Jordyn Cormier May 11, 2014
Being healthy can be a cryptic concept. Does it mean going to the doctor yearly? Exercising? Eating your apple each day? Going gluten-free? It may be hard to navigate all of the information (and misinformation) out there, but in truth, getting healthy is simpler than you think. Yes, it takes hard work and effort, but here are 6 easy ways to take your health into your own hands.
Food is medicine. Start thinking of your food as medicine — because it is the key to your health. Making healthier choices and finding a diet that works for you is paramount in reducing inflammation and living a healthy life. By making smart food choices for your body, you can override the need for extraneous modern medicines. Many syndromes, like PCOS, can actually be healed by dietary and lifestyle alterations, whereas traditional medicine would just continue to mask the symptoms.
Not sure what to eat? Real foods, for starters. Simply by reducing the amount of processed foods you eat (pretty much anything in the middle aisles of the grocery store) you can help yourself feel significantly better.
Give up sugar. You may not think you are addicted to sugar, but I challenge you to avoid it for 2 weeks. It can be found in most processed foods — including healthier ones — and is getting into our systems in quantities far greater than we realize. Sugar causes inflammation, and many people’s health issues actually resolve once they ditch sugar from their diets. It’s best to wean yourself off of sweetness, because artificial sugar substitutes aren’t much better, either.
Let go of stress. Most diseases result from inflammation, and a major culprit of inflammation is stress. Chill out. Yoga and meditation are great for dealing with stress, but writing in a journal, taking a nature walk, and drawing a hot bath are also excellent substitutions. Find what works for you and let your health-harming stress slip away.
Support your belly. We are learning more and more about the internal workings of our guts every day. The critters in your microbiome have an incredible impact on your health — from immune system strength to weight maintenance. Give them some support by including a daily probiotic in your regimen and avoiding antibiotics unless absolutely necessary.
Move. You’ve heard it a million times. A body in motion stays in motion… if you don’t use it, you lose it… every little bit counts. Stop being content with the constant comfort and leisure of modern life. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, do some stretches of ab workouts during TV commercials. Most importantly, try to get at least half an hour of moderate physical activity in on most days. Try pushing yourself to do what you don’t want to do, and you may actually surprise yourself. Bonus — regular exercise also helps to lower inflammatory stress levels.
Live passionately. Life is about balance — in your physical body, in your mind, in those closest to you. Without internal and external harmony, you aren’t giving your body a real chance at true health. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded friends and spend your free time doing what you love. Be the person you want to be, and your body will follow suite. A positive atmosphere is essential to a healthy mental state.
There may be big lifestyle changes, or they may not. Either way, if you listen and live more harmoniously with your body and mind, you will take charge of your health.