The following healthy practices of eating right, exercising, resting & managing stress, reducing toxic load, practicing informed self care, and taking a proactive role in your healthcare will help you live healthier, longer.
Eat RightThe foundation of our health begins with nutrition - which is what we put into our bodies, as well as how well we assimilate (or digest) the nutrients. In fact, optimal health depends on the optimal functioning of our digestive system - the most important factor in our physical health. Your diet needs to have an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. The food we eat should be low-fat sources of protein, moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates, and healthy sources of fats.
Eating right means choosing fresh, whole, unprocessed foods and avoiding foods that are over processed and contain high levels of simple sugars and saturated fats. Hydration, fibre, digestive enzymes, probiotics, essential fatty acids, physical activity, stress reduction and eliminating allergens are all beneficial for digestive health. Once your digestion is performing as it should, and you are getting proper nutrition and hydration, you have created a solid foundation for optimal health and wellness!
ExerciseRegular, moderate exercise is essential for feeling your best - physically and emotionally. Coupled with proper nutrition, regular exercise can help you maintain healthy body weight and composition. Healthy activity begins with such things as taking the stairs, walking whenever possible, and generally having a "mentality of movement." A more complete exercise program includes aerobic activity, flexibility exercise, and strength training.
Stress ManagementLiving healthy includes time for rest and relaxation. Regular sleep is essential for optimal health. Managing stress is also important to maintaining good health. When we allow our bodies appropriate time for rest and regeneration, we strengthen our immune defenses and become less prone to infection and disease. Chronic stress remains a significant health threat and has been tied to numerous degenerative conditions. Take steps to reduce the level of stress in your life and get as much rest and relaxation as you can.
Reduce Toxic LoadIn spite of our best efforts to practice good wellness habits, we can be exposed to toxic environmental stressors that can have harmful and damaging effects on our health. Common toxic stressors include overexposure to UV rays, toxic ingredients in our body care products and the cleaning products we use in our homes, and chemical pollutants in our food, air and water. Being aware of these toxic threats to our health and choosing products that do not add excess toxins to your body is very important to optimal wellness.
Informed Self-CareAt times, the demands of modern life will throw us off balance, and we need to look at our healthcare options. Once you make the decision to take your healthcare into your own hands, you will find there is a wealth of information available to you. There are many self-care alternatives that can provide safe and effective relief from symptoms, as well as long-term solutions to problems.
Reaching for a prescription or over-the-counter drug need not be the first thing you do and may not always be the best alternative to taking care of yourself when sick. There are many other natural alternatives that can support the body's natural ability to keep itself healthy. These can be used effectively in combination with traditional and alternative medical practices.
Proactive Medical CareIf you find yourself suffering from acute sickness, or have been diagnosed with a disease, it is important that you seek out competent and qualified healthcare professionals for immediate help. It is also important to take a proactive role in your personal course of treatment by learning as much as you can about your health challenge.
Seek out the information you need from a variety of sources - this will help you to better understand your personal health issues. In addition to your medical doctor, I encourage you to consult with a TEAM of healthcare practitioners - such as a naturopathic doctor, a whole food nutritionist, an aromatherapist, a counselor, a wellness coach, an herbalist, a chiropractor, a massage therapist, etc.
No longer do we live in a world where only the doctor knows best. Once you are informed, you empower yourself to become a participant in your own healthcare.