While we often discuss larger lifestyle changes including hormone optimization and significant dietary adjustments with our patients, there are also smaller changes to their daily routines that can have an immediate impact on their wellness. Here are a few easy tips that can make a big difference:
Put yourself on a “media diet”
How much of the nightly news are you watching? How many times are you checking Facebook? Is the presidential election increasing your blood pressure? Here’s a challenge: Reduce your exposure to anxiety- inducing media. Give yourself permission to believe that anything you need to know you will hear from someone else. Use your phone for phone calls, nothing more. By limiting exposure to the ‘noise’ of media, you will feel calmer and less stressed.
Remove Starches from your Diet
For two weeks, challenge yourself to be grain free: no corn, no rice, no wheat. Only consume organic protein, fruits and vegetables. Why? Starchy foods are high in glycemic index (GI). High glycemic index foods can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. These swings in blood sugar can inhibit cognitive function, creating a “brain fog.” By removing starches from your diet, this mental fog evaporates, providing more clarity in your daily life. For a bonus, try going carb free for one day. The feeling of clarity and increased energy can be dramatic. Remember, the things we put in our body affect us both physically and emotionally.
Learn to Breath Deeply
Often overlooked, the art of breathing can have a significant impact on your short-term and long-term health. Deep breathing releases tension, relaxes the mind and can even increase digestion and assimilation of food. Practice your deep breathing for five minutes every day. Start by breathing in for a count of four, hold in for count of six, then exhale for a count of eight. You may not be able to do this right away. Once cycle is four of those breath exercises. Try to work up to five cycles. If you can get to five cycles, you will notice your mental fog will clear and you will simply feel better. The more you practice deep breathing, the better you will feel.Move Around
While this may seem like common sense, the importance of physical movement in your daily life cannot be understated. New research suggests that long periods of sitting at desks or watching television for long periods with inactivity will actually shorten your lifespan. If you work at a desk, get up every couple of minutes. Take a walk on your lunch hour. When home, walk around the house, or stand and walk in place while watching television. If you need reminders, smartphone apps such as Human will remind you to get up and take a short walk. Whatever you choose to do, you’ve got to move. Our bodies weren’t made to be stationary.
For more information on improving your health and wellness, visit optimalyouclinic.com