Jumpstart Your Year Of Health!
What is health? Health is a state of being in which all the organs, systems and tissues of the body are functioning as close to 100% as possible. Imagine what that would feel like. Imagine how ALIVE you would feel, how much energy you would have, how alert you would be and how well you could concentrate. Visualize rarely (if EVER) getting a cold or flu or stomach bug. Imagine not having allergies! And if you did get sick on a rare occasion, imagine how great it would be to bounce back in a day versus having it linger on and on and on. Yes, when the body is functioning at a high level, we experience health and wellness that many only dream about. But it can be a reality! And while you may not be able to function at 100% ALL of the time, the GOAL is to function as close to 100% as possible as often as possible. So let’s discuss HOW you can do that.
I have often talked about the “Pillars of Health”. These are certain things – the most important things - you want to focus on when it comes to improving health or maintaining the level of health you now have. Like the pillars in an ancient coliseum, when all of them are in place and strong, the structure (your body) is strong and sound and fully supported. So what are some of these “Pillars of Health”?
· A healthy, well-adjusted, properly balanced spine. This means regular spinal adjustments from your chiropractor and NOT having your 8 year old grandchild walk on your spine. Keeping a healthy spine not only means regular adjustments but also developing proper posture habits when sitting, standing and even sleeping. It may also mean doing specific exercises to correct postural distortions in the spine.
· Eat healthy, nutritious foods on a daily basis and, when necessary, take quality whole-food supplements. For a variety of reasons that lie beyond the scope of this article, I think supplementation is very important in today’s world. However, taking the best supplements on the market will do you little good if you continue to eat poor quality food. If you want to develop high levels of health, it is imperative to eat nutritious food! Avoid junk food. Seriously, avoid junk food like the plague. If it comes wrapped in plastic, in a box or a can, try not to eat it. Eat REAL foods! When possible, buy organic. Eat healthy fats and avoid processed grains.
· Drink spring water. Avoid sodas, especially diet sodas. Avoid artificial sweeteners like they were poison. (They are). Avoid all sugary drinks. Do not waste money on junk liquids like Vitamin Water, Gatorade, Powerade. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not drink energy drinks! Herbal teas are good. Moderate amounts of coffee or unsweetened tea are fine. Drink spring water or filtered water. Avoid tap water.
· Good exercise habits, i.e. regular physical activities like walking, swimming, biking, stretching, yoga or Pilates. Lift weights, do lunges, work your abs and do push-ups. Work in the garden or yard. Walk the dog, hike a trail, ride your bike. Play with your children or grandchildren…outside and not on the X-Box.
· Avoid the obvious bad habits. Be nicotine free. If you must smoke, smoke only organic, natural tobacco with no chemical additives (like added nicotine to make cigarettes more addictive). Avoid alcohol. The reported health benefits shown with moderate alcohol use do not outweigh the overall adverse effects. Avoid taking medications and prescription drugs. Americans take more prescription drugs than anywhere else in the world and yet we are among the least healthy. I think there is a correlation. Talk to your MD about what meds you can stop taking.
· Good quality sleep every night where you awaken refreshed and rested. Sleep on your back or side and use a quality cervical support pillow. If your mattress is worn out, buy a new one.
· Get a Nutrition Response Testing® analysis. Get to the root cause of whatever health issue you’re facing. Nutrition Response Testing® is a safe, effective way of finding hidden causes of sickness and poor health. We can create a specific, designed clinical nutrition program just for you and your body. This is the best way to support your body in building better health!
I want to give you a thought. Imagine that as you get older, you can actually get healthier! Whatever your age today, whatever your current level of health, whatever is going on in your body at this moment, I want you to believe and know that as you get older you CAN get healthier and, in fact, you can even REVERSE your physiological age. What does that mean? You may have a chronological age of 50 but your physiological age could be 30! By shoring up your “Pillars of Health” you will not just get healthier, you will reverse your age! But it takes action and what I have given you here today is a place to start. Do not be overwhelmed if it seems like a lot. Start small. Choose 1 or 2 items to implement first. Perhaps you set a goal to start walking 4 days a week and to drink only 1 soda a week. Do that for 30 days and when you feel good about that, add one or two more items. Make it fun and keep it light. You have to the rest of your life to make it perfect!