I just got home from a vigorous CrossFit workout. When I walked in the door my hubby was just about to take off for the golf course but he always asks how my workout was. Today I think he was a little taken aback by my enthusiastic “Awesome!” It was a really tough workout and we had four mini WODs today (WOD=workout of the day). I did squats, pushups, mountain climbers, rope climbing, medball presses, medball wall touches, 100 meter sprints, calf jumps, supermen, bicycles, rowing, sprinters, hip extensions, db floor press, and deadlifts. Most of it AMRAP or as many rounds as possible. Two months ago if I had done this workout I probably would have collapsed in exhaustion. Today though I just marveled at what I can do and how good I felt doing it. Building endurance and muscle has a lot to do with it but I think most of it is due to some other factors, which spurred me to make this top ten list.
Feel free to add your comments about daily health practices in the comments below. I would love to hear how you are staying healthy!
1. Eat Real Food – Everything you eat becomes part of your body because you are constantly rebuilding and replenishing your cells. Every single day your body is rebuilding itself and it is using the “tools” you give it. Those tools are the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you eat. If you are not getting the proper nutrition then your house is being built by a framer who was never given nails, hammer, or wood that has not been infested. Scary thought. Ask yourself, am I made of PopTarts and pizza or healthy whole, real foods? For optimum health we need ample amounts of fresh fruits and veggies/greens, high quality protein, and lots of dietary fat. The ratio that works best for me is 50% fat, 30% protein, and 20% carbs and I get that from grass fed meats, coconut oil, nuts, dairy, fruits, greens, and veggies. I have simply never felt better in my life then I have after going paleo/primal.
2. Get the Bowels Moving – Many people overlook this important aspect of health but I think bowel and gut health is indicative of what your health is like throughout your whole body. If you have a leaky gut then you will likely have food allergies and immunity problems. If you have bowel issues then you also likely have nutrient absorption issues which means your body is not accessing the nutrition it needs for rebuilding effectively. Unhealthy bowels can also set you up for larger problems, like colon cancer. I can attest that you never, ever want to go through that so make sure your bowel health is a daily consideration even if you ARE 28 and think that colon cancer can’t touch you. You should be moving your bowels at least once per day but after each large meal is also a good thing to shoot for. A good book to read is What’s Your Poo Telling You?
My secret weapon of late for colon health is greek yogurt with Spectrum Essentials Ground Flax with Berries. This keeps me regular!
3. Take High Quality Supplements – I am now a big believer that we cannot get everything we need from food, at least not in this modern day. Our soil conditions have fallen so far that it is impossible to expect that our food will have all the vitamins and minerals we need. Also many farms feed animals subpar foods like grains and soy, which means you eat meat from unhealthy animals. You are what you eat and you are what your food eats. We can do better by eating the best quality foods we can but we also need to supplement. I will not do without my magnesium, vitamin D3, fermented fish oils, High Vitamin Butter Oil, coconut oil, milk thistle capsules, chlorella tablets, and greens powders.
4. Break a Sweat – Exercise keeps you healthy, energetic, and happy. Weight training and other strength exercises help you build and maintain bone health as well as good balance to prevent injuries and falls. These same exercises also help you to retain your youthful flexibility. Exercise stimulates your lymph system and brings oxygenated blood to all your cells and it helps to regulate your weight.
5. Get Enough Sleep – Regeneration and healing occurs at night when you are sleeping. This time is very important and must never be shortchanged in favor of a busy lifestyle. Getting sufficient sleep (ala 8-10 hours a night) reduces stress, helps you maintain a healthy weight, improves brain function and clarity, improves physical performance, reduces depression, regulates hormones, reduces inflammation, and generally reduces your risk of disease and illness.
6. Spend Time in Nature – We need to get outside regularly and soak up Vitamin D. It is essential. We should also be spending time outside barefoot or Earthing so that we regulate the electric currents in our body and ground ourselves to the healing power of Mother Nature. Spending time outdoors makes us calmer, less stressed, happier, and it provides a cleaner source of air.
7. Spend Some Time on You – We need to spend time doing things we enjoy. No, it’s not selfish to pursue those things that bring you happiness. In fact it is vital to good mental and physical health. Give yourself frequent time outs from stressful situations and make the time to do the things you love.
8. Get a Mental Workout – Just as we need to exert ourselves physically we also need to break a mental sweat daily. This can mean reading, writing, doing a puzzle or some other activity but you need exercises like this to keep you sharp and active mentally.
9. Take Care of Your Skin – Our cells rebuild us a new meat suit regularly and it is a reflection of our health. Dry brush daily to brush away dead skin cells and encourage new growth as well as get the lymphatic system moving along. Use nontoxic, organic skincare products that will nourish your skin and not poison it. Hydrating with water and green smoothies also bathes our skin cells and plumps them up. Eat foods that protect your skin from exposure and avoid sunburns.
10. Breathe Clean Air – I am a big believer in air purifiers because indoor air can be toxic. Think about all the products that may be off gassing in the home (in a concentrated area) and you will see why you should be cleaning your indoor air and/or opening windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate inside. Clean, fresh air will also help you keep illness at bay.
What do you do every day for YOUR health?
Tuesday, May 1st, 2012