Dr Lynn Nodland’s
Seven Steps To Better Health and Fitness
Having good health is one of life’s most precious gifts. Fortunately, you can have some control over your health and often even small changes made over time can reap great rewards. Here are a few steps you can start taking to positively impact your health.
- Breathe. You laugh and think that breathing is something that you do all the time. You are right about that because if you stop breathing, life is over. However, often people do not breathe deeply and they do not get the benefits of filling their lungs with oxygen. They feel more tired and stressed if they are not breathing correctly. Watch how a baby breathes and you will have an example of how to breathe. Diaphragmatic breathing will help you to be more relaxed and have more energy.
- Drink enough water. This will keep you hydrated and help your body to function well. How much water should you drink? This will vary according to climate, how active you are and several other factors. According to the Mayo Clinic staff the general rule is 8 glasses that are 8 ounces each for an average adult living in a temperate climate. For a comprehensive article on amount of water needed for adequate hydration visit http://www.MayoClinic.com
- Visit Your Doctor and let him/her get to know you. Don’t wait until you are sick to form that relationship. Your physicians can do the best for you if they know you well and if they have baseline measures of your health functioning when you are not fighting a disease. Also, getting to know your physician will help them to help you avoid getting sick by catching any things that need immediate attention and setting up a plan for you to follow to avoid getting sick.
- Sleep well. Getting adequate sleep is so important. Many people cannot sleep and they are chronically tired. However, there are also so many people who actually have no trouble sleeping but they choose to “burn the candle at both ends”. They also pay the price of being tired all the time and they have reduced functioning and loss of focus. How much sleep people actually need to function well varies. Are you getting the sleep you need? Are you waking up before the alarm clock and feel thoroughly rested? If you answered “no” to these questions, I encourage you to work on getting better sleep. If you snore or do not feel rested in the morning, you might have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. A visit to your doctor and a sleep clinic might be helpful to get you feeling better and getting a good nights’ sleep.
- Be Optimistic and Laugh Often. Having a good mood, being optimistic and happy is very helpful to your health. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN did a study to see if optimism would predict longevity. They selected 839 consecutively admitted patients and gave them a battery of both psychological tests and physical tests and then followed them for years. One of the tests was on the trait of Optimism. Of the patients tested, the optimists had 19 percent greater longevity. The benefit of laughter has also be documented by research. Now some hospitals actually have a room that is dedicated to having a supply of happy movies for people to watch. So work on having a good mood, being optimistic and having some good laughs.
- Exercise Regularly. Exercise is one of the most helpful things you can do for your body and mind and yet many people do not get any exercise al all. If you have not exercised at all or if you have any health concerns it is important to make sure you get your doctor’s approval before starting. However, if you feel you are able to start, you can start small and just build exercise into your daily routine. You can take the stairs instead of an elevator. You can start walking and just be more active. Then you can move into having a regular exercise routine such as a half hour several times a week. You will feel stronger and have more energy.
- Use healthy habits and cut out unhealthy habits. That means if you are smoking – stop. If you are eating poorly, get on a good diet of nutritious foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Buckle up when you are in the car. Avoid stressful situations and add relaxation to your life.
There are many more things you can do to be healthier but these steps are a start. The important thing is that you do start. How about realizing that today is the first day of the rest of your life and you can have a big impact on how long and how healthy your life will be. Take control of your health.
Visit my blog and let me know how your health journey is going for you. I look forward to knowing your challenges and seeing your successes.
©Lynn Nodland 2013