET
Don’t get me wrong, I love cheesecake, beer, pasta and onion rings, but it’s all about eating them in moderation! Life is all about balance and if we deprive ourselves from carbs, sugar, salt or all the things we love, it’s just not sustainable.
Eating a healthy diet full of fruits, veggies and lean proteins 90% of the time, while mixing in a few non-healthy favorites each week, is the best way to live a balanced, sustainable life. Patients always ask us “well Doc, what should I eat?” The best advise I can give is to JUST EAT REALFOOD (it’s as simple as that).
Stay away from anything processed that comes in a box, bag or can. I know we’re all busy and it takes time and money to go to the grocery store and prepare healthy food, but with all the meal plans and grocery delivery services available these days, there really isn’t any excuse. Additionally, your health is worth it!
My favorite quote is “If you think wellness is expensive, try illness.” Investing in our health is the best thing we can do to prevent SO many expensive health issues down the road. So, hop on Pinterest, write down some recipes, make a healthy meal plan for the week and start eating healthier today!
Get Ample REST
Ahhhh sleep. Something that many people certainly don’t get enough of. Sleep should be of utmost priority because you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you’re tired, you don’t perform your best during your day, simple as that. Additionally, research has shown that you crave more sugary foods when you don’t get enough sleep, so there goes your healthy eating as well.
Note: if you have small children or a newborn, I’m certainly well aware of the inability to get ample sleep and you are officially exempt from this for the time being.
When we get the proper amount of sleep, our body and brain restore and repair, and certain vital hormones are released. If you’re not sleeping enough, then this obviously isn’t taking place, which, over a period of years, can lead to detrimental effects.
The average recommendation for sleep is 7-9 hours per night, depending on the individual. Everyone is different and feels best with different amounts of sleep.
Pro Tip: Shut off your electronic devices 1-2 hours before your scheduled bedtime. Why? The blue light (and information stimulation) from your phone and computer will keep you awake long after you’d like to be asleep.
MOVE, just do it!!! Especially now that our patients are working from home, they move so much less and it’s really starting to affect people’s health. Did you know that they say sitting is the new smoking?
Exercising release endorphins which make you alert, awake and have a clearer head. Not to mention you’ll sleep better because you’ll be more tired in the evenings.
So what kind of exercise should you do? Anything that interests you! If you hate running, then you’re probably not going to stick with a regular exercise regimen if you’re planning to go for a morning run. If you like to walk, put on a podcast and go for a stroll. If you like badminton, join a league or put a net up in your back yard! You don’t have to join CrossFit or run a marathon to exercise, it can be unique to you!
Not into going to the gym or being around others at the moment due to Covid-19 (we can’t blame you), head over to YouTube where you’ll have an endless amount of free home exercise videos to choose from.
Maintain Proper ALIGNMENT
Usually alignment isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to living a healthy life, bit it is just as important as diet, rest and exercise!
Not only do we think that proper spinal alignment is important to maintain (we are both chiropractors, so that’s a given), but alignment and balance in your life as well!
Most of our patient’s in the office are really missing this essential piece to the puzzle. Sure they’re going to the gym a few days a week, they’re eating clean, drinking water and sleeping 7 hours a night, but they’re SO stressed and have ZERO BALANCE in their lives. Work is their life (we’ve been there, trust me), so their mental health, balance and alignment are all out of sorts. Our chiropractic clinic in Miami helps patients not only achieve the physical alignment they need but the mental one as well!
Balance with work, family, friends and (most importantly) with ourself is ESSENTIAL. Stress can take a serious toll on our bodies long term, so it’s time that you take a few moments to ourselves daily. Self-care can come in many forms: enjoying a bubble bath every evening, taking 20 minutes to read a book on your lunch break, meditating for 10 minutes with the Calm App, having a Matthew McConaughey rom-com marathon…you get the idea.
Keep a Positive Mental ATTITUDE
If you were to get a flat tire on the way to/from work today, would it ruin your day? Is your glass half full or half empty? Do you ever notice that some people are just constantly surrounded with drama every day?
I find it fascinating that a flat tire can happen to one person and they are grateful that nothing worse happened (they were in a accident because the tire blew, etc.) and another person’s entire day is completely ruined.
How we look at things makes all the difference. We are responsible with how we react to things because, let’s face it, things are going to happen every single day. We aren’t going to be able to handle what happens to us all the time, but we certainly can always control how we REACT, so stay positive!
Pro Tip: Start and end each day by writing down 3 things that you’re grateful for. They make “Grateful” apps or, if you’re old school like me, you can keep a little journal next to your bed and record it there. This will help you realize how truly fortunate we are in this life and that we need to appreciate it now more than ever!
So, there you have it! 5 simple ways to live a healthier life that you can literally start today! Start small and work your way up. Maybe make it a goal to add one of the five in this week and then two next week, and so on. Before you know it, you’ll be living a MUCH healthier and, certainly happier, life!