To Your Health
September, 2011 (Vol. 05, Issue 09)
Here are just a few examples that make a big difference: holding the door open for another person, complimenting someone who is having a stressful day, smiling, telling a loved one that you value and appreciate them, calling a long-lost friend, or sincerely thanking someone who helps you.
The list goes on and on. It's the little things that matter most. Transform yourself and others in the process. Can there be any greater gift than that?
Exercise Your Stress Away
The mind-body connection is undeniable. How you feel is directly related to how well you take care of your body. It does not take much effort to make a positive impact on your body. People often feel that if they cannot devote hours a week at the gym, then it is not worth exercising. Wrong! Any movement is good movement. Your metabolism and hormone systems are optimized through exercise, resulting in more vitality. Your overall energy and mental clarity will improve.
Whenever you are feeling low on energy or stressed out, you can do simple movements to revitalize yourself. For example, you can drop down and do as many push-ups as you can; make a tight fist with both hands and squeeze as long as you can (remember to breathe); clap your hands together vigorously for 10 seconds; take 10 long, deep, slow breaths; tap your sternum for 30 seconds; or reach your hands over your head 10 times. Get the blood flow going and feel your state of mind improve.
Maintain proper blood sugar levels by snacking on a regular basis. Dips and spikes in insulin levels set the stage for stress and energy fatigue. Prolonged periods of not eating makes your body prone to mood swings and decreased mental clarity.
Take time to snack and eat during the day. One of the best snacks to have is nuts. Nearly all nuts are a great health food. A handful of nuts will energize you and are power-packed with nutrients. Nuts in general, and peanuts in particular, are high in the bioflavonoid resveratrol. This bioflavonoid has a number of beneficial health effects, including anti-cancer, antiviral and anti-aging, and is believed to help prevent the formation of arterial plaques. That means adding nuts to a balanced, healthful diet can aid in the prevention of heart disease.
A little goes a long way. The key to deriving the most heart-healthy benefits from nuts is to create ways to incorporate a variety of nuts into a low-fat diet. Substitute nuts for other high-calorie, often less-nutritious foods instead of just adding additional calories. Eating a variety of nuts is a sure way to add many health benefits to your diet and feel a whole lot better in the process.
It takes 30 days to form a new habit. Try these strategies for just one month and I'll bet your life will be changed for the better. Even if you can't do all of them, start with a few and infuse more energy and joy into your life. There seems to be no end to the amount of stressful situations we encounter, but taking simple steps to ease the burden can go a long way toward making every day count. Welcome to a better day.
10 More Better Day Quick Fixes
- Drink more water. Proper hydration helps the body function better and aids in the detoxification process, promoting cellular recovery.
Replace morning coffee with tea. Too much caffeine stresses your adrenal glands, which may lead to overall decreased energy levels.
- Eat a good breakfast. Skip the simple carbohydrates like bagels, white breads, and processed foods. Eat fruit and protein.
- Eat more bags than barcodes. In general, keep away from processed foods in boxes with barcodes and go with more natural food in bags. Eliminate the unnecessary food additives.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Use your body. Get moving. You burn more calories, helping fat loss. Plus, it is actually a little fun when you see people stare in amazement that you actually use the stairs.
- Read more books. Turn off the television and stimulate your mind with a good book.
- Be grateful. Take 60 seconds and write down three things you are grateful for in your life. For example: your health, children, spouse, job, family, etc.
- Use your third eye. Apply light, sustained pressure for 60 seconds to the point above your nose and between your eyes. This is the "third eye" energy chakra point in acupuncture and is known for revitalizing energy.
Golf without leaving home. Roll a golf ball on the bottom of both bare feet for 2-3 minutes and release the soft-tissue fascia. You will release tension and increase blood flow as well as stimulate reflexology points.
- Squeeze a stress ball for 60 seconds. Strong grip reduces neck tension and upper-back stress. Feel an immediate rush of energy. Make sure you do both hands and maintain breathing patterns.
Perry Nickelston, DC, is clinical director of the Pain Laser Center in Ramsey, N.J., where he focuses on performance enhancement, corrective exercise and metabolic fitness nutrition To learn more about Dr. Nickelston, visit www.painlasercenter.com/Our_Practice.html.