Are you starting to feel like you are not the same shape you were a few years ago? Body systems are no longer working as they once did. Your doctor is warning you to take better care as your test results are worse each year. Feeling you look older than you are?
Whatever the health situation you are in, how would you like to know 7 ways to improve your health immediately? Let’s jump in NOW!
- Breathe – the reason why this is number one is because you can live a lifetime without exercise, years without true love, 30 days without food, two nights without sleep BUT no longer than a few minutes without air. Breathing fuels the body with oxygen and every system of the body requires oxygen to function properly. Effective breathing can provide mental clarity, better quality sleep and digestion, improve immune response and reduce stress levels. The dental industry has reignited the value of nasal breathing compared to mouth breathing. Air taken in through the nose is warmed efficiently as it goes further into the body. In the book Breath: the New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor © 2021 author James Nestor champions how air inhaled through the nose is exposed to highly efficient immune structures and stimulates valuable nitrous oxide production. Focus on slow, deep, deliberate diaphragmatic (belly) breathing a few minutes before bed to quieten your sympathetic nervous system and enjoy improved quality and quantity of sleep.
- Sleep – “If you don’t snooze you will lose.” If you have a chronic condition that isn’t resolving, a poor memory, daytime lulls in energy, you are properly suffering from inadequate sleep. People see sleep as free and easily accessible nightly, so they don’t value it. Good quality sleep improves your brain function, mood, digestive health and lowers the chance of you dying from a heart attack or cancer. Unless you have the rare gene variant BHLHE41 gene you need between 7- 8 hours of sleep each night. In neuroscientist Matthew Walker PhD’s groundbreaking book, why we Sleep” creates a compelling argument for you to become a sleep master if you want to live a long healthy life. Where does it all start? Going to bed before midnight each night, keeping alcohol consumption at least four hours before bedtime, sleeping in a cool dark room and ultimately making a good night’s sleep a “must” vs a “should.”
- Hydrating your miraculous body with the water it cries out for. Staying hydrated allows the body to carry out every biochemical process it performs millions of times each day. Critical functions of the body such as digestion, metabolism, muscle contraction, immunity, and cognition. How do you know you have proper water and Hydration? Look at the color of the urine, deep yellow smelly urine is your body’s crying out for water. There are many types of water you can drink (alkaline, structured, reverse osmosis, spring, distilled, mineral, sparkling and tap water). Keep it simple – don’t overthink it. It will lead to “analysis by paralysis.” There is no one size fits all amount as it depends on activity level or your sport, environment, age, bodyweight. Eating foods with high water content can also help hydrate your body so vegetables and fruits support a hydrated body. Focus on increasing your vegetable intake, lower your alcohol intake and assess your urine color and you’ll be well on your way to being a hydrated healthy human.
- Nutrition – you are what you eat – Just like a computer, your body’s digestive system is like the “CPU” or the central processing unit of the body. Making sure the CPU of your body is healthy is imperative to ensure function in all the systems of the body. Your gut health is extremely important as it breaks down the food you eat and absorbs nutrients to fuel the body’s functions or systems. Research has shown that our gut microbiome can affect every organ in our body which is why we think it’s one of the most important organ systems to work on when you want to improve your health quickly. “The Microbiome Solution” by Robynne Chutkan MD provides an effective plan for replenishing and optimizing the vital ecosystem in our gut. The number one way to influence and improve your gut health is to improve the quality of your food intake. A healthy diet protects you from disease. A healthy diet is eating a variety of whole foods, avoiding processed sugar, trans fats and fast food / processed foods. Ask yourself the questions before any food goes into your mouth; is this meal serving or sabotaging my health goals?
- Exercise your way to robust health and vitality. Your body’s 600 muscles, 205 bones and 350 joints were designed for movement. Physical activity improves your ability to do everyday activities, improves brain health, boosts energy, manages weight and makes you more stress resilient, strengthens bones and muscles and reduces your risk of disease. Regardless of your age, income level, male or female, there are thousands of scientific articles that prove that being physically active will help you live a healthier and happier life. Find something active that you like to do. “Outlive” by longevity guru Peter Attia MD champions the importance of exercise for making your health span (years free of disease) the same length as your lifespan. Include strength training, aerobic training, balance /flexibility for a complete exercise program. Strength training (30 to 45 minutes) two days a week; aerobic exercise (30 minutes) three days and a yoga workout (30-60 minutes) two to three days will put you well on your way to enjoying the health of your dreams.
- Treatments for the body – Body work is used to help relax, relieve stress and pain and to rehabilitate from injuries. There are many modalities you can use such as Chiropractic, Osteopathic, Massage Therapy, Physiotherapy, Manual lymphatic drainage, Myfascial release, Reflexology, Acupuncture, Breathwork, etc. Create a plan to incorporate regular treatments into your schedule that you can afford and have time for. Bodywork like massage therapy can reduce your pain by up to 40%. Less pain means you can enjoy life more and do more things. “Heal Your Body” by Louise L Hay is a book that uses a holistic approach to nurture and nourish your entire being.
- Relaxation – What are you doing to relax your mind, body and spirit? Relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday stress and prevent disease. It can help us have a calm and clear mind which aid in proper decision making, positive thinking, concentration and memory skills. For our health, relaxation slows our heart rate, reduces blood pressure and relieves tension. First thing is making time to REST. Rest is so important for better mental health, immune system, reduced stress, improved mood and better metabolism. Meditation that focuses on various parts of your body (progressive muscle relaxation), attention on relaxing, and focusing on your mind relaxing. Deep breathing (breath work) is another technique you can use to gain relaxation. Yoga is a mind-body practice that focuses on different poses and movements, with breathing, meditation and relaxation. Joining yoga class, a couple times a week is phenomenal for your health and life. “The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha Davis PhD, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman MSW and Matthew McKay PhD gives a simple step-by-step guide to relaxation and stress reduction.
To recap, the 7 ways to improve your health immediately are breathing, sleep, hydration, nutrition, exercise, treatments for the body and relaxation.
No matter what your health situation, age or sex you can improve your health immediately especially when you implement some or all of these 7 ways:
- Implement deep diaphragmatic Breathing,
- Sleep 7-8 hours of good sleep, go to bed before midnight each night, keep alcohol consumption to at least four hours before bedtime, sleep in a cool dark room,
- Increase your vegetable intake, drink less alcohol and assess your urine color to be more hydrated.
- Improve the quality of your food you eat, include a healthy diet of a variety of whole foods, avoid processed sugar, trans fats and fast food/processed foods.
- Include strength training, aerobic training, balance /flexibility for a complete exercise program.
- Create a plan to incorporate regular body treatments into your schedule that you can afford and have time for.
- Rest, meditate, breathwork and yoga for relaxation. Implementing the 7 ways to improve health will surely jumpstart you to a new and healthier you. Make sure this is a part of your lifestyle.
Don’t miss this article from Uche Odiatu, DMD:
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