“How can such simple things make such a drastic change in my body?”
It was a logical question and one that deserved an answer. Twenty three year old Elaine is one sharp cookie, and I could tell right off when meeting her that she was going places in life. We had begun discussing a few health difficulties which had cropped up for her, like depression, low energy and unexpected weight gain. Her mental acuity had also slowed down.
After covering some basic health essentials we discovered she was not receiving enough of a few necessary things for optimal health. Just one week after going over the basics with her, Elaine was stunned at the positive results of practicing these 10 easy tips.
- Stay hydrated
The body is made up mostly of water. Every system and organ in the human body is dependent upon water for optimal health. (Do not count coffee, tea or soda as water intake.) There are many factors internal and external which determine how much water your individual body needs each day. When you expend energy in the heat you need much more than when lounging in the A/C. But as a general rule at least a ½ gallon per 24 hour period.
- Breathe Deeply
There are many methods of deep breathing, which not only provides oxygen rich blood to every organ, but also reduces stress, relaxes your body and helps to expel harmful toxins. See below for the method I was taught in my Martial Art.
- Balanced Nutrition
The USDA is not always right on amounts of each nutrient needed. And you’ve heard enough contradictory opinions on certain foods to avoid, and which are good or bad for you. I reduce it to a simple equation. Eat lots of different things that are naturally occurring. And eat each of them in moderation. No man-made chemicals,preservatives, coloring or additives. The closer a food is to the way God created it the healthier it will be for your body. (least amount of processing/no additives.)
- Get Good Cyclic Sleep
Your body keeps an internal clock. Going to bed at the same time every night and getting a peaceful 7 to 8 hours sleep is optimal. (Read up on circadian rhythms on the internet.)
- Remain Active
We all know that our bodies need exercise and there are two main categories of exercise: aerobic (rapid body movement) and anaerobic (builds dense muscle tissue). For weight loss get the same amount of both. For circulatory and respiratory difficulties get more aerobic. Use whatever activity you enjoy for exercise. I like riding my bicycle and lifting weights and calisthenics (floor exercises). This covers both areas. And yes, I’ve been slacking off lately and paying the price.
- Love is Mandatory
Giving love and receiving love is an emotional or mental need. Without love we will really throw a wrench into our physical and mental health. The best way to receive love is to give it, and that’s on us.
- Forgive Others
No, this is not some Christian trick, it’s real. Even secular psychologists agree. Harboring and nurturing negative emotions throws everything in our lives out of whack. Forgive your offenders and move on. Bitterness is toxic for humans.
- Remain Thankful
Yes, the good ol attitude of gratitude is a health boon. You will be much happier when you dwell upon all the blessings and good things in your life and be thankful for them. Happiness and joy signals your body’s physical and psychological systems to work at their prime capabilities.
- Practice Serenity
Memorize the serenity prayer and then practice those principles you are asking God to help you with. “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Don’t leave it up to God to do your part for you. Practice doing these and the Lord will enable you to do them. It’s that simple.
- Maintain a Relationship With God
Okay, this should have been number one, because God gives us the wisdom to do the other nine. So I was a little bit sneaky in putting it last. We were created to have fellowship with God. Many people live their entire lives without ever finding what it is they are missing. Only God can fill that empty space inside. We will find that a relationship with Him comes only through a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. Talk to Him about it today!
Deep Breathing Exercise
Sit in a straight backed chair with your feet flat on the floor. Sit up straight with your back against the back rest. Allow your arms to dangle loosely at your sides. Through your nose you are going to begin inhaling slowly. ( Some methods suggest closing off one nostril with a finger, but I don’t use that) Fill the upper half of your body with air beginning with the lowest part of your abdomen. Imagine filling it up from bottom to top as you inhale. This will automatically engage your abdominal muscles in the breathing process. Slowly inhale through your nostrils until you are filled all the way up to the top of your chest. Wait a few seconds and then begin slowly exhaling through your mouth. As you do, purse your lips. Exhale between your lips. There should be air pressure against your cheeks and lips. Your cheeks should billow with the action. Now, not TOO much pressure. This too should be relaxing. Empty your lungs slowly from the top down. Ten inhales and exhales is perfect.
- In doing this breathing exercise you will be storing up extra oxygen for when your body needs it most. In Ju-Jitsu we learned to do this in preparation for times when we might unexpectedly have to defend ourselves, and this helps us to outlast our attacker. But it is very good for stress relief and to enhance every other physical activity. The exhalation helps rid our bodies of harmful toxins.