If every year one of your New Years resolution’s is to ‘get healthy now’ then this article is for you. It’s time to realise that there are no quick fixes, magic pills or cure-alls. There just aren’t! Health is a collection of simple good habits coupled with a positive mindset.
Here are some of the ways you can get healthy and stay that way for the rest of your life:
1. Respect Your Body
You only get one so treat it well. Having a high level of self-respect prevents you from polluting your body with junk food, drugs, smoke, alcohol and other nasties. Love the skin you’re in, make wise choices and you’ll immediately notice the benefits to your well-being.
2. Develop Willpower
Did you know that willpower is like a muscle? The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. Focus your attention on what you want and doing the things that will help you get there. Yes, temptations will come and you will fail but that’s ok! Never give up, because if you put your mind to it you can do anything.
3. Learn to Adapt
Our modern lives are full of challenges and unexpected change. The better you are able to cope before going into stress mode the healthier you will be. Practice regular stress-relieving activities such as yoga, pilates, art, music, reading etc and use adaptogenic herbs like reishi, chaga, ashwagandha, rhodiola and maca root to increase your adaptability.
4. Increase Your Knowledge
Understanding how the body and mind works is a critical factor in attaining true health. Read books and articles, listen to reputable health professionals and take courses to expand your knowledge and empower yourself in taking responsibility for your own health.
5. Listen to Your Body
With knowledge, comes intuition (also known as your sixth sense). Your intuition is something nature provided you with to help guide you towards a direction that is good for you. Everyone has the ability to be intuitive! To better develop this ability, stay a little hungry (don’t overeat), wake up without an alarm clock, practice mindfulness (i.e. notice how foods or certain activities make you feel), slow down and trust when something ‘just doesn’t feel right.’
6. Eat Real Food
I could never stress this point enough. Genetically modified, chemically exposed, sugar-laden, processed, and synthetically infused foods are just not good for our health! Period. What is good for you however, is a diet made up of foods that are as close to how you would find them in nature as possible. i.e. a variety of whole vegetables and fruit (NOT fruit juice), nuts, sprouts, raw dairy (if possible, otherwise organic), wild-caught fish and animal products that are organic and grass-fed.
7. Chew Your Food
Yes, we live life fast but that doesn’t mean we should eat fast too! To help assimilate foods properly, we need to give our digestive system as much help as possible. This starts with eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly (it should almost be liquid by the time you swallow). Not only will this help you eat less, you will also extract more nutrients from your food: Good for your health and your waistline!
8. Exercise Daily
No, before you get mad at me, this does not mean killing yourself for hours at the gym every day. What I’m taking about here is daily movement. The purpose of exercise is to promote good health. It should be something that makes you breathe deeply, sweat, and pump your heart. Exercise should be something you enjoy and that your body loves to do. Rebounding 10-15mins a day is a great example as well as playing with your kids, dancing, sports, swimming, running, hiking, HIIT etc. Mix it up and try out different activities. The main goal is to move your body and have fun while doing it.
Meditation helps you let go of stress and re-energises you. It improves your willpower, helps you focus and even helps regenerate the cells in your body. If you can learn to meditate deeply for even 5 minutes a day, you will experience a whole new level of well-being. All you need to do is sit still , close your eyes and breathe deeply, focusing your mind on your breath. Then as your mind wanders keep bringing your attention back to your breath. Simple. Even if you are ‘bad’ at mediation, you will still reap the benefits, so don’t give up.
10. Value Your Sleep
Sleep is essential to our health and well-being. However, contrary to popular belief, the amount of time is not nearly as important as the quality. 4 hours of deep sleep can be far more beneficial than 8 hours of light, broken sleep. It is therefore, critical to learn how to sleep deeply. To do this, cut out all electronic devices before bed. Drink a cup of chamomile tea. Meditate or visualize on something beautiful. Take a warm relaxing bath with magnesium and calming essential oils such as lavender. Read a light and uplifting book, and consider calming herbs like passionflower and valerian.
11. Support Your Detox Organs
Despite our best efforts we are in constant contact with chemicals and pollutants. The body can handle a certain amount of pollution and in some cases it may make your body stronger, but in general toxins are enemies of health. It is therefore wise to regularly support your detox organs with herbs such as milkthistle, dandelion and artichoke as well as zeolite powder, psyllium husk, aloe vera juice, magnesium and lots of probiotics! Drink pure, well filtered or spring water, eat organic, use natural body care products, and avoid unnecessary environmental and electromagnetic pollution.
12. Practice Gratitude
You may think this has nothing to do with health but a grateful heart is a happy heart. Learn to appreciate your family, your work, your peers, and your life. Let go of hurts and negative experiences. Enjoy life. I assure you that this change in attitude will benefit your health in ways you never imagined!
Getting truly healthy will never happen overnight. It requires work and discipline, but the compensation is definitely worth the effort. Here’s to 2016 being the year you will achieve GREAT HEALTH, live a lifestyle that you can be proud of and THRIVE rather than survive in all you do.