There is an infinite sea of information on food, exercise, vitamins, nutritional supplements and healthy lifestyles out there that one can feel overwhelmed by its many conflicting ideas, sets of rules and ways to eat, be and do. I’ve studied health and wellness for 20 years now, and to be honest, unless you have a serious medical crisis, staying healthy is not as difficult as they make it to be.
Here are my simple tips that will have you feeling wonderful and knowledgeable enough to make the right choices towards good health, and get you clear on the basics of food and exercise.
1. Drink a Tall Glass of Water When You Wake Up
Before coffee, tea or even your morning juice. While you sleep, your body goes through a detox. Drinking water will help to flush the toxins from your kidneys so you can start the day with a clean system and help keep fluidity throughout your body.
2. Do Some Easy, Fun Movements in the Morning
It’s very important to awaken your body for the day. Doing neck, shoulder and hip rolls, circling your ankles and knees and twisting your body from side to side are Tai Chi movements for health. They promote flexibility for your body and are important for your joints, organs and spine.
You don’t need an intense workout first thing in the morning – you need gentle yet effective awakening. I do these while waiting for the coffee to brew, for about five to ten minutes. This will activate your digestive system, which has been lying down with you while you slept. Honor this part of your body and give it a moment to wake up with you.
3. Eat As Much Fresh Food As You Can
Shop for organic, fresh and unprocessed foods. Create colorful plates and seasonal delights for variety. Steam, roast, bake or stir-fry your meats and vegetables with real herbs and spices. Choose recipes that involve light cooking and go for ingredients that are sourced naturally. Indulge, but only when you go out to a restaurant or have guests around.
Organic food may cost a little more than your usual trolley content, but it is one of the most important purchases people make. What you feed yourself three times a day is responsible for the bodily functions, your cells and your energy level. The better you eat, the greater your health. Don’t forget to stock up with protein as it builds the brain and the muscles, and even helps to stabilize blood sugar and fight stress.
4. Move Your Body
Extensive workouts are not always the best. It’s important to realize that your main objective for exercising is to oxygenate your body. Oxygen is a faster, higher form of nutrition that people usually overlook and it helps our body to function on all levels. You get energy quicker through exercise (or movement, as I prefer to call it) than food. Movement transforms negative energy (stress) and creates feel-good hormones for well-being.
So do movements that you enjoy. The more you enjoy movement, the more your physical, mental and emotional health will improve. So get rid of the overly tough, challenging and extreme workouts and enjoy moving your body in ways that please you – ways that are fun and inspiring!
5. Seek Pleasure and Relaxation… Daily
People don’t put enough time into relaxing and pleasure. Our bodies need to be relaxed in order to de-stress. Pleasure can be sought in many ways throughout the day and you need to create the opportunity for it, even if it’s just for five minutes.
The pleasure center of our bodies is placed in our lower body, called the Svadisthana Chakra, or Second Chakra. However, it is often overused through food consumption and we end up not using it for pleasure and creativity as well. So add some pleasure and creativity to your life! For me it is gardening, dancing to a favorite song, writing or mixing up herbs for tea. Or you could find pleasure by in truly enjoying your meals, such as trying new cooking methods, recipes or settings.
To relax, be as close to nature as possible. Nature relaxes us quickly because it keeps us in the present when we acknowledge its beauty and wonder. So take more breaks by heading outside to ease your mind, stimulate your senses and reconnect with your body.
So there you go – clearing your toxins, changing the quality of the food that you consume, awakening and energizing your body through fun movement, seeking pleasure and letting yourself relax will increase your health tremendously. Consider these five basic tips for a healthy and enjoyable life and let go of strict rules and complicated information.
Just take a deep breath, stop and smell the roses, and realize that life truly doesn’t need to be so hard!