Five Simple Health Tips you can Start Today

Roots to Branches Whole Health Clinic

It’s the small things that you do on a regular basis that count more to your health than the once in a while things you do. Often people will get caught up in making extreme changes but this is not a sustainable approach and does not amount to a consistent lifestyle change. Here are what I consider to be some of the top 5 things you can start incorporating daily that can make a big impact on your health:

  1. Get proper rest.  Yes, this includes sleep because we know long term sleep deprivation can put you at higher risk for chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. It also includes resting when you feel tired.  Listening to your body and not just “pushing through” to get that to-do list done at all costs. Maybe that means laying down for a nap, resting with a leisurely book, or recharging by meeting a friend for tea.
  2. Eat food that makes you feel well.  Restrictive diets don’t work, not in the research and not in my clinical experience. They are not sustainable.  If you are mindful and pay attention to your body, eating a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains will generally make most bodies feel well.  The key is also listening to your hunger and fullness cues. When this is your base, your body will still feel well having the occasional treats such as cookies, pizza, nachos, chips (these are just some of my favourites). 
  3. Practice being mindful and present.  So much of our time can be lost by worrying about what may happen in the future or fretting about something that happened in the past. By practicing mindfulness, you gain more awareness of the present moment without judgement. It does not mean avoiding painful emotions, it means trying to not over-identify with or exaggerate the emotions.  With mindfulness, also comes self-compassion.  This is where we practice being kind to ourselves when we feel inadequate rather than being hard on ourselves with self-criticism. We need to realize that feelings of inadequacy are not unique to us as an individual, but rather an experience shared by the general human experience. When we are more mindful and present, we can also catch those little simple moments of joy in our days.

Exercise: If you find you are caught in your thoughts, try moving through your senses to get out of your mind and into your body. What are 5 things you can see, what are 4 things you can touch, what are 3 things you can hear, what are 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste?

4. Move in a way that you enjoy.  Our bodies are meant to move.  Much like how eating food that you don’t enjoy isn’t a sustainable way to approach health, trying to exercise regularly if you don’t enjoy it, isn’t likely to stick either.  Find something that is more pleasurable to you:  join a gym that has a community feel and fun classes, try a running group, go for regular walks outside, or maybe you like working out alone at home. It doesn’t matter, just find something that works for you.

5. Have fun.  Because isn’t this what it is all about?!  Surely by now if you follow me, you realize that I believe fun and play are so critical to our health – equally as important as food, movement and rest. We can notoriously get stuck in the endless lists of tasks and chores and leave little to no time for fun and pleasure. But not anymore!

Interested in more individualized ways to reconnect with your vibrant, healthy self? Book your complimentary 15-minute discovery call to see how naturopathic medicine can help because you deserve to thrive.

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