With my wife, Luana, in her final year’s certification toward graduating as a Holistic Nutritionist at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, I can also say I have learned a few things along the way.
Many of these tips I have discovered on my own. I knew they were good for me, so I did them. I found them during a period of trial-and-error. But what she taught me was why they were good for me—the effects on the body, the longevity gained, and the big rewards earned, in terms of positive mindset.
I can sit here all day giving her credit for many other things, but then where will that leave me? I will have not made any headway toward what I wanted to talk about today. And that would be a bad thing.
So, here we go. These are my tips for enjoying a life brimful and running over with good health.
1. Sleep as Much as You Can
I have written about this so many times that I think some of you may actually find it boring. That may prove beneficial, because then it would mean you would be ready to apply this energy-boosting tip.
Sleep as much as you can. There is no short-changing sleep.
For me, sleep boosts my energy levels, enhances my focus, and increases my creativity.
I know that if I cheat on my sleep, my body will wreak havoc on my mind. My lack of sleep causes me to be forgetful, induces irritation, and swells my likelihood for bemoaning my life.
Nobody likes me when I complain.
Therefore, I sleep as much as I can. I make it a routine, and I am better for it.
2. Drink Loads of Water
What can be more important than to stay hydrated? I drink half my weight in ounces every day. My skin thanks me for it, my digestive system celebrates, and everything in my body works as it should. I do not think I need to be specific with that last point.
Drinking the wet stuff is a great choice for watering the tubes, but remember that fruits and vegetables are high in water content, too. Fresh cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries and celery make for great choices when you are in the mood for something else to quench your thirst.
The other big benefit to keeping hydrated is it may help prevent long-term muscle and joint damage. Add to that list dry skin, headaches, constipation, minimal urination, sunken eyes, and muscle cramps.
In other words, drink loads of water throughout the day, and stay healthy.
3. Eat Good Foods
Good food starts with a deep fryer, thick sauces, and sugars. Wait a minute, that is not right.
Let me try this again.
Good food starts with fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and fish. If you are familiar with the Mediterranean diet, then you will know olive oil is your friend. Foods rich in good fat may aid in maintaining cholesterol levels to where they should be.
I noticed that when I eat a meal heavy on the carbs and low on the veggies, I feel bloated, not able to move, and extremely tired. But when I eat a meal made up of whole grain rice, salmon and steamed broccoli, I feel great.
It may have to do with the enzymes secreted in the gut. I have only so much processing power before my stomach says, “Hold on a second, you want me to work twice as hard to get you on your feet? Well, that is not happening, buddy.”
What my family and I also try doing is to always shop local. All our fruits and vegetables are from nearby farms, organic, and ready to serve. Then again, we live in farm country, so it is easier for us to buy quality produce than for those living in the big city.
Nonetheless, the point being, a vibrant life is a life given to food filled with ample vitamins and nutrients.
4. Get That Heart Pumping
I walk everywhere I go. I do take the car, yet it is not my main method of transportation. My feet keep me strong. I have had people comment that my calves are Olympic standard, whatever that means. I suppose the muscles I have there bulge a bit.
Every day I try to do something different to boost my heart rate. And really, it can be anything from walking to running on a treadmill. I even have a heart rate measuring app on my phone that shows me how I am doing in comparison to folks living in the mountains in Italy where my parents were born.
When I am fit, I can accomplish anything. Work is easier, talking with people is not a weight, and completing daily chores is manageable.
And let me not forget about the regular trips to the dentist. Keeping your teeth in tip-top shape is good for your heart and your health. Having no cavities means eating well without the burden of worrying about infections that may spread throughout the body affecting other organs. You do not want to have your heart failing because you did not take care of your teeth. That is a big no-no.
Do you want to live a life bursting with health? Begin a program that will exercise that beating organ in the center of your being. Your body will thank you for it.
5. Practice Proper Hygiene
I cannot tell you how it feels to meet someone decked out in formal attire only to sense a brutal odor contaminating my immediate vicinity. Now, I understand skipping a shower or two, but to look good and smell bad is another story.
We live in an age that no one dressed in a tux should stink. I am being truthful when I say this.
Garlic and onions is good. A toothbrush and mouthwash is better.
I am paranoid with my hygiene. I wash and shave every single morning. I may miss a shower on the weekend, but when I am with family, it is not a big deal. A bar of soap should be everyone’s friend for life.
Not only that, but a shower is an amazing thing. I can be so tired, yet, once I take a shower, I am ready to conquer anything that comes my way.
Besides, looking after yourself prompts others to look after themselves.
It is a rule. I made it up just now. It works.
In all seriousness, when you feel good about yourself, you tend to feel good about life.
6. Take a Vacation
Every year, Luana and I sit down to decide where we would like to go for our annual family vacation. Sometimes, our vacation consists of a road trip with the kids, and other times we choose to spend several weekends away from it all.
A vacation is a great way to reset. It allows for whatever problems that exist to take a backseat in order for us to reconnect with our lives.
One of my favorite vacations is when I float in a pool and watch the clouds overhead form shapes of animals. I will drift back and forth from one end to the other, day dreaming those animals to life.
A change of scenery also provides for wonderful experiences that under normal circumstances I would have otherwise missed.
But taking a vacation does not have to be an annual event. Every week I take a day to step away from the regular chores of life to read God’s word and relax with the family. It is on this day that I can certainly say that my appreciation for music far exceeds that of all other days during the week.
A happy mind is a healthy body.
7. Meditate on Life’s Journey
Thinking deeply about something requires practice. What better way to practice than to apply this technique as part of a daily routine.
Meditation, when done correctly, will help maintain a positive frame of mind.
It does take a bit of effort, though. You will need a quiet time so that you can think without distractions.
How it applies to me is I take a moment to think about my life from all angles. If I find something in particular I need to resolve, I will sit in a comfortable chair and think through the situation to see if I can come up with an answer.
Another use of meditation for me is to ponder on life’s little mysteries. I like thinking about God and about how I can apply his perspective in my life.
For some, it may not be that easy to find a place where there are no interruptions.
In that case, take a walk.
A simple brisk lap around the block clears the mind of the clutter that has accumulated throughout the day, leaving you refreshed and invigorated to meditate on the important issues in your life.
With these thoughts in mind, use meditation as a key weapon in your arsenal toward better health.