6 Steps to Better Health in 2020

 

It's 2020! 

 

Time to think about better health and goal setting right?

 

Well as I look back on all the Physical Therapy patients that  I have seen in 2019. I am able to see some common denominators to better health and healing. There is a lot to do with physical health of course, but the mental part is also very important. 

 

So here is what I have come up with! 

 

Drink more water:

 

Water is so important for you and especially as you get older your body can become more easily dehydrated. Drinking water allows for chemicals and molecules to transport from one spot to the other in your body. This will allow you to have more energy, healthier joints, feel less tired and alert.  It also helps with detoxification and the removal of bad substances in your body.

 

One way to check if you are dehydrated is the pinch test; Over the back of your hand, pinch your skin and then release; if you are dehydrated the return of your skin's normal position will be slowed.

 

We should shoot for about 8-10 glasses of water a day of filtered or spring water… not from the tap!

 

Stretch More:

 

During the day we are usually doing the same routines, which is a lot of motions directly in front of us; examples are sitting typing on a computer, bending down and slouching.

 

Therefore, not taking our bodies into all of its planes of motion can result in imbalances, inflexibility and more stress on your joints.

 

Do yourself a favor and stretch daily, stretch into motions you don’t normally do throughout the day. My favorite is the side lying spine rotation stretch to both sides. Hold for 30 seconds

 

 

 

When you stretch you become more in tune with your body!

 

 You will discover where you are tight, where you are weak and why you might have problems with certain movements and activities throughout the day.

 

I recommend never stretching when cold and not warmed up. Go for a walk, do some marching in place for example and then once your body temperature is raised a bit start to stretch, at this point the stretching will seem so much easier and enjoyable.

 

Eat more vegetables and less simple carbs:

 

Examples of simple carbs are processed sugars, white rice and white bread; these foods quickly absorb into our bloodstream and spike sugar levels which can cause inflammation, weight gain and stress on our organs.

 

Instead try to eat more complex carbs like brown rice and whole grains and especially eat more vegetables. These types of foods are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that are great for our health.

 

So, put down the doughnut and pick up some carrots or broccoli.

 

Be grateful:

 

“Trade Your Expectation for Appreciation and the World Changes Instantly.” – Tony Robbins 

   

One of my favorite sayings is, “happiness does not bring gratitude, it’s gratitude that brings us happiness.” 

 

 Being grateful for the things we have in our life will have a drastic effect on our health. Whether big or small, when we exercise an attitude of gratitude, we are generally happier, less stressed and overall healthier.

 

 Even during the hard times, just taking a few minutes to reflect on what you’re thankful for can have huge implications and effects. The bottom line is; negative thoughts produce negative energy. And whether or not you want to believe it, what we put out…… we attract!

 

 And if you’re in a constant state of negativity, you’ll attract more of it. But when you can be in a positive state of mind, you’ll begin to notice how many good things seem to just happen. No matter who you are, there’s something you can be thankful for.

 

So, start practicing the art of appreciation and it’ll change your life for the better. Which is ultimately what we all want. 

 

 

Laugh more:

 

They say; laughter is the best medicine. The more you laugh and play, the happier you’ll be. Many people might scoff at this but try it for yourself.

 

Put a smile on your face and try to get mad, you’ll discover…

 … it’s impossible to do both at the same time.

 

 This is why spending time with your family and friends helps so much with your overall enjoyment of life. Laughter releases a natural drug in your body called “endorphins,” and they are the feel-good hormones.

 

But, that’s not the only natural high your body produces when your spending time with family and friends, it also produces…

 … “oxytocin.” This is a hormone that gets released in response to feeling loved.

 

The human body is an amazing thing and doing simple stuff like laughing with friends and family can produce a feeling that can’t be replicated by any form of poisonous drug on the street.

 

Get More Sleep:

 

Our mind and body heal optimally during sleep. Pressure is taken off our joints and our muscles can finally relax.  

 

Shoot for at least 7 to 8 hours a night consistently. 

 

You will wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. Does not matter what happens the day prior; if I get a good night sleep I feel a complete fresh start and hope for a better day. 

 

So instead of grabbing for the remote to watch television late at night, grab your pillow and close your eyes. Your body and health will thank you! 

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