Four Factors That Affect Your Health
Our body is very resilient and is designed to heal itself. When it is taken care of properly, it functions like a well oiled machine. For example, when you get a cut your body immediately knows how to fix it. Or when you become sick, your immune system revs up and starts fighting off whatever is attacking your body. There are some factors that may inhibit this inborn or innate healing of the body and in this week’s blog we are going to talk about what some of those factors are.
As stated above, our body is like a well oiled machine— if taken care of correctly. To do so, we must fuel our body with that it needs. Think about a car for example, if you know that your car takes regular gas, would you ever consider putting diesel in it? Most likely no. The same goes for our body. If we want our body to be fueled correctly and regenerate itself, we need to provide it with the proper diet. This includes a diet free of refined cards with limited alcohol and sugar. Instead aim for a diet that is full of healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, lean meats, and other foods high in vitamins and nutrients.
Poor Sleep Habits
Sleep is one of the most important things our body needs. While we sleep at night, our body begins to heal. It uses that time to not only recharge, but to also repair muscles and even boost the immune system. This happens best while you sleep because your body isn’t doing anything besides sleeping. However, the problem arises when someone does not get enough sleep. It is said that adults need 6-9 hours of sleep each night and not enough people hit that mark. In addition to getting enough sleep, it is important to get good quality sleep. There are ways to improve your sleep quality and they include: avoiding screen time 1-2 hours before bed, investing in black out curtains, a dehumidifier, a fan, a white noise machine, reading before bed, having a sleep routine and more. Try incorporating little things now to help improve your sleep so you can reap the immediate health benefits in the morning.
Our body is not made to be sedentary. In today’s day a sedentary lifestyle is becoming known as a silent killer. Our body is meant to move in order for it to stay healthy. Did you know that the joints of your body don’t have a blood supply? Because of that, our joints are dependent on two things: 1) proper alignment and 2) movement. When the joints move freely and aren’t restricted, then nutrients can easily enter and waste can leave. Remember “motion is lotion” so strive to move your body 30-60 minutes everyday. Make it something fun like walking with friends, taking an exercise class, or doing a sport/hobby that you enjoy. In addition, try to avoid sitting for longer than 50 minutes at a time, even if it’s just standing up for a few minutes. If you like watching TV, instead of fast forwarding through the commercials, stand up and stretch until your show comes back on.
According to the American Journal of Pain Management, posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormone production (1994). Currently there is a lot of research linking abnormal posture with poor health outcomes. For example, did you know that losing your neck curve results in decreased blood flow to the brain? Or that having too much curvature in your mid back (hyperkyphosis) may increase your risk for early death? Or that some people’s dizziness may come from having abnormal neck posture? Want to see for yourself? I’d recommend searching PubMed. PubMed is a free search engine for looking up biomedical and life sciences literature at the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine.
So what posture is ideal? Ideal posture is when the head, ribcage, and pelvis are aligned vertically over each other. From the front, our hips, shoulders, and head should be straight with no shifts, tilts, or twists. From side, if there was an invisible line, the ears would be in line with the shoulders, hips and ankles. If you catch yourself with poor posture whether on the phone, on your computer, standing, or sitting then try to actively correct it. The more you do this, the easier it’ll become. If you are concerned about your posture or want to work on correcting it, go to www.idealspine.com and look for a CBP provider in your area.
The bottom line is that we must put time into our health. The sooner we create healthy habits, the better. What we do (or don’t do) now, sets the tone for our future so we must ask ourselves, how do we want to age?!