1. No movement. We all know the importance of exercise, but the lack of movement is causing just as many problems with our health. Sitting has become the new smoking and with it has decreased the amount of oxygen that is getting to our brain and organs as well as decreasing the efficiency of our circulatory system.
If exercise is a dirty word for you, then think about it this way, movement with intention. You don’t have to be a runner or go to a gym, you just create small spaces in your day when you can get up and move. Thirty minutes a day can make a significant impact on your health. Find an activity that you like to do, yoga, walking, dancing and do it consistently.
2. Drink water. I have lost track of how many times…. this one remedy can cure all from constant headaches, fatigue and joint pain. Many of you feel that water is just for washing, and although that is important, it’s more important that you stay hydrated. Your body is made up of 65 % water. A good rule of thumb is to consume half your total body weight in ounces of water daily. If you consume caffeinated beverages, then you should add more water to your daily consumption, as caffeine is dehydrating to the body. Also, note you can add water to your diet by adding foods that have high water content. A classic read on the importance of this is, Your bodies many cries for water by F. Batmanghelidj M.D.
3. Poor sleep. For all of those parents, caretakers, shift workers, chronically ill, anxiety-prone, overachievers, those who sleep with noisy partners, caffeine addicts, and just plain insomniacs, this message is for you. You are not better off with less sleep! Sleep is crucial to all healing in the body. And yes, it does matter what time you get those hours of restorative sleep. Ideally, most of us need 8 hours of sleep a day.
Developing sleep rituals or habits take time, just like starting a new exercise routine. Studies have shown the damaging effects of too much light from screens, TV, computers, phones, and videos. These exposures contribute to poor sleep quality. Some tips to help create an environment conducive to a restful night sleep are keeping all screens off and better yet out of the bedroom. A cool quiet dark room sets the tone for sleep. Avoid consuming foods that will overstimulate your brain like caffeine, and alcohol too close to bedtime.
In addition, natural sleep aids such as calming herbal teas and supplements are helpful to prepare the body for rest. Magnesium, L-theanine, GABA, and essential oils are just some of the most commonly used remedies to encourage the body to get restful sleep.
4. Vitamin D. We all need to have healthy levels of Vitamin D. In an ideal situation getting outside for natural sunlight would be the best way to meet our Vitamin D needs, unfortunately, this is not typically the case. The further you live from the equator the less exposure you have to absorb those healing rays. Many parts of the country only get 3 months of absorbable sunlight. Keep in mind in order for our bodies to able to convert that sunlight into Vitamin D, we would need to be outside for at least an hour with no sunscreen or hats. Sunscreen and hats block the absorption of Vitamin D. Quite frankly most of us aren’t able to do this daily. So supplementation is crucial. Vitamin D has over 6000 functions in the human body, to say that it’s important is an understatement.
I recommend that you get your Vitamin D3 levels checked yearly. If they are low, then supplement. When you take Vitamin D 3 supplements, make sure to consume them with fat, as the absorption into the body is more efficient.
5. Crazy blood sugar. Most of us know the dangers of consuming too much sugar in our diets. Elevated blood sugar levels have been linked to cardiac events/ disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Consuming high sugar high carbohydrate foods will result in fatigue. Conversely, skipping meals or waiting too long between meals can also wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Keeping a diet rich in fiber, vegetables, and protein in conjunction with complex carbohydrates helps maintain adequate blood sugar levels without the afternoon crash. Keep in mind that everyone is unique and diets need to be tailored to support your specific lifestyle and stress levels, having said that no one benefits from processed foods. They are depleting to your body and mind.
Being mindful of the simple ways you can tweak your diet and lifestyle can go a long way in helping you stay alert, awake and working at your personal best!