7 Essential Tips To Optimize Health
Many people desire optimal health; yet do not know what actions are needed to create a body that has energy, vibrancy, strength and mental well-being. It really is about creating a healthy body as a body whose health needs are ignored, will eventually see their health slowly collapse. Use these seven tips to help you take the correct actions that will put you on the path to optimal health.
Our body is 80% water and it is required for every single process in the human body. Unfortunately, the majority of people are mildly dehydrated and do not realize it. They are walking around needlessly suffering from joint pain, headaches, backaches, hunger, cravings, weight gain, foggy thinking and fatigue. Drinking water consistently, throughout the day and every day is the key. When our cells lack hydration, they are not functioning optimally.
Drinking the right kind of water is crucial as water is a basic pillar of health. As best you can, stay away from drinking chlorinated tap water, as it is a toxin to your entire body including killing your beneficial gut bacteria.
“It is not an overstatement to say that hydrogen’s impact on therapeutic and preventive medicine could be enormous in the future.”
Water is essential to life and to optimize health. Choose one, that is at the very least, purified with a charcoal filter, other choices include: ionized, mineral water, or alkaline water, The public is now becoming aware of water that contains hydrogen which is an excellent tool to promote optimal health. The hydrogen molecule is the smallest molecule known and can easily penetrate the cell wall which can impact our health in a variety of ways such as: boosting energy, acting as an antioxidant by protecting our cells & mitochondria (healthy cells = a healthier you), improve cholesterol levels and metabolic syndrome as well.
Eat For Gut Health
Gut bacteria influence our overall health, immunity, mental well-being and our weight. A healthy gut has two basic ‘musts’ – prebiotics and probiotics.
Prebiotics are plant-fiber compounds and what I refer to as fertilizer for the healthy bacteria – they feed these important microbes to help facilitate optimal health and weight loss. Examples are garlic, beans, bananas, artichokes, jicama, dandelion greens, asparagus, garlic and onions.
Probiotics ‘plant’ beneficial bacteria and can be found in cultured and fermented foods such as: yogurt (without sugar as sugar feeds unhealthy bacteria), the tangy drink kefir, coconut kefir, kvass, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, green olives and soft and aged cheeses.
Increase Muscle Mass
Strength Training and any form of exercise is key to your longevity and the quality of years you live and it may be the single most important thing that you can do to create a healthy life.
However, many people disregard the health effect of having adequate muscle and focus solely on cardio. Starting around the age of 30, you begin to lose muscle mass, up to 3 to 5 percent each decade if you are not intentionally maintaining it. This lack of muscle combined with inactivity reduces metabolism and eventually impacts our health.
The science shows that strength training (or functional exercises will work just as effectively such as: squats, push-ups, burpees, and pull-ups) can literally add years to your life – quality years. Weight training affects not just our physical health, our weight loss success, but our thinking skills, our memory and our mental well-being.
Simply being grateful has a powerful impact upon our health and quality of life in many areas. Science shows gratitude practiced consistently improves quality of sleep, health and can help ease depression,
Thinking of just three good moments or things that happened during the day will help you see considerable improvements in quality of life such as with depression and increasing overall happiness. Gratitude is a frame of mind and if practiced daily, can help to optimize overall health and mental well being.
Reduce Excess Carb Intake
Eating an excess of carbohydrates leaves a wake of poor health as time goes on. The body breaks down the carbohydrate to glucose. Although glucose is an essential energy source, the amount in your blood and how quickly its level rises after you ingest carbohydrates are important factors that impact your health with conditions such as weight gain, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, glycation, poor mitochondrial health and more.
We all know chronic stress is not healthy for us. Stress doesn’t just affect our health; it also has a powerful impact on our thoughts and feelings – essentially our behavior.
Not all stress is bad, however, it spurs us into action, helps us perform at our best and helps us to save our lives when in danger.
Our ancestors would experience stress when they were being chased by the lion – but that didn’t happen 24/7. It’s important to note that stress did not kill the caveman and our response to danger (stress) hasn’t changed at all…but the stressors have. Unfortunately, the type of stress that many experience is chronic stress and it has become such a large part of our now human existence. We were never meant to live with chronic stress.
Studies show that getting in-tune with ourselves through mindfulness (being aware of bodily sensations) slashes stress and depression. Exercise is the number one stress reduction technique and key to reduce and prevent stress as well as specific breathing techniques such as Box Breathing (created by the Navy Seals) that will stop the stress response in its tracks and you can use it anywhere (while driving, to promote sleep, to go back to sleep, before a big event etc):
Simply breathe in through the nose for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds and hold again for 5 seconds.
There are many reasons we need quality sleep. The brain needs sleep in that it helps to clear out the ‘junk’ that builds during the day. This happens literally and not just the mindset component either. Much like the lymphatic system needs to be cleaned of cellular junk, so does the so-called “glymphatic system” which is a waste clearance pathway or a brain ‘shampoo’ if you will. That is where sleep comes into play. While we are sleeping (and dreaming) our brains are at work taking out metabolic waste.
Chronic poor quality sleep is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, weight gain and obesity, depression, inflammation, stress, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, poor brain function and stroke.
To help increase quality sleep, go to sleep at the same time each night – even on weekends; take away the clock to keep you from focusing on the time; keep your room very cool; scent your room and pillows with lavender essential oil spray to help relax you to sleep – the aroma of this flowering herb may also relax your nerves, lower your blood pressure, and put you in a relaxed state; stay way from electronic devices 60-90 minutes before bedtime. To help you fall asleep faster and put you back to sleep, practice this very powerful and effective sleep (and stress) 4-7-8 deep breathing technique:
Breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds
Hold for 7 seconds
Exhale for 8 seconds
Repeat 6 times or as often as necessary.
Along with nutrition and exercise, good sleep is one of the most important components of a healthy life. You simply cannot achieve optimal health without taking care of your sleep.
Applying these tips will not only create a healthier you, but a happier one as well.