7 Steps to Regaining & Optimizing Your Health
We are all on a journey when it comes to our health. We are either trying to optimize it or regain it. No matter where you are in your health journey, these 7 basic principles have helped me personally and as well as thousands of clients I have worked. And here, I share with you.
1. Think Right – Oftentimes, we forget how powerful we are. Our mind is like a garden; it doesn’t matter which seed is planted, it will flourish. Plant a lemon seed and you get a lemon tree. Plant poison ivy and reap poison ivy. If we plant loving, encouraging, hopeful, and grateful thoughts, life will give us that. If we plant doubt, indecision, and fear in our minds, we will see that in our life. Our thoughts create stress or bliss. So monitor your thoughts.
2. Talk Right – If our thoughts are powerful then our words are spells. The words we speak come from the thoughts we think. Let your words be as if you were talking to a 5 or 6 year old child. We would speak words of love and encouragement, right? So many of us speak harsh words to ourselves and wonder why we encounter many challenges. Be gentle and kind to yourself and acknowledge what you are doing right in your life. Ask the right questions. Why are things always working out for me? Why am I changing for the best every day? Why are things becoming easier for me? Your mind will always search an answer for a question you ask it. So ask the right questions.
3. Eat Right - Food is fuel for your body. Choosing food in its most natural state that has not been tainted with chemicals (hormones, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones) are the best choices. Organic fruits, vegetables, hormone-free, pasture-raised beef , poultry, wild-caught fish, nut, and seeds are good choice. Avoid conventionally farmed meats, chicken, eggs, and produce. Most of our conventionally produced food has contributed to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
4. Move Right – The human body was created to move. It’s pretty simple, move it or lose it. Some simple strategies for moving right include strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular exercises. Some goals to aim for include daily steps of 10,000; flexibility exercises such as yoga (2-3 times a week 30-60 minutes); strength using body weight or weights (2-3 times a week for 20-30 minutes); and cardiovascular challenge of getting to 70-80% of your target heart rate for 20 minutes at least 2-3 times a week. Calculate your heart rate 220 minus your age and multiple by either .70, .75, or .80.
An easy strategy for achieving your daily steps is walking 10 minutes in the morning after you wake up, 10 minutes after each meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner), and in the evening for 10 minutes approximately 1-2 hours before you go to bed. Take the stairs or park farther from workplace or store to log in some extra steps.
5. Sit Right – Today people sit most of the day. We are hearing that “sitting is the new smoking.” If you do spend most of your day driving or sitting at a desk, creative options are getting up every hour and move for at least 5-10 minutes, treadmill desk, or an adjustable standing desk. If you don’t have the extra money to spend on these equipment, simple isometric exercises while at work and a timer on your smartphone to remind you are viable options. I like to do half jacks or some yoga poses every hour when I am busy sitting at my computer or consulting with clients.
6. Poop Right – “Death begins in the colon.” (Hippocrates). I couldn’t agree more with Hippocrates and physicians from ancient Rome and Greece would likely agree too.
We have perverted taste buds for sugar, alcohol, grains, and hormone-laden dairy products that have contributed to the rise in colon cancer in the US. Simple strategies such as increasing the amount of vegetables to 70% of our diet can create a dramatic and beneficial change. If you’re body can’t handle raw vegetables, start with green smoothies, green juices, or raw and cooked soups for the first week. The goal for men is 35 grams of fiber and for women 25 grams of fiber preferably from plants instead of legumes.
A bowel movement upon rising and additional 1-3/day with a fluffy soft stool (poop) is a good sign of healthy colon. Some people have rabbit pellets or indented poop which is a sign of a stagnant colon. Drinking more water and consuming more vegetables could easily relieve digestion stress.
7. Sleep Right – One of the challenges that has been presented with modern technology is the inability to shut down the electronic pollution. Our ancestors did not have to deal with the modern day issues of electronics. They arose at sunrise and went to sleep a couple of hours after sunset. The sun and moon were their electronic devices. They lit candles and had a fire burning before they went to bed as they read or chatted with family and friends.
Today we are bombarded with television, radio, smart phones, iPads and practically everything in our home is linked to some sort of electronic gadget. There are no long-term studies that can link how detrimental this is on our health because this is a fairly new problem that continues to grow. However, it doesn’t make sense for us to be up till 1 am or 2 am in the morning watching television or working on the computer.
There are studies that show individuals function best at 7-9 hours sleep. If you are getting less than 7 hours of quality sleep you are at risk for many health issues including cardiovascular, premature aging, and obesity.
Start shutting off all electronics at least 1-2 hours before bed and get to sleep by 10 p.m., since the body's hours of regeneration are between 10 p.m. and 2–3 a.m.