I love all things health. I love learning about being healthy and what we can do to be healthier. I love trying new things in my life that may improve my health. I love talking to people about health and ways that they can improve your health.
Especially in current times (you know with that damn virus flying around) a lot of people have looked at their health and what it means to be healthy. In Chiropractic we talk a lot about how health is not just the absence of disease but is instead a journey towards optimal function of mind, body and soul. So for someone like me who is semi obsessed with health just being free from disease does not make me healthy.
Healthy to me is when my body feels good, it feels energized, it feels free. Its when my mind feels happy and clear and free of negative thoughts. It when I feel loved and connected and free.
Without health life is nor life; it is only a state of languor and suffering – an image of death.
So I wanted to share with you the 10 things I do on a regular basis or that are something that I consciously think about and act on often that keep me what I consider healthy.
1. Get Adjusted Regulalry By My Chiropractor
I know I know how cliché – a chiropractor saying her number one tip is to get adjusted. But seriously it is! I get adjusted every fortnight if not every week!
Not only because it makes my body physically feel so much better and free but because I understand and truly believe that having a clear and well-functioning nervous system is pivotal to our overall health. Your nervous system plays such a huge role in your body that regular maintenance on it is such a simple way to keep it working well.
Here is an analogy for you. Do you drive a car? Do you get your car serviced regularly? Why?
Servicing our cars regularly ensures that they run smoothly and prevent any serious damage happening to the engine. I mean do you really want to find out what happens to your engine when it hasn’t had any oil for a while or what happens if your brake pads are completely worn out? I didn’t think so.
So why do we look after our cars better than we look after our body? Our nervous system is similar to our cars engine. It communicates within itself and just like a perfect machine works in synchronicity to do the job you want it to.
So, for me getting adjusted regularly helps to make sure my engine is running smoothly, and I don’t run into any big problems when I am using it.
2. Drink Enough Water
Again, pretty cliché right? But did you know that up to 60% of our body is actually water???
Water is critical to the functioning and optimal health to our body. It keeps our cells nice and plump which makes them better functioning, it keeps our digestion moving along and importantly it keeps our brain happy!
Have you ever been dehydrated? It makes you feel pretty crappy right?
So, drinking enough water throughout the day is just such a simple thing you can do to keep your body happy! I aim for about 2 Liters per day and I achieve this through keeping a water bottle (or big glass because I love drinking out of a straw) near me all day. I also try to start my day with a big drink of water because we are more dehydrated in the morning after not drinking whilst we have been asleep.
3. Have a Good Morning Routine
This is quite new for me but oh wow has it been life changing!
I always knew that starting the morning in a particular way made me feel better. It made me more productive and I just generally had better days. So, something I have been concentrating on lately is trying to start all my mornings this way.
Now me being me – I like structure, I like routine and I had heard about this book called ‘The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod’ that people were raving about. So, I bought it and oh my goodness am I glad I did. I really love this book and having it sitting on my desk just in case I want to flick to page and read it again. It really gives this beautiful, easy to follow routine to do every morning. Now you personalize this routine, but it is sets out the foundations.
Just for a quick insight some of the things I include in my current morning routine is exercise (I am currently doing 30 days of yoga and loving it!), journaling, meditation, and visualization.
Now I haven’t mastered my routine yet and I am sure over time it will change and adapt to my current phase of life but it has really changed how many good days I have vs how many mediocre ones I have.
4. Get Good Quality Sleep
Now I can’t stress enough the importance of sleep! These days so many people are not getting enough sleep and are not getting good quality sleep.
Sleep doesn’t just replenish our energy, but it is the time when our body is able to regenerate and restore. It is when it does a big clean up of dead cells and starts to replace them with new ones. It is when our digestive system really gets to work. It is when our detoxifying system wakes up and works to get rid of a lot of crap in our body and probably most important it is when our brains do a big clean up of all the information we have taken in that day.
This is why babies and toddlers sleep a lot because their brains are taking in so much new information they need a lot of time to go through it and work out what needs to be kept and what can be thrown away.
If sleep is something you struggle with then I would put this at the top of your list of something to work on. Look into creating a good sleep routine and look at what you are doing before bed that may hinder your sleep. Technology is a big one! I always read for 20-30 minutes before bed as that means I get a break from technology and my body is able to wind down.
5. Eat Good Quality Foods But Allow Some Treats Every Now And Then
Now food and I have not always been friends. I grew up eating just your average Australian diet and because of that plus other things I now have a bunch of intolerances. I also had major body issues going through school and early university but I am happy to say I now love my body (most of the time – I’m not perfect!).
Food is so important to me and ill be the first to admit that my current diet is not perfect. My end goal is to eat purely organic with most vegetables and fruit grown at home and our meat sourced from local organic farms. For the time being it is markets and supermarkets where we get our food from.
One thing I aim for with my diet is that I really try to only eat whole food. What is this you may ask?
Whole food is one ingredient food or food that is made from only real food without any chemicals, preservatives, additives etc. So mainly vegetables, fruits, meat, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds ect. This also means I make a lot of stuff from scratch which is great because I love cooking.
However, I am not perfect by any means and occasionally other types of food creeps into my diet. For example, if we go out for dinner, I will be the first person to order hot chips – are they a whole food? Well no because they are usually cooked in vegetable or seed oils which are not a real whole food. But I love hot chips and am happy to indulge every so often because I eat well the rest of the time.
Eating good quality food is important to your body as when we eat processed food our body has to work a lot harder to digest it, to extract the nutrients from it and to eliminate it. When we eat these types of food, we are also not guaranteed to get the nutrients we actually need so we may actually be doing more harm than good.
6. Have A Great Support Network
If corona virus lockdown has taught me anything it’s that I need people in my life and I need to physically interact with them. Out of everything that has happened in the last few months it is the lack of interaction and physicality with people that I have struggled with the most.
Pre lock down I was quite happy being more introvert and would easily swap a night out for a movie on the couch but I now see how important social connection is to our overall physical health as well as our mental health.
Something I have been thinking a lot about lately is the importance of having a diverse social network. Having different groups of people is something I think we all need. We need people we can lean on for some of our problems and then a different group of people who we can talk to about others.
For example, I have my close group of girlfriends who I can chat general life with and they know everything about me and I know everything about them. But then I have a group of Chiro friends who I can discuss intimate chiro details with and talk health and medical talk.
I think this diversity of people in our life is important for our growth and our happiness. It’s important to have different types of people around us for different parts of life.
7. Exercise – Often And Out Of Love
I am one of those people that love to exercise. I have played hockey since I was 5 years old, so I have always been involved in a sport – except for this year thanks Corona. I also love HIIT training and strength training and recently have started to love yoga and Pilates. I genuinely love moving my body.
But more importantly than how you exercise or when you exercise is why you exercise!
Too many people (and especially women) exercise because of how they want to look, and this makes exercise a chore rather than something to enjoy. This used to be me. I used to exercise to lose weight and tone up but now I exercise because it makes me feel good and strong and fit. If I don’t exercise for a few days I start to crave it because I start to feel sluggish and tired.
Exercise to me is a way to keep everything working and get things around my body pumping. It also does wonders to my mental health and I always feel better after. I love that saying of “I regret that workout said no one ever”. By regularly exercising you are doing so much good for your health – you improve cardiovascular health, muscle tone which can help with posture and general biomechanics, help improve neural firing, energy – there are just so many benefits.
8. Perform Self Care Often
This is something I can still neglect from time to time and then I get to a point where I am like wow, I need to stop and take a second just for me.
Self care is just a small way to say I love you and it should make you feel good and happy. For example some things I love to do are hot baths, face masks, go for a long walk, sit outside and read a book, put on a movie I really want to watch or go out for a coffee just with me.
This doesn’t make you selfish or make you a bad person for taking some time out it actually makes you better and allows you to be more present for other people. We need to fill our own cup up from time to time so that we can help others fill theirs.
9. Listen to My Body
Not enough people are in tune and listen to their body. Instead we push through or take a pill to stop a certain symptom instead of taking a step back and hearing out what it has to say.
Every so often my body wakes up and says you know what, not today and instead of saying well stuff your body I’ll do what I want I lovingly listen to it. This may mean a day of rest or instead of doing the hardcore HIIT workout I had planned ill just go for a walk instead. It means listening to what it wants to eat. The other day all I could think of was a boiled egg so that is what I had for lunch – random I know!
Being in tune with your body is a skill and it takes a lot of practice, but it is a practice so worth while in the long wrong and you learn so much about yourself along the way.
10. See Other Health Professionals As I Need
I do not know everything about my body and sometimes I need some other people to help me figure out what is going on with it. I am not ashamed to say that at all and pride myself in knowing where my limits and boundaries lie.
I love seeing other health professionals because 1. They help me and 2. I learn so much from them! Like did you turmeric is a tissue shedding herb so you should not consume it in the 2nd half of your cycle if trying to get pregnant – WHAT?!?!?
I think reaching out to other people for help is an important skill to have. It means you are trusting of other people and know when you need help. A lot of people are to scared or proud to ask for help and a lot of the time this does not get them to where they want to be.
Some health practitioners I see frequently are Chinese medicine practitioner, Myotherapist, Personal Trainer and a Naturopath.
So there you have it my top 10 things I do to look after my health – and don’t worry if you aren’t perfect I am definitely not! Health is an ever-changing state of being and it is a journey that we are all going on.