If you follow our page, you’re probably either a patient, former patient or thinking of becoming a patient. Or maybe you’re a chiropractor. Or maybe you’re super into health. Either way, the majority of our following has a basic understanding of the “no duh” proactive health measures that should be taken to maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle. They’re our core suggestions and the things we try to make sure every patient is adhering to. Life is crazy, though. We get caught up in the go-go-go of taking care of tiny humans, shipping them off to all the places they need to go and balancing work, managing a home, family dynamics, and everything else that comes along with existing on this planet. It’s a lot. In a post-pandemic society that’s still dealing with the economic and social impacts of everything that has happened the last two years, it’s hard to remember those basic things sometimes. So – what are they? If you’ve been neglecting your health routine – here are the reminders you needed (with outlined benefits) to get back on it.
How often do you run around all day serving your children or become preoccupied with work only to realize you haven’t taken a sip of water all day? While chronic dehydration probably isn’t an issue for you, even as little as a 2% decrease in your body’s water content can have noticeable effects, according to healthline. Studies have shown that inadequate hydration can lead to negative impacts on cognitive function and mood.
Throughout your day, you lose water from respiration, urination, sweat and bowel movements. Exercise, heat and sun exposure can increase the amount of water loss you have, which is particularly important to note since we’re in Florida. What are some of the negative impacts of dehydration?
- Reduced motivation
- Increased fatigue
- Digestive issues (gas, bloating, constipation)
It’s critical to rehydrate yourself to avoid the negative impacts of dehydration. The benefits of adequate hydration are abundant, but here’s a short list to keep you motivated to drink water:
- Boost your metabolism and assist with weight management
- Decrease joint pain
- Hold your chiropractic adjustments better
- Reduced oxidative stress during exercise
- Better temperature regulation
- Improved heart function
- Better detoxification
We know the importance of drinking water, yet we sometimes forget or de-prioritize this most basic thing our lives. In the interest of adequate self care, and building resilience, you must make hydration part of your everyday life. It helps some to carry around a reusable water container.
Adults need at least 7 hours of good quality sleep every night. We hear doc say it all the time – “Every hour before midnight counts as double!” and yet we stay up late most evenings. The kids go to bed and we’re free and clear! Time to catch up on house work, have a little down time, take a bath, mindlessly scroll social media, read a book or just generally dissociate from the absolute waterfall of responsibility we find ourselves facing on a day to day basis.
We’re here to tell you that you need to spend a larger portion of that time truly resting or, better yet, sleeping. When we rest, that is our body’s opportunity to recover. It allows our brains to shut off and our bodies to come out of fight or flight mode and actually settle into rest and digest. Mornings come early and with so many of us having little ones in our beds, nursing throughout the night, or waking up early for school, adequate rest is truly elusive to most parents.
Inadequate rest can have major implications for your health:
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory issues
- Increased stress
- Weakened immune system
- Weight gain
- Lower sex drive
- Higher risk for diabetes
- Daytime fatigue
- Increased irritability
- Increased risk of obesity
If you’re not getting adequate sleep at night and notice that you have some of these symptoms, it’s important to create boundaries around your own bedtime and start to wind down a little sooner for the night. While it might feel like those free hours are precious time to get things done, there is no better self care than receiving adequate rest.
Here are a few benefits that come with getting enough rest:
- Better endurance
- Higher energy levels
- Lower risk of heart didease
- Lower daily calorie intake
- Better emotional and social intelligence
- Stronger immune system
- Less inflammation
- Combatting depression
- Improved memory and cognitive function
If you find you’re getting less sleep than you should be, it might be time to establish a different evening routine to help you wind down more. Adopting meditation or creating time for your brain to truly wind down without so much sensory stimulation during the day can help supplement a lack of rest at night. Slowing down and sacrificing some of the time you might spend on other things in the evening once your kids go to bed in favor of rest will go a long way towards promoting wellness.
If our patients understand one thing, it’s that real food fuels them. Most people understand that living foods are their body’s greatest opportunity to absorb vitamins and nutrients. While our soil is more nutrient depleted than ever, quality local organic fruits, vegetables and meats are always more nutrient dense than the dead foods that you find on the inside of grocery aisles. Chips, cereals, and grains that have been highly processed lack the nutritional benefits of thos living food items found around the exterior of the grocery store. Even more, when consumers shop at Farmers Markets to get local produce, those veggies and fruits have not traveled as far for as long and are almost guaranteed to be more nutrient dense.
While you might already understand this and have a good handle on avoiding pesticides, chemicals and conventionally farmed foods when possible, you also live in a society that honors fast, cheap and easy. As individuals or parents on the go, we’re almost constantly seeking quick sources of energy that we find in sugar-laden coffee, baked goods, or “quick service” food. While it may not be possible to eat real, local, organic foods 100% of the time, making conscious choices wherever possible will have you feeling less sluggish and more energized.
Here are some statistics to give you insight into the nutrient deficiencies in the United States:
- 9 out of 10 Americans are deficient in Potassium
- 7 out of 10 are deficient in calcium
- 8 out of 10 are deficient in vitamin E
- 50% of Americans are deficient in vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium
- More than 50% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D
While our patient base is more conscious than the average American, there are still a lot of gaps when it comes to nutrition and vitamin deficiencies, issues with insulin resistance and pH levels in the body. Stress can impact our food choices, since cortisol (a stress hormone secreted when we are under high levels of stress) can send our bodies into fight or flight mode and increases our appetite and consumption of low nutrient foods. By understanding how stress impacts our food choices and practicing the right habits to reduce stress and make better food choices set us up to avoid diet culture and move towards sustainable habits and lifestyle shifts.
The importance of movement in our daily lives is critical to our long term health. We so often go from moving from the bed to a car to a desk chair to a car to a couch and back to bed again. The simple act of moving your body is becoming increasingly more difficult in our lazy food-and-entertainment focused society.
Despite movement being one of the most critical elements of health, even some of our most conscious patients in our practice don’t move as often as they should be, citing time, money and energy as their biggest reasons they are unable to move their body.
Here are a few benefits of regular movement:
- Balanced insulin levels
- Helps hormone function
- Helps you sleep better
- Benefits mental health
- Improved mood
- Cardiovascular benefits
- Weight maintenance
- Improved cognitive function
You don’t have to allocate an hour or more a day to a fitness class or sign up for a gym membership to move your body. There are so many free YouTube videos with yoga, stretching or walking meditations on them. Walking or running a mile takes between 10-20 minutes a day of your time. This simple action every day reduces your risk of heart attack by 30%. Here’s a great article on what happens to your health when you walk a mile a day.
Even just getting up and moving with your children and chasing them around the playground is better than sitting on the bench and observing. Use every opportunity you can to move your body, because your health, vitality and longevity all depend on it.
These are the most obvious insights into the state of your health. Yet even for some of the most health-conscious, these basics can remain elusive when work, routine, parenting and the stresses of every day get in the way. Do yourself a favor and take a mental inventory of how your overall health is – determining what you’re eating, how restful your sleep is, how often you’re moving your body and how you’re hydrating on a daily basis. Being aware of your daily habits and making small changes goes a long way to creating the type of lifestyle that supports long term vitality.
Accountability is everything. Join us for our next 120 day workshop as we follow The Schaefer Protocol and shift our health for the new year.