Secrets to Health, Happiness, and Well-being.
There are three main things that effect our overall health, happiness, and well-being. They really aren’t “secrets” as most of us know these things, we just fail to incorporate them into our lifestyles. Your life doesn’t improve by wishful thinking. It takes action.
Food is anything that gets into your body (and thus your bloodstream), be it by eating, drinking, breathing, or through your skin. Eating has three aspects: what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat. You want to eat heathy foods—fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, etc. Stay away from refined sugar, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and anything containing preservatives. Cut down on your meat consumption and eat organic whenever you can. Eat less—we all tend to eat more than what our body needs. Don’t eat right before you go to bed. Your digestive system needs a break. Intermittent fasting will work wonders. When your body is done with digesting and absorbing what you have eaten, it goes into a fasting mode, living on what your body has stored. One of the first things it goes after are toxins that have been stored in the body. Many toxins can only be removed by fasting. I personally like 16-hour intermittent fasting where you only eat during an 8-hour period, and then go without any food or drink (except water) for 16 hours. Pick an 8-hour period that fits your lifestyle. I only eat between noon and 8pm every day, eating breakfast/lunch at noon and finishing dinner before 8pm. Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it is a lifelong way of eating. Since you want to stay away from refined sugars and artificial sweeteners, drinking any kind of soda is a big no-no. As for alcohol, cut it way down or out of your diet completely. Breathing? It goes without saying—you do not want smoke of any kind in your lungs. What do you put on your skin—soap, shampoo, deodorant, creams, lotions? Read the labels. Most of the stuff out there is loaded with chemicals—the kind you do not want going on your skin and getting into your body
You want to get in some aerobics, strength training, and stretching. Don’t overdo it. The most important thing with any exercise is not to injure yourself. For aerobics, do what you like: brisk walking, jogging, swimming, biking, Zumba, whatever. For strength you’ve got pushups, pullups, light weights, the circuit at the gym, all kinds of stuff. Don’t forget the stretching, it is very important. Yoga and Pilates are great. If you really want to kick it up a notch, learn Tai Chi and/or Qigong and make it a part of your daily routine. They will get your energy (prana, chi/qi, ki) flowing and take your health to the next level.
Stress is the killer and it must be managed. Seventy-five to 90 percent of all doctor visits are for stress related issues. Sleep is the body’s way of releasing stress. The problem is, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep when you are stressed out. The most effective way to release stress, and strengthen your nervous system, is meditation. It releases more stress, and at much deeper levels, than sleeping does. Learn to meditate and make it a daily part of your life. Also important in managing stress is having a supportive circle of family and friends.