There is so, so much information out there about how to live healthy. And experts are popping up everywhere; each one promoting different training styles, diets and lifestyle fads. It's difficult to know what is the best option, what will have the greatest positive effect and what is a sustainable lifestyle change. The challenge is finding something that rings true for you and your busy family lifestyle.
Poppy’s Collection and I are so excited about sharing this message that we have decided to deliver it over two separate posts. We know both your time and health are valuable. Today, I will be talking about things that you can do for yourself that will support your healthy decisions and amplify the effect throughout all parts of your life. Stay tuned for the second part, as that’s when we are going to explore the other services that will have a high impact for supporting you and your family’s healthy lifestyle choices.
Consistency is KING (& QUEEN). In the long run, a person that walks 20 mins a day- every day is going to be in better physical shape than a weekend hiker that has a 3 hour hike once a month. Our bodies are amazing and will adapt to repetitive stressors, like exercise, and become more efficient while using the least amount of energy and effort possible. Exercise helps you by raising your metabolism, slowing your heart rate, lowering blood pressure and improving your sleep quality. The flip side is that lack of exercise will result in a loss of muscle mass in as little as 2 weeks. So, find something that you love to do and do it on a weekly basis.
Better heart health. Exercise adapts our heart, which is a muscle, to pump harder, not faster. (Elite athletes will have a resting heart rate under 50 beats per minute while the average person has a resting heart rate of 65 beats per minute.) When the heart is moving a higher volume of blood efficiently, the blood pressure is more likely to hit that ideal 120/80.
Better muscle tone. The rest of the muscles in your body will become more toned, leaner and stronger as they response to the repeated task of moving your body through space. Training programs are designed around fitness goals; to improve flexibility, tone muscles or bulk up muscles. Your specific goals should be kept in mind when you are planning your workout routines.
Better digestion. Your intestines are also a group of muscles and exercise is a great, natural way to keep that system regular.
You will never be able to work off the effects of an unhealthy diet. A junk food filled night - sure. A fast food diet - less likely. Your body is going to respond to the fuel that it is given based on its genetic programming. Some people will be luckier than others and the fast food dinner and high calorie drinks won’t show up as quickly. While appearance matters in our society, it’s best to focus on being strong, healthy and toned rather than skinny. Pant size alone does not indicate how healthy you actually are. Health care professionals are finding ‘skinny fat’ people are at a higher risk for health concerns like diabetes compared to their thicker versions.
The best and easiest ratio to follow is the 80/20 ratio. Aim to eat 80% healthy, unprocessed foods meals throughout the week and have a more indulgence meal 20% of time. This is would allow for an indulgence day once a week or four decadent meals throughout the week. Meal prep and planning are important to keep you on track throughout the week. It doesn’t work if you plan to indulge on 20% of your daily calorie intake each day.
Please keep in mind this advice is for the general public. Anyone with food aversions, sensitivity, intolerances or medical conditions should defer to the advice of their health care providers that are involved in your specific case. (IE: Vegans, Gluten Intolerance, Diabetes or Crohn’s, etc)
Reduce physical stressors
We live in such a stressful, fast paced environment that it is difficult to maintain a balance between our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. We are always tipped towards the sympathetic 'fight or flight' response. Regular self-care through yoga, meditation, exercise and chiropractic care all help bring the peripheral nervous system back into a balance between the sympathetic (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic (rest, digest, reproduce) nervous systems.
Regular chiropractic patients have been shown to have fewer sick days, less prescribed medications and fewer hospitalizations over a lifetime compared to the rest of the population. Adjustments work to reduce inflammation, increase joint mobility and improve overall joint health.
Come back next week for more tips on the types of services you can rely on to support your healthy living choices and how they help to reinforce your positive lifestyle decisions.
Dr Katie practices out of Naturopathic Living on Main St Unionville.
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To find a chiropractor near you, visit https://www.chiropractic.on.ca/chiropractorlocator