Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Now is the time to improve your health by making healthy lifestyle changes. Here are seven fast and easy steps to feeling better physically and mentally.
Walking for exercise is easy and doesn’t cost a penny. Start at a comfortable pace, then gradually pick up speed. With a brisk pace, you’ll travel three to four miles per hour. You should be able to carry on a conversation, but still be breathing hard. Start with fifteen minutes, and add about two minutes each time you walk. A pedometer or fitness band will help you keep track of your mileage. Benefits of walking include a stronger heart, lower blood pressure, and stronger bones. The better and deeper sleep that results from exercise will boost your outlook on life. Walking burns calories, and can help you lose up to 25 lbs. in a year.
A balanced diet provides the fuel for your body to function correctly. Most of the calories you consume should be from vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Along with exercise, your diet can help you maintain a healthy BMI (body mass index) and reduce the risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Start with small changes like switching to whole grain foods. Eating breakfast will help to jump start your metabolism for the day. Resist salad dressings and desserts when eating in restaurants. Drink more water, at least half your body weight in ounces each day. Someone weighing 200 lbs. should drink 100 ounces of water each day. Make sure to have healthy snacks available which will help you bypass the vending machine and fast food.
A healthy lifestyle includes 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. The average adult in the United States currently get less than seven hours of sleep. To get better sleep start by keeping a schedule of waking up and going to bed at the same time each day. Avoid naps and don’t have drinks with caffeine after 5pm. Eat your last meal or snack at least two hours prior to bedtime. Make sure your bedroom is dark and cool.
Stop smoking! Nothing good comes from tobacco use, and it’s the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the US. Cancer, heart disease, emphysema and bronchitis are just of a few of the serious health issues caused by smoking. There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco including 43 cancer causing compounds. Nicotine is actually a highly addictive drug that takes only ten seconds to enter the brain. It causes blood vessels to constrict which raises blood pressure, and it causes increased levels of fat and sugar in the blood stream. Smoking shortens life expectancy by at least ten years. Nicotine replacements and behavior modification make it easier than ever to break the habit.
Stress is a silent killer. It can contribute to conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It’s not your imagination that you feel worse when you are anxious. Stress causes a physiological chain reaction that results in the manifestations of all kinds of symptoms. To counteract stress, slow down and concentrate on taking five deep breaths. Take a time out for five minutes of quiet. Give yourself a hand massage, or rub your feet over a golf ball. Use a calming visualization and quiet your thoughts.
Having a positive attitude helps you cope with the stress and strain of everyday life. It changes the way your body works both chemically and neurologically resulting in a healthier internal environment. Practice seeing “the glass half full” side of a difficult situation. Use positive words instead of negative words both to yourself and when talking to someone else. Put on a smile because it releases neurotransmitter “happy hormones” in your brain. List five things you are grateful for. Stay off your phone and don’t check social media. Make your day amazing!
Adopting healthier lifestyle habits doesn’t happen at once, it’s a process that happens over a period of time. Setbacks along the way are normal but they provide opportunities for learning and growth. Practicing your new habits will become easier to sustain on a regular basis. That is the goal of developing a healthy way of living, allowing you to live a fuller life.
To learn how Chiropractic can help with better health this year, call our office at 423-485-8480.
When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!