When a new year arrives, what thoughts come to our minds? Is it a new beginning, a new perspective, a renewed energy, a new direction possibly a new dream to achieve or a goal to reach? Lately I have been writing about life in general. Today I have decided that I am going to write about health. It sad to hear that people you know are suffering from various sickness, illness, diseases or have passed away. You cannot help not but to feel sad because this is a fact of life that occurs to all of us. Today, I want to briefly discuss how can we improve our health in little ways that can have a significant impact in our daily lives. I admit that I have been very busy and I often forget to take care of myself. It’s easy to gain weight with little to no effort, yet it’s takes a lot of work to lose weight, and continuous work to keep it off. Especially if your life style is somewhat unhealthy. So here are some tips to survive in the winter and the rest of year that can help us get our bodies return to a healthy state.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Water for most of us is free and its healthy for you. The biggest benefit of drinking water is that it helps to remove the toxins in your body. Not unlike when you drink pop that can lead to various health issues due to the high levels of sugar, caffeine, chemicals, etc. Which place stress on your liver and kidneys that natural filter your body. Water is simple to process and doesn’t carry the additives that can be harsh on your liver and kidneys. With too many choices of liquids to drink out there our body is exposed to a lot of different toxins that we probably are not even aware of. Unfortunately, may of the liquids we enjoy are simply not good for us and are not good for our kidneys and liver. Water is safe and it has a lot of benefits. It is not fattening, it doesn’t raise your blood pressure, nor does it overwork your bodies organs as it is processed and absorbed.
2. Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables – kale, carrots, oranges, apples etc.
Fruits and vegetables are needed in our daily diet as both provide nutrients and vitamins to our overall health. Remember when you were a child your parents would tell you “Don’t forget to eat your veggies” or “snack on some fruit”. Mom was right. Fruits and vegetables are an important factor in good health. Be mindful of what you eat because that is going to your body and for us the safest way to get nutrients for all our organs is to supply it with fruits, veggies and a balance or proteins and carbs. Humans are “omnivores” which means we need to eat both fruits, vegetables in greater quantity along with proteins such as meat and fish. There is a lot more that I could say here over several pages but I will leave that for another time.
3. Avoid Stress if possible
Avoid stress because it will only harm your body. Stress can lead to many ailments and sickness some of which can be fatal if not treated. We all have the potential to develop cancer cells in our body & associating yourself with stress might trigger the cancer cell to “wake up”. It is hard to avoid stress especially when we are surrounded by so many stressful issues in our day to day life and work. Every where you look there is always something going on that can potentially stress you. The key is to not to get stressed. That takes work, and practice. For starters think positive. Releasing stress through physical activities such as sports, fitness, yoga can help reduce stress and can help increase your bodies fitness routines. For some all it takes is someone to open up to. Others it’s a combination of ways. If these don’t work please look into new non destructive ways to deal your stress. There are vast resources on line and social programs everywhere that can help. People in general don’t like asking for help dealing with stress because they feel embarrassed, or that it wont work, etc… That tough stance will only hurt you and cause those around you pain seeing you suffer or being forced to suffer because you won’t get help. Ironically those who often fight against getting help in dealing with stress find that when they get the right help feel better, live healthy and live happier lives at home and work. They also have less health problems. Remember, stress is not something you try to be tough with, stress is something you fix, if not for yourself then for those who you care about and care about you.
Topic… (see what fits in with your schedule… yoga, tai chi, walking, climbing, Zumba, the gym etc. One of the most important aspects of good health is to be able to exercise everyday and to stick to it regardless of your age. They say that our body is like a car it needs maintenance in order to last for a long time. Our body is the same, we need to exercise in order to be healthy. No doubt, exercise is a means to better you. Keep in mind that your routines need to evolve because your body will adapt to the routines. Vary your types of exercises, make changes so your is forced to change and in doing so your body will be healthier and you will be happier. There are many ways to exercise and various tools to exercise with. Not sure what’s right for you, check out your local gyms, community centers or search on line. Go for walk, call some friends, just get off that chair go outside, you wont regret it.
5. “Laughter is the best medicine”.
With our busy schedule from work to our family we forget to calm down a bit. Our own responsibilities are overwhelming that a simple good hardy laugh is hard to come by. Laughter is a great way to release the bottled-up pressures inside. Lighten up a bit. Stop taking everything so seriously including yourself. Laugh at yourself. Go be like a child again, tease each other whether its your husband, wife’s, girlfriends or boyfriend. If you’re so serious that you cannot laugh at that, then you are in serious trouble. Laughter really is the best medicine, Laughter increases muscle tone in your neck, chest and abdomen, and It can reduce your blood pressure as well as your levels of various stress hormones. Researches have shown this to be a fact. Laughter may also build your immune system against cancerous cells, boosting your white blood cells-especially the kind know as T-cells which help destroy tumor cells. Some types of white blood cells are also referred to as “happy cells” because of their immune benefits. Laughter also reduces the chance of respiratory infections through the use of your lungs when you laugh. When you’re stressed, you use only the top one third of your lungs, which limits the amount of oxygen you’re bringing into your system. If you notice when you laugh you take deeper breaths, utilizing your entire lungs that help to clean out your system. Laughter has been shown also to increase your brain functions which in turn increases memory and cognitive skills. People tend to remember conversations, lessons and life advice more when they have a good time with friends and family laughing together. When humor is involved things are lighter to discuss and don’t feeling awkward. Aside from that laughter is contagious. Like yawning, if you are in a room with laughter, people around you start to laugh and in no time, you can’t help but to laugh as well. Now, the question is how can you make yourself laugh? Watch a comedy, play different sounds, involve other people. Laughter is a positive thing and physiologically positive too. No harm can come from laughing except the laugh that you can’t control your bladder and tighten of the muscle. Just do it in moderation as any activity that you would do. Bottom line, try not to be so serious all the time, we need to have some laugh’s in our life because life is to serious to begin with….. So chill people.
6. Moisturize (Aloe Vera)
Since we have 4 seasons in Canada our skins need to adjust as the seasons come and go. Our bodies become dry and itchy, so to protect that beautiful skin do not forget to moisturize in every season. Moisturize because it is important to your skin. Dry skin itches, and becomes a braised as you scratch it. This weakens your skin and makes you more susceptible to injuries or infections. Dry skin is weak skin. Keep it moist, check for irritations or discolouring. Remember if the moisturizer causes you to itch or burn see a doctor as there may be ingredients that can react to your skin.
7. Be Social / Adapt a Dog
Remember the saying “No one is an Island’. Nowadays because of the advances in technology we tend to use the technology more often to meet people than actually going out to meet people. I understand the weather sometimes is a factor for you to not go out and have some fun time with friends and family, other times its more comfortable to stay home and use a computer or it feels safer. We are lacking the daily interactions and social activities in the world, with that said you tend to lose the opportunity to gain confidence in yourself. There’s a strong link between the level of social interaction we have in our lives and our memory as we age. Does having a lot of friends protect us from declining brain health or do people with declining brain health withdraw from their social activities? In answering this question, a lot of experiments have been conducted on this issue and they found that the people who go out and have fun with friends and family tend to have reduced the decline in their brain functions than those living like an old married couple. If you are single adopting a good companion like a dog or cat will be beneficial for you because you establishe a bond between both of you that cultivates the social brain interaction through activities such as meeting others in the park, training you pet, even the simple activity as talking to your pet. Social ties help to preserve our memory.
8. Enjoy the Sun
To avoid being sad and depressed we have to enjoy walking in the sun or taking vitamin D. But if you are like me who wants to avoid pills as much as possible, the sun is the best defence for depression. Don’t you notice when you go to a sunny country like Mexico, Cuba, or the Dominican Republic, people there are very happy despite the hardships around them. With exposure to the sun it uplifts your mood. However be moderate in your exposure and be sure to use sun screen As over exposure can cause harm. E.g. Skin cancer. I always believed in natural ways to get a tan like walking on the beach, spending time outdoors in the parks. Running outdoors is really good for your mood and overall well being. Canada has four seasons and we have to make an effort to balance what’s lacking in each season especially in winter, have you heard about the “Blue Days” were people are more likely to experience depression because the night is longer than the day resulting in less natural sun light. If you are like me and love the sun and want to avoid Blue Days, plan your vacation during this time a take a trip to a warm sunny resort. You will feel so much better for it.
Sleep is an important fact of human activity. This happens allowing your body and your system to rejuvenate itself, rest both physically and mentally. Now a days, we spend less and less of our life sleeping because of all our responsibilities in life. Don’t think of it as a waste of time though; it can be very useful. Big chunks of our life are spent standing in lines and worrying about the things we can do nothing about. Now that is relatively useless. The average person should sleep between 8 to 9 hours a day to maintain an effective immune system, keep emotions on a relatively even keel, be physically well and mentally sharp and to increase our reflexes and coordination in top shape. Did you know that poor sleeping is linked to being overweight. Lots of scientists say that getting too little sleep can cause you the same problems as too much sleep. So how can we get the right sleep and enough sleep.
- Physically tire yourself, often people are mentally tired and feel the same way but do not get better sleep than those who are physically tired. Fact: if you walk through the hills with a full pack on your back will sleep better at night.
- Relaxation techniques such as yoga help. Slow steady breathing is the starting point.
- Play with numbers count then subtract, add, multiply using just using your mind.
- Close your eyes and think about great things, dream or fantasize a little maybe a sunny beach in Mexico, the lobster in prince Edward. Watching a sunrise or sunset.
- Have a treat. Maybe a nice glass of red wine or sitting by a fire place just before settling down. But please again in moderation, one glass is fine.
You know the saying “Save the best for last”. Indeed, this last one is the most important thing in this subject. There are hundreds of books that refer to this last topic Be thankful. In all we do and the life we choose no matter how complicated it is. Always be thankful whether it is a good or a bad day. At least we experience and know the difference between them and in turn we can form better decisions regarding our actions on a daily basis. No one can escape the good and bad in life, be you rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy alone or surround by fiends and family. All of us have experience it. At the end of the day what matters the most is the journey and in that journey every step that we take should be filled with gratitude ready for us to embrace it.
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