FOCUS ON YOUR HEALTH
In this article, I am not going to give you more directions on how long you should wash your hands or how to make homemade sanitizing gel. We’ve all heard enough of that!
But what I am going to tell you is that your best defense against this or any other virus is to become an inhospitable host to any sickness or disease.
Number 1- MAKE YOUR BED YOUR BUSINESS
Everyone I know loves to sleep. No one I know gets enough of it. If you want to be a healthy human you have to make sleep a priority.
Let’s get right down to brass tacks. Sleep is the #1 way to naturally strengthen your immune system.
When we sleep, our bodies repair and restore vital systems that help keep us alive. This includes muscular, skeletal, and cellular repair during our REM stages of sleep. If we are not getting adequate REM sleep, our bodies will not recover and we will be more susceptible to illness.
A consistent lack of sleep will disrupt hormonal balance in the body and depress the immune system. And the last thing we need right now is a depressed immune system! Too little sleep over time can put you at greater risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes (all diseases). Or another way of saying a body that’s not at ease.
Research by Dr. Aric Prather out of UC San Francisco on another type of Coronavirus – the common cold – demonstrated that “people who sleep six hours a night or less are four times more likely to catch a cold when exposed to the virus, compared to those who spend more than seven hours a night in slumber land.”
Tips on Getting A Good Nights Sleep:
- Avoid/Limit caffeine after 2 p.m.-Caffeine has a half-life of about six hours. That means if you have a coffee after 3 p.m., you’ll still have half the milligrams of that coffee drink floating around in your bloodstream at 9 p.m. (when you’re supposed to be winding down and getting ready for bed). This will surely disrupt the first sleep cycle which occurs between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. (the time when the immune system is repairing itself).
- Avoid These Other Stimulants-including nicotine, sugar and exposure to artificial light and electromagnetic pollution. Electromagnetic pollution is coming out of the electrical outlets in your wall, and all the plugged-in appliances in your home. Not much you can do about that these days. But, you can limit or eliminate exposure to artificial light. Start to turn down the lights in your home an hour before bedtime and shut off the TV, computer, iPad, and cell phone as well. Constant exposure to light signals the brain that it’s time to wake up. Get in a habit of shutting things down and spend the last 30 minutes of your day winding down. Roll, stretch, meditate. These all have a parasympathetic effect (repair and recovery).
- Entrain Your Brain-Your brain doesn’t know the difference between a Monday and a Saturday. When we were younger we could get away with staying up late on Friday or Saturday nights and get back to normal rather quickly. Not so much anymore. Your body does best on a consistent rhythm so aim to get to bed around the same time every night no matter what!
Number 2- DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
I have been teaching and preaching the importance of proper hydration since becoming a CHEK-trained Holistic Lifestyle Coach back in 2003!
We had to read these books by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. (You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty and Your Bodies Many Cries For Water).
Here’s a quick summary.
- The amount of water you should drink is half your body weight in ounces per day/minimum. In other words, if you weigh 150lbs. you need to be drinking at least 75 ounces of water per day.
- You should start your day with up to 25% of that amount upon waking.
- Water energizes you because it improves digestion and elimination, flushing out toxins, junk, and fat.
- Water is one of the primary ways to neutralize free radicals in your body.
- Water improves mental clarity and memory.
- Water makes up 70% of your fascia and muscle. If you don’t have enough water in your tissues, you can rest assured that your fascia won’t be healthy. If you want to be more flexible you need to drink more water.
- Water helps to carry oxygen to your body cells, which results in properly functioning systems. It also works in removing toxins from the body, so drinking more of it could help prevent toxins from building up and having a negative impact on your immune system.
- Water carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells and regulates body temperature.
- Proper hydration helps to normalize cortisol levels (the body’s stress hormone).
Number 3-MAKE MOVEMENT YOUR MEDICINE
As a society, we simply don’t move enough! Most of us do not purposefully build physical activity into our day. Technology has robbed us of our natural inclination to move and it seems to be getting worse and worse. (Heck, it’s why I have a job in the first place). Do you think there were any personal trainers 100 years ago? I don’t think so. To get from place to place, to mow the lawn, to do the laundry, to get food, we were moving.
If you want to be a healthy person you need to move, to exercise. It’s that simple. Things that don’t move die.
When a stream stops running, the oxygen to the living organisms gets cut off and everything in it chokes to death and dies.
“If you are not moving, you’re dying!”
This doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours and hours in the gym every day. You just need to move, and you need to find a way to do that on a regular basis. That means you need to spend some time each day and week covering the most important aspects of movement as it relates to your health and longevity. Your movement commitment should include elements of the following.
- cardiovascular(aerobic and anaerobic)
- strength training to maintain muscle mass and to allow you to continue to do the things you need to do, want to do, and like to do easier and better
- flexibility and balance training that utilizes multiple muscle groups and crosses multiple joints in order to challenge the nervous system
Daily movement will help to prevent injury, recover more quickly, and improve your resilience to disease.
Number 4-EAT NUTRIENT-DENSE FOODS
This should shock any of you but nutrient-dense foods (regardless of whether it’s plant or animal) comes from nutrient-dense soils. In order for soil to be nutrient dense it needs to have a plentiful amount of microorganisms living in it. That means the soil needs to be organic (not have been fertilized with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides) which destroys the microorganisms in the soil, the plants that grow out of them, the animals that eat those plants, and the humans that eat those plants and animals.
It’s a closed cycle.
The more chemicals and toxins we are exposed to, the worse our health becomes.
Basic rules for eating:
- chose organic
- eat local and seasonal foods
- avoid packaged and processed foods
- if it is packaged and has more than 4 ingredients you probably shouldn’t be eating it
- if there are words on the label you cannot pronounce-don’t eat it
- unless you are a vegetarian your meat sources should be hormone-free/free range
- eat mostly plants
- not too much
Number 5-MINIMIZE STRESS
We can’t live without stress nor should we aim to eliminate it. Life will be stressful and if it doesn’t show up in one area of your life it will surely show up in another. The problem is continued stress without recovery. The main stress hormone (cortisol) is directly tied to nerve cells in the brain, the hippocampus.
Stress comes in many forms:
- physical stress (too much or too little exercise)
- chemical stress (having to detoxify ourselves from agricultural chemicals and/or prescription medication)
- electromagnetic stress (higher than ever these days with the constant bombardment of extremely low-frequency pollution being emitted by our electronic devices)
- nutritional stress (eating too much, eating too late, not eating enough, consuming too many foods that contain artificial ingredients, preservatives, colorings, and so on)
- thermal stress (too cold/too hot for extended periods of time) Humans enjoy 72-degree temperatures for a reason.
- physic or mental stress (*often referred to as “stinkin thinking” the easiest way to reduce or eliminate this is to limit your exposure to the media (TV and newspapers) as well as social media outlets, which help to spread hysteria of the Covid-19 virus faster than the virus can spread itself.
Brett’s Bottom Line:
Your health is your job. You can’t outsource it to anyone else. While there are certain precautions we can and should be taking to avoid contracting the Coronavirus or any virus for that matter, the best way is to stay as healthy as possible.
The healthier you are the less likely you will become infected with something that can make you sick. Is it guaranteed? No, no one is bulletproof, but these strategies will make you bullet resistant.