I was asked to write a list of my favorite health habits. Below is the list I created to assist you with living your healthiest and most joyful life.
Eat high fiber
A diet high in fiber provides relief or prevention of constipation, decreased risk of some types of cancer, decreased cholesterol, deduced risk of coronary disease, blood sugar control, reduced risk of type II Diabetes, and decreased risk of obesity. The varies for age and sex but in general getting 28 to 30 g of fiber a day is a good start. Take a couple of days to mentally measure the amount of fiber you're taking in.
Eat healthy fats
In general, fats from fish, flax seed oil, butter and nuts, hemp seed, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and eggs from chickens fed a diet high in greens and insects are all good food sources of healthy fats. Healthy fats reduced inflammation in your body, improve blood clotting, create healthy cell membranes, lower bad lipids, decreased artery thickening, reduce the risk of obesity, and may inhibit cancer cell growth.
I hate going to the gym. However, I love to get my exercise by doing activities that are fun. Take a walk and look at the flowers. Join a sports team and see what you can do. Stretch yourself a little bit every day. Just move. Your body will love you and it will be fun.
Eliminate refined carbohydrates
I call these the "white foods." Most of the foods you can think of that are white (bleached flour, sugar, white pasta, candy) are not good for you. I'm not just talking about weight gain or control of calories. I'm talking about the hormonal and chemical alterations that cause in your body which lead to lifelong decreased health.
Sleep 7 to 8 hours a day
Sleep deprivation leads to decreased immunity, weight gain, depression, mood swings, vascular disease, and many more ill effects on your body. For people doing shift work, it is even a higher priority to stay in tune with your body and to listen to what it needs. Don't overdue caffeine and none after 4 p.m., bedroom for sleep and sex only, eat no later than 2 hours before bedtime, no raucous T.V. before bedtime, create a ritual that honors your life and your body (many people journal, meditate or pray right before sleep), address health issues that impede sleep (like sleep apnea, menopause, etc).
Take quality supplements
It is prudent for adults to take a multivitamin every day because of the decreased nutritional content of our food, the increased processing of our food supply, and the substitution of healthy foods with unhealthy foods. The USDA surveyed 16,000 Americans and found that not one person obtained 100% of essential nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin D, and zinc. Similarly, children and adolescents did not obtain enough essential nutrients such as folate, vitamin C, and calcium.
If you have a stressful life my recommendation is insert into your day what I call "peace breaks." It can happen in your car, the bathroom, when you take a short walk around the block. Let your blood pressure fall, your mind relax, and to consciously put your attention on peacefulness and releasing any thoughts. Do this 2 to 3 times a day, especially right when you wake up and right before you go to sleep.
Be cognizant of children
Be an example of health in front of your children. Don't reward with candy. Reward with time, reading, love, and attention. Stand for healthy habits in schools. Be a mentor. So many people I know have come from hard beginnings to become truly magnificent people. The commonality in all of them is they had at least one person in their childhood who really cared.
Eat breakfast and eat a low glycemic, Mediterranean style food pattern
Eating a healthy breakfast (low glycemic, high nutrient foods) helps maintain hunger levels, sugar levels, and healthy eating throughout the day. Keeping a steady blood sugar throughout the day by eating 5 to 6 small, low glycemic, Mediterranean style meals appears to be a delicious and healthy way to maintain your physique and avoid disease.
Find passion in your life
I believe what you create with your life is your individual expression of the divine. It all counts. What matters is the love you bring to your life. Express your life with passion and know that it is received with enthusiasm. You matter more than you will ever know.
What have you wanted to do in life that you just haven't taken the time for? Is it a trip? Taking a challenge in your relationship? Reading a new book or taking a new class? Stepping just a little bit out of your comfort zone can make life exciting and full. Bring your spouse along if he/she will come. Make it a family affair. You only pass this way one time.
The opposite of new challenges is the steady hand of habit. Creating habits can open space and energy for creativity. What part of your life feels confusing and out of control right now? What habits could you install to balance this chaos? By creating a life of habits, you also make room for challenges and inventiveness.
Have a healthy social circle
The belief systems you develop are deeply influenced by the people in your life. Who in your life supports your most deeply felt beliefs? Who in your life moves you away from your emotional, financial, spiritual and physical center? How much time do you spend with these people? If your only circle of friends is the people you work with every day, it may be time to open and widen the circle a little. Make one new friend and cultivate that friendship. Choose a friend who is loving and supportive, who fills your life with positive words and be that friend to others. Studies show that lifespan is greatly influenced by the company you keep (or lack thereof).
Laugh a lot
When is the last time you belly laughed? If it has been a while, perhaps it is time to lighten up. Look for opportunities to laugh. Make your family and friends laugh. Play a gentle, loving trick. Get tickets to a comedy club where a lighthearted comic is playing. Spending the evening laughing with your friends may put a whole new veneer on your week.
I am speaking specifically of volunteering -- an act or donation that is mainly anonymous and brings worth, peace and love to the world. Here is a partial list of the reasons and benefits: make new friends, build confidence, see more of your community and the world, gain important skills and experience, relieve stress, fight boredom, make a difference in the world, and just have fun. It is truly exhilarating to be surrounded by giving, loving people in the act of improving the world for those around you.Put these concepts in practice in your life. Find one small way to make the world a little better today. If we all do that, we have created a movement of health, love and joy. Be a part of the movement today!
About the Author:
Dr. Kelly Sennholz is the founder and Chief Medical Officer of Symtrimics LLC, a Physician Prescribed Wellness Program. She has been instrumental in creating excellent health for thousands of patients and transforming medical practices to true sources of health. Symtrimics allows doctors to once again feel satisfaction in their medical practice and real relationships with their patients.