PROPER LIFESTYLE CHANGES MAY BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING WELL OR ILL!
Very simple lifestyle changes may be the difference between living a life of vigor and vitality and a life where we just get by. If you are interested in vigor and vitality, read on.
I teach that YOU DO have control of your quantity and quality of life.
The main way to slow the aging process is to prioritize basic lifestyle changes today.
Concerning stress management, here are some things that you can do daily that will help you age gracefully.
One stress management tool I really like is the Four-Square Breathing Exercise, it is perfect for when you feel a little anxious or rattled.
Here is how you do it: Breathe in slowly (through your nose) for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, exhale (out of your mouth) for a count of four and hold for a count of four, do this for a cycle of four.
This may end up being the best minute of your day.
If you don’t have a pet, think about getting one! Having a pet in the home reduces the number of visits to the doctor, increases survival after a heart attack, decreases depression and lowers blood pressure.
Put some plants in your home and watch your blood pressure drop. Even having a view of trees will help you recover from illness faster.
Develop a passion, purpose and positive outlook in life. It has been found that if your view of aging is positive you may have just increased your lifespan up to seven years (Becca Levy, PhD, Yale).
Though I know I sound like a broken drum, I must say it again; get the appropriate amount of sleep (7-8 hours a night). Sleep problems have been linked to a plethora of issues, including; high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
THE VALUE OF THE BMI
(This is not a lifestyle change per se, but a change in perspective in believing that the BMI is a real indicator for our health)
If you have an issue with the size and shape of your body, my thoughts on that are much different than that of the general public and conventional wisdom.
Focus on your waist size, not your BMI!
The BMI chart and science is far far outdated, and it makes me cringe whenever I hear it. Which is often!
The tape measure can give you a better indication of your health than a scale. If your waist measurement is larger than your hips you need to make an effort to reduce the size of your waist. Losing control of the waist-line has far reaching detrimental implications including Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome. There IS a direct relationship between age related illnesses and fat around the waist.
Here are a few more lifestyle changes that will improve your well-being!
Increase your metabolism, don’t lose your metabolism. Resistance training just a couple times a week will enable you to not only stop muscle catabolism, but actually add muscle to your frame. This is the easiest thing to do to increase your endurance, bone density and decrease your chance of diabetes. Also, a decent regimen of resistance training will also improve your sleep and thinking.
One of the simplest of the lifestyle changes.
Walking! I personally like the idea of my clients walking because it can help reduce their stress levels. Walking is a repetitive stress exercise that I can endorse, but jogging is not. Jogging is very hard on the joints and causes havoc with your hormone levels. If you want to increase the intensity of your workouts, move to fast-walking, and then running (striding out at a fast pace), NOT JOGGING!
PROPER FOOD INTAKE
Eat a salad a day, full of vegetables, that has a full-spectrum of colors in it. If you are looking for a proven ground for cancer prevention, this is a great place to start. Remember, consume as much organic produce as possible, as you will be increasing your intake of nutrients as well as cutting out all poisonous pesticides.
Eat foods high in Omega 3’s! This will decrease your chance of heart disease, as well as, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration. To increase your Omega-3 (DHA and EPA) intake, begin to consume wild fatty fish like, salmon, sardines and lake trout, a couple times a week. You can also consume organic free-range/cage-free chicken eggs that will have an increased amount of Omega-3’s in them.
It is also important to decrease your intake of Omega-6’s which are vegetable oils, as the poor ratio of Omega 3’s to Omega 6’s may be one of the main reasons for an increase in heart disease today. Our ratio should be 1:3, but in America it is more like 1:20 or higher! Nuts are NOT a good way to improve this ratio... EVER!
Get some SUN, but don’t BURN! Vitamin D is made in the skin when the sun hits it but will be of no benefit to you if you burn and create a skin cancer. A deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis as well as various cancers. A conservative regimen of the sun daily will also increase your testosterone levels and decrease your chances of becoming depressed-and a good dose of the sun is absolutely free.
These simple lifestyle changes, once integrated into your daily and weekly regimen will reap you tremendous rewards.
Remember, if you don’t plan, prepare to fail... make these lifestyle changes the priority that they deserve.