No matter what health concerns you’re in the midst of dealing with, and regardless of whether you’ve made health a priority or not in your life, there are simple key steps you need to take in order to get you on track. And despite the benefits, I’m not going to tell you to begin a rigorous yoga schedule, eat gluten free, or invest in the newest ‘superfood on the market. What I am going to tell you, however, is that from fighting a minor illness to battling a chronic disease, making an effort to get fat, step away, heat up, and close your eyes, you can rest assured that you will be well on your way to be put back on track to better health.
Against popular belief, getting fat is actually one of the best ways to better your health. When I say “get fat”, I’m not talking about physically packing on the pounds and becoming overweight. What I am talking about is when it comes to fat, it’s critical to ensure you’re getting enough of the healthy version. Although I’d love to hear that everyone’s dietary choices are a plethora of healthy vegetables and foods, when it comes to reality, I know that is not the case. Adding healthy fats to any diet will help directly improve energy, decrease inflammation, balance blood sugars, support the immune system, encourage better digestion, and help stave off unhealthy food cravings; all of which play a major role in the development, maintenance or reduction of disease. Fats such as nut butters, whole nuts and seeds, butter, coconut and olive oil are all wonderful places to start. Most meals should always include a healthy fat or two, and because these fats are formed different than unhealthy processed fats, they are less likely to be stored as fat, and more likely to provide direct health benefits.
In life, when something just doesn’t seem safe or feel ‘right’, one of our innate instincts is to stand back or ‘step away’. In removing oneself from a dangerous or damaging scenario, one is less likely to get caught up or stuck in the middle of a problem. The same can be true when it comes to stress and your health. When life gets stressful and you’re having a tough time, taking a step back is always a positive coping approach. Stress plays a major implication in poor health and disease, and there’s zero benefit to having long term, chronic stress. When things seem too overwhelming and your emotions are getting the best of you, it’s in your health’s best interest to step back, take a breathe, and re-collect your thoughts. By abiding by this simple rule as a go to when life overwhelms, both your stress response and health will thank you in the end.
What do I mean when I say it’s beneficial to ‘heat up’? Well, when it comes to health, there’s one concrete conclusion that holds firm and true; exercise, movement and activity is nothing short of health promoting. I’m not talking about spending 2 hours in the gym, or partaking in regular hot yoga sessions as the single method of boosting your health. I’m talking about purposeful, intentional movement being an extremely profitable way to easily improve your health. And what is one of the major responses by your body when it undergoes sustained physical activity and begins to heat up? It sweats. And sweating is an efficient way for the body to not only dissipate body heat, but help rid it of toxins and other detrimental chemicals. Heating the body up by moving your muscles, is one of the best ways to achieve better health success. Even the shortest bouts of movement (5 minutes) has been shown to be extremely beneficial. A couple things to keep in mind when adding this simple step into day to day life: movement has to be intentional, has to cause a sustained increase in heat rate, and most importantly, it has to make you sweat.
Close Your Eyes
If you close your eyes while you drive, the result may not be good. If you close your eyes on your couch for a rest, the end result will provide a much better return. Closing you eyes (otherwise known as actively resting), is one of the most simple, easily accepted, well established (and pleasurable) ways to improve your health. Proper sleep, of course, is one of the major cornerstone’s to better health, however ensuring your body is resilient, rested and continually supported and poised to function during the day, is another. Feeling tired? Can’t cope with your current stressors? Only getting more sick or ill? Power naps, or taking time to stop and have a rest may be exactly what your body needs. The key to ensuring a beneficial active rest is to get comfortable, close your eyes, and make sure that you don’t fall into a deeper sleep or for a longer period of time than 10-20minutes. Napping mirrors sort of a ‘mini sleep’ session, allowing your body time to catch up and recuperate enough to help you through the reminder of your day. It’s been shown to better regulate blood sugars, calm the nervous system, modulate the immune system in addition to many other health promoting benefits. Simple hints to maximize your nap time is too nap under natural light, don’t nap after the sun has gone down, set an alarm for 20 minutes maximum, nap to a maximum of 1-2 times per day only, and get up and move as soon as your nap is over.