“Baby, its cold outside!”
(Drink More Water)
- Drinking plenty of water will help every system in your body and help flush out toxins.
- It also aids in the production of something called “lymph cells,” which assist immune system cell and white blood cell circulation.
Based on the United States Department of Agriculture, the average daily intake is 3.9 cups per individual, which is well below the amount most people should be drinking. If you are even remotely active and want to give your body the water it craves:
- You should be drinking a minimum 12+ cups/ day!
- If you’re sick, then you should bump that up to 24-32 cups a day. It will help speed up your recovery and make you feel like a new person!
2 – Exercise!
You should be moving your body DAILY. At the very least, going for a short 30 minute- 1 hour long walk each day. Daily activity will do wonders for your health and well being. You can incorporate anything that brings you joy: yoga, pilates, swimming, jogging, etc.
If you want to take your routine to the next level, consider weight or resistance training 2-3 times/week. A study from the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University stated the following about progressive resistance training: “….In conclusion, the data presented indicate that strength training can induce growth hormone and testosterone release, regardless of age.”
Optimizing these hormones is a VITAL component to achieve optimal health, especially as you age!
Growth hormone is very important for your body’s ability to regenerate and rebuild on a cellular level. Recent research has shown it to have a unique positive relationship with your thyroid hormone levels. Healthy testosterone levels have been associated with a plethora of health benefits including: increased energy, improved immunity, increased muscle mass, a sharper mind, and an increased sex drive. Even though testosterone is usually associated as a “male hormone,” it’s just as important for the female sex drive.
For most people, training 3 times a week intelligently is good enough, plus walking and light activity daily. This allows for proper rest and recovery, allowing your body to fully process the stress hormone, cortisol. Too much cortisol from training can actually have negative health effects if not handled correctly.
Which takes us to the next important factor for your immunity…
We all make choices every day. Take control and recognize you can CHOOSE how you manage stressors in your life!
I know this can be a challenge, considering stress can surprise us and sneak up on you, coming from unsuspecting places – but as you manage stress, it is important to keep one thing in mind: You cannot control outside things from happening but you can control YOU and how YOU REACT to those things. Choosing to look at any situation from a positive perspective can help manage stressful situations a little easier…
It is also key to have something you do daily to help manage your stress. To have the HABIT of minimizing stress, and management of it. The eastern practices and other mindfulness techniques offer many different ways of doing this:
- Sitting practices
- Breathing exercises
Do you have a time for YOU? What do you do to minimize and manage stress daily? If you cant think of anything, start to implement a daily activity where you can make time for yourself.
This next one can help you recover/process stress better….
4 – Sleep
Sleep is absolutely VITAL for your body’s ability to process stress and promote important hormonal pathways in your body. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), most Americans aren’t getting enough quality sleep that they need for optimal health.
In a recent report, the NSF stated: “….More than half (60%) say that they experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night…”
Lack of sleep could be one of the main reasons why so many people are obese, sick, and depressed. A recent study from the University of Chicago Clinical Resource Center draws a strong connection between sleep and insulin resistance, showing sleep deprivation to put test subjects into an insulin resistant state and insulin resistance is one of the precursors to diabetes and obesity.
How do you improve your sleep? Try the below tips:
- Sleep in a pitch black dark room (no lights from tv, cellular devices, computers…use black out curtains)
- Cut back on the stimulants and limit your caffeine intake to the mornings (have a hard cut off time of 12pm)
- Don’t drink alcohol close to bed time (this disrupts your natural sleep cycle aka you can’t get quality sleep)
- In the hours leading up to bed time, shut down your computer, phone and other devices that have blue lights (blue light has been shown to interfere with your pineal gland’s ability to naturally produce melatonin and serotonin – two very important hormones you need for quality sleep
- Have a routine prior to going to bed that puts you in the right frame of mind (I read a small dose of fiction)
Simply put, you could have everything else in your health dialed in, but if you don’t sleep, it could erase the benefits of exercise and even a perfect diet…
5 – Food
Although listed last, FOOD is FIRST! Always put FOOD first and make what you eat a priority! Food is your LIFE FUEL!!!
But what does that exactly mean? …It means that you focus on putting only quality foods into your body. Foods that will give your body its micronutrient needs for optimal cellular health and a boosted immunity. Not only nutrient dense foods, but foods that will improve your gut health and absorption (this is important because 80% of your immunity is associated with your gut health). That also means not eating foods that damage your gut and zap your energy and immunity… These foods include anti-nutrients and highly processed junk foods that only promote chronic inflammation.
I urge you to consider these five lifestyle factors and work on improving them for your health.
- Stress Management
As always, do the best you can every day!
Subtle changes will add up and pay off in the long run. Taking control and prioritizing your health is the best investment you will ever make!