If you’re like most Americans/Canadians, health is the most important aspect of your life that needs improving. Without adequate health and well-being, you can kiss most of your other goals goodbye. Declining health and vitality rob you of the energy you need to achieve your personal or professional goals.
With that in mind, I’ve created a series of simple practices—the more of these you do, the better and more in charge of your life you’ll feel.
Sit Less, Move More
As humans, we are made to move. This doesn’t mean running around on a daily basis, but rather spending a good portion of our days walking, standing and moving in general. If we don’t, our bodies rebel and our health declines. Movement is not only good for your cardiovascular health, but also for your mental health. Do some form of exercise that significantly raises your heart rate for 30 minutes at least four times a week. Remember, also, to break up your sitting and move frequently during the day.
Get More Sleep
Sleep is often the single most undervalued behavior in our lives—and yet it is the one with the most immediate power to improve our lives in every waking moment. If you’re averaging less than six hours of sleep, aim to get just one more hour a night. It will leave you feeling more physically energized, emotionally resilient and mentally clear.
Eat Less, More Often
Food is fuel, and real food—healthy proteins, vegetables (complex carbohydrates) and fruits —are high-octane fuel. You feel best when you eat in small doses throughout the day, beginning with breakfast. Try for more local and organic fruits and vegetables. Remember, the fresher the food, the more potent its nutrients.
Chiropractic care can literally change your life, and enable you to live a pain-free life full of energy and vitality. That’s because chiropractic adjustments help reduce or eliminate pressure on your nerves—the same ones responsible for your everyday bodily functions. Chiropractic will help eliminate pain and inflammation, reduce fatigue, and restore normal nerve flow to all your organs, giving you the energy, drive and peace of mind to go out there and live life the way it was meant to be lived.
Human beings are not designed to work eight or more hours straight. We’re meant instead to alter between moving (spending energy) and resting (renewing energy). Ideally, take a break every 90 minutes, even if only to spend a minute or two stretching or breathing deeply. It all matters, and it all adds up.
The greatest gift you can give someone is your undivided attention. After all, it’s better to be fully present with someone for an hour than physically present, but distracted, for multiple hours. Shut off your phone at a certain time each day, and practice being present with your family and friends.
We’re far quicker to notice what’s wrong in our lives than we are what’s right. Gratitude has tremendous power; if it is sincere and heartfelt it makes a big difference to our outlook. To help change this mindset, once a week aim to write a note of appreciation to someone who deserves it, telling the person precisely what you’re grateful for.
Do The Most Important Thing First
Early in the morning (after your coffee), you’re likely to have the most energy, and the fewest distractions. Start your workday by focusing without interruption on the most important or challenging task you can accomplish that day.
Feed Your Mind
Our brains work better if we challenge them, and life becomes more interesting when we do. Reading is, of course, a simple way to learn and grow, but so is building a daily practice around learning a new language, a sport, an instrument, how to fix a car, or learning to draw.
Lending a helping hand not only aids others in need, but it’s also very rewarding. Throughout the year, aim to take some time to add value to the world at large by supporting charities, standing up for great causes, or giving back to your community.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #46.
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