Building Your Foundation for Health
Wellness - What does it mean?
According to dictionary.com Wellness “is the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort”. It is also “an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.”
Many wellness enthusiasts like myself make a deliberate effort to take care of themselves. I refer to this as participating and taking responsibility! So often we see that some of our friends and family, just when they are about to retire and are ready to start traveling and doing things, they become stricken with ill health. It is important to remember that bad health doesn’t occur overnight, it usually develops slowly over time, like tooth decay or rust.
It is hard to think about wellness when we are young and vibrant, have no aches and pains and just keep on going all the way through our 20’s and 30’s. Sooner or later we wake up. That usually occurs somewhere between 40 and 50. We start noticing some aches and pains, or notice that we are not feeling well. Or maybe some of you notice that you have put on a little extra weight. Hopefully those of you who have not begun participating will take this as a nudge or wake up call to start participating before these minor problems lead to chronic problems which can seriously affect your daily life. Participate and try to avoid chronic problems like diabetes, heart disease, strokes, or obesity. No need to panic even if you already have some of these chronic problems because there is help and you can actually help yourself and do it yourself!
Wellness is a lifestyle that is created over years of good habits and is built on a strong foundation. Your foundation should consist of:
- Clean Air & Clean Water
- Good Nutrition
- Healthy Emotions and Spirit
Each of the above items is equally important to the body and each provides its own benefits.Clean Air | Deep breathing helps the body release toxins, relaxes the mind (emotions) and the body (pain), strengthens the lungs, heart and immune system, boosts energy, helps to promote better digestion which can assist with weight loss. So start a new habit of taking 5 deep breathes in (breathe from your abdomen) and out each day and see how amazing you will feel. Clean water is also extremely important. So many people share with me that they hate drinking water and yet it is so necessary for the body. Other liquids are jsut not utilized by the body in the same way water is. So focus on developing the habit to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day! Please do not drink tap water. It is full of toxins including pesticides, hormones, arsenic, pharmaceuticals, chlorine, nitrates to name a few! If you have not invested in a water filtration product, please do so (that could be part of the reason you don’t like water). Below is a link to Aquasana where you can purchase high quality water filtration products very reasonably for your home and shower!
Good Nutrition means focusing on eating foods as they come from nature, full of so many valuable enzymes, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antioxidants, etc. Foods include organic, raw and whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes & properly fed livestock, wild caught fish. Focus at all times on eating the highest quality of food available to you. This means when you are at the neighbors party, select the best of what they have, just start becoming conscious of what you are eating, you will be amazed at the choices you make! Remember high quality food is minimally processed, grown and harvested correctly. It is NOT Processed, GMO, Pre-Packaged, Fast or Junk Food!
Exercise daily. There are many types of exercise you can do, I suggest selecting and doing something that makes you sweat and that you enjoy! You can dance, ride bikes, stretch, yoga, pilates, weight lift, walk, play sports like hockey, so many choices! Exercise has so many benefits because it helps to prevent excess weight gain, inreases HDL (the happy cholesterol) and decreases triglycerides (the fat in your blood) making it very heart healthy! It also improves your mood, helps reduce stress, and promotes better sleep - all of which are needed for a good foundation!
Sleep is so underestimated in importance! Did you know you can actually go longer without food than you can sleep. If you deprive your body of sleep for 11-14 days, your body actually turns on itself. It is hard to take in that there is between 50-70 million Americans affected by sleep loss or who suffer with sleep disorders. So tips for better sleep include turning off all the electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime, make sure you have no caffeine or sugar after 3 pm, and keep yourself on a sleep schedule! If you have trouble, Bach flowers now has a Bach Rescue Sleep Formula which might help. Remember, try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night!
Emotions and Spiritual are a huge key in the foundation. So many of us focus on the negative and not on the positive and do not seek spiritual guidance when needed. Managing stress and being at one spiritually does wonders for our emotions and our soul.
I beleive that if you focus on your foundation, you will begin your journey toward wellness and start noticing improvements in your health. Begin your journey today, pick one of the foundation keys and start implementing it today and create a new habit! Start creating a healthier you today and join the Healthy Habits Challenge - it's FREE! "Healthy Habits Challenge".
Written by Mara Gerke, CA, CNHP, All Rights Reserved.