When we think of health and well-being there are a multitude of components or tools that allow us to be “healthy.” We used to define “good” health as the absence of disease, but now we define health in more broad terms. You may have heard health describe something like this, “a state characterized by anatomic, physiologic, and psychological integrity; ability to perform personally valued family, work, and community roles; ability to deal with physical, biological, psychological, and social stress.” I know that’s a lot of words, but basically, we’re saying its being able to thrive in the world through your whole self.
But there are many people who aren’t thriving, they’re just surviving. It might take a complicated fix, especially if there is disease or sickness involved, but sometimes it takes a simple look into our toolbox to make sure we have the right tools to stay healthy and be in a state to thrive.
Like a literal, toolbox there are a multitude of tools that could do the trick. But there are some basics that everyone should have in their toolbox, like a hammer, a screwdriver, a wrench and pliers. Now some might disagree with me on those basic tools, but just like with health, we are all different and need different tools. But for now, let’s talk about 4 tools that are not likely to fail you when it comes to being healthy and thriving.
Tool #1 SLEEP
Our bodies need time to recharge through sleep. During sleep, our amazing bodies heal damaged cells, boost your immune system and it recharges your heart and cardiovascular system for the next day. Research shows that most people need 8-10 hours of sleep per night for this recharge of our system to take place properly. Think about how fast your body can start to deteriorate if you’re not giving it enough sleep. Lack of sleep can cause long-term damage if we’re not careful. So let’s talk about how to go to sleep faster and more efficiently so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day!
Here are 5 tips on how to go to sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
- Create an evening routine.
- Turn off the electronic devises at least an hour before you lay down to sleep.
- Create a relaxing space. Your bedroom should have the least clutter in the house.
- Brain dump. Write down everything you need to do the next day so its out of your headspace.
- Use a breathing technique to fall asleep. It can be as simple as using the 5-5-7 breath technique to “trick” your body into relaxation. You take a deep breath in for 5 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds, and exhale for 7 seconds. Doing this at 10 ten times reduces the stress and allows your mind and body to relax.
Tool #2 WATER
Water is the fluid that lubricates our systems and keeps us healthy and vibrant. Let’s talk about how you will know if you’re not drinking enough water! The usual side effects of dehydration are dry mouth and thirst. And you can also look out for other signs of mild to severe dehydration (in that order) such as: Low energy, hunger, headaches and decrease in memory and brain function. Did you know that your sugar cravings could be a sign of dehydration? Before you reach for something sweet, drink a glass of water first. See if the craving doesn’t go away or decrease.
How much water should you be drinking? Cut your body weight in half and that’s how many ounces you should be drinking, plus 20 more ounces for every one hour of physical activity. Keep a pitcher of filtered water in your fridge at home or near your workspace with the amount of water you want to drink each day. This makes it easy to remember to drink water and to track your intake.
Tool #3 NUTRITION
Food is fuel for your body. Instead of depriving your body of food through dieting, focus on what you GET to eat versus what you don’t. You get to feed yourself healthy, nourishing high-vibe foods. Healthy eating has become so sophisticated. We’re not talking about eating tree bark or bland or boring foods. We’re talking about healthy food that tastes great and gives you an abundance of energy. There are so many choices for making healthy food flavorful. Give yourself a test. Keep a journal of what foods you’re eating and how they make you feel. Some foods that you think are “healthy” for you may actually be draining your energy. Remember everyone is DIFFERENT.
Tool #4 MOVEMENT
Study after study shows that movement can increase your energy, improve your overall health and your mood. I just read a study that found that a sedentary lifestyle is the equivalent of having a MAJOR DISEASE and the simplest cure is exercise. If don’t currently have movement scheduled into your everyday lifestyle then get moving. You don’t have to join a gym or buy fancy equipment. Walking is a great way to start moving and there are countless resources out there for home workouts that require no equipment. Hello Pinterest.
So those are the 4 tools that I suggest having in your toolbox for a healthy lifestyle. If you have others that work well, let me know about them. If there’s a subject that you’d like to learn more as it relates to healthy living, let me know!
To Your Health,
Coach Leslie J.