Dr. Neala Peake, selected from AllThingsHealing.com September 16, 2013
by Drew Kobb, Contributor to Integrative Medicine on AllThingsHealing.com
We all want to improve our lives, to feel better — so why don’t we make the necessary changes to improve our lives? Probably because it seems a little daunting, especially when we compare our current lifestyles with where we want to be. It would be a huge adjustment for most of us to start eating as healthily as Gwyneth Paltrow or become as proficient in the practice of hatha yoga as Nina Dobrev. But you don’t have to get to that level of any healthy practice to live a healthy lifestyle. Healthy lifestyles are built and enhanced day by day, one healthy practice at a time.
Eat Fresh First
You don’t have to start eating completely clean and organic this very minute. That’s too big of a change and will be a shock to your body. Instead, make a gradual change and ease into a healthier diet. One of the easiest ways to start doing this is by making the majority of what you eat fresh rather than pre-packaged or processed.
When you prepare your own food and snacks from fresh ingredients, you have more control over what is going into your body. Processed, pre-packaged food is more likely to contain harmful additives and preservatives, and far less likely to have natural, healthy organic compounds and nutrients.
So make sure that, as much as is possible, you make and eat fresh food.
Take the Active Road
This is not to say you have to get up with the sunrise every morning to practice your yoga asanas, or never use a car again. Some places, such as for long grocery trips or an errand on the other side of town, are just not practical to walk or bike to. But if you’re just headed for one little thing at the corner store, it wouldn’t kill you to walk there, so you should. Whenever possible, take stairs as opposed to escalators or elevators.
Taking a little time to be active, even if it’s for something like this, will mean that much more work is done to move your muscle groups throughout the day.
Your body does the best it can to clean itself out internally, but sometimes it could use a little conscious effort and help to rid itself (ahem: you) of toxins.
Eat diets heavy in fiber, and try to take in substances that naturally work to help your body detox, such as peppermint tea, red pine oil, and ginger. Give yourself a hot steam bath every so often and clean out your pores more thoroughly than you normally do.
Relax and Recharge
Your body needs time to process and take in all the good things you do for it, and repair the damage of a day. So take time every day to just recharge from the stresses you face. Don’t dwell on the things that worry you every minute — take mental time off to relax your brain.
In addition to this, do whatever you can to get adequate sleep. Tests and studies show that your brain starts to lose the ability to concentrate once your nightly sleep time dips below 8 hours, and the average American adult only gets 6.9 hours of sleep each night. So take the necessary time to sleep and rest at night so your body can recharge.
Enjoy the Little Things
What’s the point of making the changes to live a healthier lifestyle if you don’t enjoy your life? Take time to notice and enjoy the small things that brighten your day. Take a moment to just feel the warm sunshine, to savor the food you eat. Relish the simple pleasures of life and allow your brain to release the serotonin that will help you feel healthy and happy. Then sit back and enjoy how much better you feel.