I am sitting in the hospital in the cardiac care unit watching a person I love but who is not good at caring for himself go through the search for why his health keeps going downhill. Is there a better way to learn the importance of focusing on health balance? But so many people, myself included, focus on the wrong things. We focus on quick fixes or one part of the equation. What we need to do is focus on the whole picture. It is not just weight, diet, exercise, sleep, or stress. It is learning how to create a life that encompasses all of it in moderation.
There are many steps to take and many experts you can follow but there is no right way to achieve this balance. It is about finding the right balance by listing to your body; what feels good, what challenges the status quo and what makes you grow.
Here is an idea where to start on your quest for a balanced life;
· Sleep affects all the other aspects of your life. It needs to be on the priority list. You need the right amount of sleep for your age 7-9 hours if you are an adult, more if you are under 18.
· What you eat matters but what food plan you follow does not. Choose something that works for you and then stick with it. The only thing that does matter is that the food should not be overly processed. Really what I am saying is if Paleo works for you go for it and the same is true if you are a Vegetarian. What really matters is consistency and that you eat health amounts of unprocessed food.
· Your body was designed to move so get out and move. Your body does not do well being sedentary, it leads to pain, arthritis and multiple joint, endocrine and cardiac problems. There are multiple studies that show that exercise works better than pills for back pain.
· You need to see the light of day and the dark of night. Sunlight helps us produce multiple hormones not to mention vitamin D. You need to get out and get sun light, indoor light just is not the same. The same is true with dark. Our body needs the dark to produce hormones that allow us to sleep. If you are on a cell phone, tablet or watching television you are not getting the dark you need.
· Take a minute to breathe. People deal with stress in different ways. Not everyone can relax by meditating, or exercising or listening to music. Everyone does increase the oxygen to their brain by taking some slow deep breathes. That increase in oxygen will allow you to distress as well as decrease the work of your heart. This then leads to lower stress hormones. Taking some deep breathes is better than taking supplements to try and relax.
We all have one life to share with the world. It is important that we care for our bodies so we can enjoy that one life. If it all seems too overwhelming take ten minutes to go outside and take a walk. Take a couple of deep breathes while you are out there. You just conquered three of the 6 health rules.