Thursday, January 5, 2012

5 Suggestions for Health in the New Year

It appears that at least weight management advertisers think everyone is making weight loss a New Year's resolution.  Every channel seems to be offering great deals to join their weight loss program.  Weight loss, while a worthwhile goal, is a secondary concern.  It is somewhat like addressing only a symptom, while the cause goes unaddressed.  The primary concern should be pursuing better and stronger health.  Weak or non-existent lifestyle habits are never sustain you in the long run.  So, consider the following five foundational lifestyle suggestions:
  1. Exercise.  I'm sorry to give thee bad news.  There is no substitute.  Laziness is one of those acquired lifestyle habits that saps your strength, saps your lean body mass, saps your cardiovascular health, saps your motivation, and feeds back reproducing more laziness until your backside won't fit into a theater seat.  If laziness and lethargy is your problem -- start simply with the resolution to combat being lazy.  Intentionally park your car farther from the door EVERY time, the farther the better.  Take stairs, not elevators or escalators.  Take a long route on foot, rather than the shortest.  Make multiple single trips to pick up and put away clutter in the house. Hang large rubber exercise bands on the door knobs in your house and make a rule to pick them up and stretch a few times as a toll for going through that doorway.  Now, if you WANT to take out a gym membership and GO to the gym nobody is stopping you there!
  2. Drink Water.  Water is the largest single constituent in your body.  Circulating fresh water through yourself.  Think of it this way: water keeps your radiator from clogging up.  Lots of water everyday provides the following benefits: it helps you get more exercise (running to the bathroom where there is a exercise band means your bladder becomes your exercise trainer!); improves the filtration function of the kidneys so more toxins get flushed; and it keeps your skin toned.  Eliminate all sugary or artificially sweetened drinks.  Drink water.  Using some lemon in your water improves taste and gives a hint of Vitamin C.
  3. Pray, meditate and journal.  Take some time daily - 10-20 minutes - to sit quietly and ask yourself how you are doing spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Use a journal as the voice back to yourself from whichever aspect of your being you want to converse.  For example, imagine yourself as your body -- what would it like to say to you?  What things come up as being a priority for you to pay attention to today?  If you think of your body as the Temple of God (cf. I Corinthians 3:16), or the place in which God resides, how could you honor God's house more?
  4. Avoid sugars and processed foods.  This is another place where laziness and convenience drags you down the primrose path to health destruction.  You HAVE to cook your meals using real food ingredients!  just throwing prepared foods into the microwave or oven opens the door for poor nutrition - high bad fat, simple carbohydrates (sugar), and high sodium -- with little redeeming value.  A diet leaning more heavily toward salads and vegetables is going to raise your nutrition profile substantially. 
  5. Maintain Elimination Pathways.  Everything that goes in has to come out.  Toxins accumulate and negatively impact your health if all the elimination pathways are not working.  The four elimination pathways include urination, bowel movements, breathing, and sweating.  Bowel movements should take place daily; getting 25-35 gm of fiber a day helps enormously.  Exercise or hot baths induce sweating and more breathing.  Water intake facilitates urination. 
These five foundational suggestions cut to the chase for better health.  All five of them done more days than not will reduce your weight, reduce cholesterol, improve cardiovascular health, keep good brain health, increase motivation & ambition, and increase your pride and self-esteem.

NatureWords for your body, peace for your soul,

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