BY DR LYDIA THURTON
Let’s begin with a fundamental truth – your health is your most important asset. Sure your children are awesome and your home is lovely and that cruise you are planning for next spring is exciting. But let’s consider the fact that if you aren’t healthy, if you aren’t alive and present, you can’t enjoy any of it.
I want you to do five things. Five simple tasks to get your mind and body right. Here they are.
Track your diet for a week. Examine what you eat. Record your intake, it’s the best way to know if you are helping or hurting your body. Set a baseline for yourself. You will have some good habits. Keep those. You will have some bad habits. Ditch those. By tracking your intake, you can bring awareness to your dietary patterns. Don’t strive for perfection, try to make subtle changes like eating more greens, or packing snacks so you don’t go long hours without food.
Get some body work. Massage, chiropractic, acupuncture and my personal favourite, osteopathy are so important for proper body mechanics. Our world is not designed to help your posture and alignment. Chronic pain and subtle discomfort are all too common. Give yourself a tune up. It’s relaxing, it’s healing, it’s time just for you. Why wouldn’t you try it?
Eat less sugar. Particularly in your day-to-day diet. If you have a sweet tooth examine if you are actually bored or tired. Craving sugar every day can be curbed by getting to the root of the problem. Sugar intake ups your risk of certain types of cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular risk. You can retrain your taste buds to appreciate natural sugars.
Think of three things you are thankful for everyday. Even bad days. Especially on bad days. An attitude of gratitude is the best way to get happy and get happy quickly. With many of us feeling overworked and run down, it is helpful to acknowledge little things that light up your life. I think this is the single biggest step anyone can take on the road to fulfillment.
Buy a pedometer and measure how many steps you take per day. The old adage of 10,000 steps per day is a nice goal. But really the focus needs to be simply moving more than you did before. If you regularly take 2,500 steps then increasing that to 5,000 is a great improvement. When it comes to exercise and physical activity the goal is to keep evolving. Keep doing a little bit more than you did before. That’s how long lasting gains are made.