Holistic Health Ideas for 2020
Life in 2020 provides many unique challenges but also many opportunities to support health and well-being.
The environment, our food quality, our water, our access to essential nutrients has changed but the demands we are faced with through family life and work commitments are at peak.
Are we forgetting though, that out bodies respond to lack of nutrients, stress and lack of sleep exactly how they always have.
Hopefully the ideas below will remind you that it is the simple practices we commit to regularly that are most responsible for our overall health and energy levels!
Here are 10 tips to help guide you to achieve optimal health and well-being in the world today.
1. Eat ‘whole food’ i.e one ingredient wonders
Common sense dictates that the best diet is one based on foods that we are designed to eat and extract the best fuel out of. You wouldn't consider diesel in a petrol car even in moderation so is it time we reconsidered actually how good it is to drip feed ourselves chemicals and the 'other stuff' much of the 'food these days is made of. Studies show that a diet made up of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, as well as meat, fish and eggs, is best for weight control and improvement in risk markers for illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes. Eating this way also cuts through the marketing hype and dietary misinformation that we are all faced with when shopping down the middle aisles of the supermarket, and allows you to make healthy food choices quickly and confidently.
2. Keep hydrated
Water makes up roughly two-thirds of the body and essential to the majority of body functions, it acts as a solvent, nutrient transporter, temperature regulator and aid the detoxification process in the body. Maintaining hydration can have a huge influence on vitality, energy levels and mental alertness. Drink enough water to keep your urine a pale yellow colour throughout the course of the day or take your body weight and times it by 30ml i.e 70kg x 30ml = 2.1 L of pure water per day. Non caffienated herbal teas count toward this fluid intake.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential to the optimal functioning of the human body. You need at least eight hours a night.
A good day always starts the night before so turn off the computer or TV earlier in the evening as it is often all it takes to create the time and space for earlier sleep and your body to flick into producing melatonin and then ultimately seratonin (happy hormone) the next day. Getting into bed by 10pm is a great investment in terms of your short- and long-term health and well-being.
4. Get plenty of sunlight
Sunlight, and the vitamin D this can make in the skin, is associated with a wide spectrum of benefits for the body including a reduced risk of several forms of cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis, as well as improved immune function. As a rule of thumb, vitamin D is made when our shadow is shorter than our body length, ie when the sun is high in the sky. While burning is to be avoided, get as much sunlight exposure as possible for optimal health.
5. Aerobic exercise
Humans are designed to move. Find an aerobic activity you love and do regularly in the week (for at least 30mins and aim to break a sweat) If you are in a desk job. Stand up regularly, walk to the water cooler. Don't just sit at your desk during lunch. Walking regularly is associated with a major benefits for the body and the brain, including a reduced risk of chronic diseases, anti-anxiety and mood-enhancing effects.
6. Resistance exercise
Resistance exercise helps to maintain muscle mass and strengthens the body. Many easy exercises can be done at home, such as press-ups, sit-ups and squats. Invest in a dyna-band or kettle-bell to extend your home routine to other exercises, too. A 15min routine every second day working different muscle groups is a easy enough to fit into a busy schedule.
7. Practice Appreciation
Modern-day living tends towards being future orientated and its easy to find ourselves chasing an ever-growing list of goals or future rewards, many of which are material focused.
Many of us could do with spending more time focusing not on what we don’t have, but on what we do. Its impossible to stay negative when you are grateful and mood can be lifted by giving thanks for anything from our family to a beautiful landscape or peaceful moment in time.
8. Be present
Controlling stress levels is really hard when your trying to juggle many things at one time especially if they are not really important. Is it better to be enjoying those around you or checking the latest photo of someone you are acquainted with on facebook? Enjoy the moments in time right now and if your not, think about how or what you can change so you are!
9. Visualize with Diaphragmatic breathing
Your brain doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined. Take the time every day to day-dream what you want your life, to be like. Diaphragmatic breathing allows the body to hook into the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest and heal). It will calm you and help you focus on what is really important.
10. Find your Tribe
Having people around you that support you, inspire you and encourage you to lift your game when necessary and celebrate your successes is key to long term good health and fun factor. Maybe you already have these people in your life, maybe you need to go out and find them.
Be the energy you want to attract!!
Wishing you a happy and health filled year ahead!!