Zach Curry, Therapeutic Health Specialist
The thing I value most in life is my health. I live my life to help others. That could be family, friends, clients, or someone in the community. I believe our health is the foundation of who we are. If we are struggling with our health in any way, we are unable to fully give ourselves to the people in our lives who need it most. The expression “put on your oxygen mask before helping the person next to you” could not be more true. We must practice self-care (exercise, eating well, meditation/prayer,) first if we want to fully engage, help, and love our friends and family. So here is my top 5 to living a healthier life.
Improve the quality of your sleep. Everyone has heard it before. Try to sleep 7-8 hours each night. Great advice, however, it is my belief that the quality of sleep is what should be focused on first. In order to do that you need to make sure your sleep hygiene is up to par. Screens, intense/engaging tv shows, and video games have all been shown to disrupt our sleep cycle making it more difficult to fall asleep or reach the deep restful sleep your body needs. Try more relaxing activities before bed like deep breathing, a warm shower, or reading a book.
Eat natural foods as often as you can. There are so many different diet plans out there today: Keto, Atkins, carnivore, paleo, and the list goes on and on. This has created a lot of confusion around food nowadays. I am a big believer in keeping it simple. When choosing foods I look for foods that either come from the earth such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and other whole grains, or foods that are earth fed like red meat, poultry, seafood, and pork.
Breathe. It seems like such a simple thing to do, yet most of us are not breathing correctly. Stop for a minute and notice how you are breathing. Are you taking slow but steady breaths all the way in and out, or is your breathing a bit faster and shallow? Slow and steady breathing can help us to be less anxious, improve our energy and concentration. Try simple deep breathing exercises inhaling for a count of 4 and exhaling for a count of 8. Try to make sure the exhale is always double the time of the inhale.
Move more. We all know lifting weights or doing a spin class is good for us. However, the importance of just moving your body is oftentimes overlooked. We are built to move, not just exercise. So when we don’t move our bodies can get a bit angry with us. Many of us have experienced a tight neck and back after sitting at work all day. Try to break your day up with walking or standing breaks. Your body will thank you.
Unplug. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed we have something available to stimulate us. That could be a tablet, smartphone, TV, radio, or a gaming system. All-day long we are plugged into social media, the news, emails, celebrity gossip. Though some of these things can be fun and a nice distraction from daily life, our brains need a break from trying to process all of that. For example, you could scroll through your Facebook feed and in a matter of :30 seconds you can read about a friend who lost a loved one, someone getting engaged, the title of an article describing the next disaster to strike America, and then a picture of someone’s newborn child. That’s a whole lot of information to process in that span of time! Our brains get fatigued trying to keep up with the constant stimulation we all seem to be addicted to. Take 10 minutes each day and unplug. You can walk, meditate, or just sit quietly but give your brain the break it deserves.
If you would like to make an appointment with Zach, call ExercisAbilities today! 507-259-7570