We live in a life where people are constantly bombarded with information. Many people would like to begin the process towards improving their health but they are unfortunately paralyzed by all of the information available to them. Many patients ask me how they can improve their health without completely disrupting their lifestyle. These are my top 5 easy and cost-effective tips that will help you re-charge your health.
- Removal of Refined Foods – There are a lot of different diets out there all competing for your attention. Whether it’s a Paleo diet, Vegan Diet, a 21 day fix or cleanse, low carb or low fat; they all have 1 thing in common- removal of refined sugars and carbohydrates. Personally, I feel that a Paleo diet is the best foundation for a healthy lifestyle. However, that may be a difficult diet for many people to implement overnight. The best way to start is to identify the worst offenders and avoid buying them in the future. Here is a great article that identifies highly processed foods to avoid: http://authoritynutrition.com/20-foods-to-avoid-like-the-plague/. Read labels and do your research.
- Planning Meals – planning your meals for the week is one of the best things you can do for your health and your wallet. Most of us don’t plan to eat something unhealthy- it’s usually a result of our hectic schedules. Cooking at home puts you ahead of the game when it comes to the quality of your meal. Carve out time on a Sunday to plan meals for the week (including breakfast and lunch). An opportunity to save money comes when you plan your meals around food that is on sale that week at your local grocery stores Don’t get discouraged and think this is only for those who get out of work before 4 p.m. Utilize a crock pot for healthy, delicious, and are incredibly convenient meals that are ready when you get home!
- Movement throughout the Day – I understand that people’s lives can be incredibly busy and exercise often gets put on the back burner. Moving throughout the day is very important regardless of whether or not it fits a specific definition of exercise. Your body and your brain are built for movement. Taking your body through ranges of motion for a couple minutes, multiple times throughout the day can do wonders for your joints and your mental well-being. Squats, raising your shoulders overhead and rotating your spine are all great ways to reduce the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting. If you have a job that limits your movement throughout the day you can set an alarm at your desk so you move every hour. You can also have a ritual of standing and stretching when you get an incoming call.
- Follow a sleep routine – sleep should not be overlooked when it comes to how important it is to your health. It is very easily to fall into the vicious cycle of being over worked, over tired, but too wired to fall asleep. When it comes to sleep, your diet and other habits throughout the day have a huge effect but there are things that should be done to improve your sleep environment at home. Removal of electronic devices, complete darkness, and going to bed at a regular time every night all will positively influence your sleep quality.
- Challenge Yourself – In order to optimize your brain function it is great to have a goal/challenge for your brain to work towards. This can be anything from a new workout routine, a weight-loss goal, a career challenge, or any other goal that has been lingering in the back of your mind. By choosing and completing a challenge you reinforce a positive pattern into your brain. We want your brain to become addicted to behaviors or activities that are beneficial to your life.