By Jillian Boston
In today’s fast-paced world inundated with ever-changing health trends, navigating the best choices for our well-being can feel overwhelming. However, amidst this complexity, it’s crucial to recognize that simplicity often holds the key to optimal health. These six preventive health measures are not only easily achievable but also empower you to take control of your health starting today.
Show Up for Yourself: So often we put everyone’s needs before our own. Which can leave you feeling depleted and discouraged. This is your reminder that it is ok to put yourself first. Putting yourself first does not mean that you are selfish or ignoring the needs of others; it is actually quite the opposite. By showing up for yourself you are giving your mind and body what they need so that you can show up better for everyone else. Think of it this way, if you are happy it is much easier to extend happiness to others, right? If you are worn down and fatigued it is a lot harder to extend that happiness isn’t it? By incorporating this preventive measure as well as the ones below you will be showing up for yourself big time!
Sleep: This one may sound like a no brainer but you might be surprised by how many of us do not get adequate sleep. The goal is to sleep for 7 to 8 hours so that your body can actually achieve a deep state of sleep. When we get into a deep sleep our body finally has a chance to repair itself and relax. Think of sleep as your body’s charger; we need to recharge in order to perform at our best. To slowly incorporate more sleep into your life, start going to bed 15 minutes earlier and progress from there. A simple change like this can make all the difference in your energy levels, your hormone regulation, your immune system, and so much more.
Eat Clean: What we eat can either sky rocket our health or drastically impair it! Eating foods that are not processed such as fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and organic meats will help your body thrive while processed foods full of chemicals can lead to things like inflammation, bloat and a plethora of diseases. Some tips to help make eating clean easier are to shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store where all the fresh food is and to stay away from packaged foods as often as possible.
Reduce Alcohol: In the moment alcohol may seem like a blast and it is totally ok to have drinks in moderation. Overdoing it by having multiple drinks in a row or drinking every night can have negative health benefits that extend far beyond a hangover. Alcohol is a neurotoxin which means when you consume it, it is directly impacting your brain. Since the brain is basically the control center of the body, think about what poisoning the brain will do to the rest of the body?! Next time you are having drinks, try having one and then switching it up to a fun mocktail after that. You’ll still have a great time and will not have any of the negative effects associated with alcohol. One of my favorites is soda water and cranberry juice with lots of lime!
Manage Stress: It is no secret that a lot of us are under a ton of stress from life’s demands. So it is super important that you find healthy ways to manage it. Unmanaged stress can lead to some serious health issues such as chronic conditions, migraines, joint aches, weight gain, increased depression and anxiety and so much more. Healthy ways to manage stress include going for a walk in nature, taking a yoga class, deep breathing, focusing on living in the moment, spending time with people you love, talking about what is causing you stress, working out and partaking in anything that brings you peace.
Last But Not Least – Have Fun: During my career as a personal trainer I have to say this is one of the things I see women neglecting the most and I hope for it to change. Let yourself have fun! Yes life is busy and crazy and sometimes it feels like we have so much other stuff to do that we can’t squeeze it in. But guess what, laughter is probably the best medicine there is. When we are laughing and living in the moment we are actually destressing and helping our body get out of fight or flight mode. When we give our mind and body the laughter and enjoyment it needs, it thanks us by functioning properly!
My hope is that by focusing on the measures above you will become more in-tune with yourself and realize the importance of taking care of yourself. You matter and your health matters!