Health / Lifestyle
Use these simple tips as a guide on your journey to better health.
It’s the small things we do every day that add up to make us fit and healthy, and it’s always a work in progress. There are many things you can do to maintain a healthy weight, boost your immune system, and prevent a wide range of debilitating illnesses and diseases. The decisions we make every day impact how long we live and how well we live—our quality of life. A few lifestyle changes will help us get fit and healthy, and stay that way for years to come.
Get a Good, Long Sleep
One of the most important factors in good health is sleep. Get seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Follow the circadian cycle of how your adrenal glands function. Try your best to get to bed by 10 pm. Develop a healthy sleep habit of training your mind and body to feel the exhaustion of the day before bedtime. Stop use of electronics as early as possible in the evening. Stop taking fluids at least a couple of hours before going to bed. If you have to get up in the night to use the washroom, do not turn on the light, as this will shut down the production of natural melatonin and make getting back to sleep more difficult.
Eat Right, Starting with Breakfast
Eat a healthy, low-glycemic, high-fibre, high-protein breakfast. We all believe that we eat “well,” but a proper ratio between our carbs, protein, fibre, fats, and fluids is needed. Decrease your caffeine intake. Remember that an intuitive behavior-based eating pattern is also a long-lasting, successful method in proper weight loss and maintenance. Foods can be inflammatory or anti-inflammatory, and the choice makes a difference to our long-term health. This is where the value of a well-educated nutritionist and up-to-date physician comes into play to give us a guideline of what’s appropriate for us individually.
Move Your Bowels
Healthy bowel habits are important for a good health. Constipation is like congestion on the highway: nothing moves, frustration increases, and our stress levels get higher and higher. Without a healthy, functioning bowel, we are not able to absorb the nutrients from our food, which can harm us in the long run. At minimum, a single solid bowel movement is a must for a healthy functioning body. Watch your stool for change in colouration, undigested food or floating stool, or change in size. If there is any ongoing change in the consistency of your bowel function, discuss it with your family doctor.
It’s best to avoid alcohol intake, especially in excess. Research has shown that depending on your weight, gender, and genetic makeup, alcohol can be hazardous to your overall health.
Be around helpful, positive, motivating, energizing, problem-solving, high-achieving people. In today’s world of social media, we can easily fool ourselves with the number of online friends we have. The higher the number, the better we feel about ourselves—yet this is an artificial, nontangible boost. We do not need 100 or 1,000 friends; we need two or three genuine friends in our lives whom we can rely on and share our success and downfalls with. Be real and genuine in your feelings, and always be polite in your comments. Help where your help is needed and asked for. A happy, fulfilling, positive relationship with a caring partner is most important to create a healthy home environment with positive thoughts and behaviours.
Take Time to Breathe and Meditate
Take two to three minutes for calming, healthy breathing a few times every day. Stress reduction is needed to keep us sane. We can all use a few techniques to help us decrease the stress in our bodies in just 15 minutes of daily practice. Meditation can be done anytime, anywhere. It’s a great tool to have at your disposal to calm your mind and body, and enable a higher level of functioning.
Exercise in Moderation
Exercise daily, but allow your body to recover and regenerate every two to three days. As we age, we need a day of rejuvenation every few days, depending on your lifestyle and habits. Too much of what’s good for you is not good for you!
Train Your Brain
Learn something new and practice it. Persistence in practicing a new subject, behavior, or method will create new neural pathways that allow the brain to acquire and store new information. These new neural connections help reduce the chances of dementia in our older years—more important than ever as we are living longer but not necessarily healthier. If we do not become proactive in our own health in our younger years, we will have increased risk of age-related diseases.
Have an Attitude of Gratitude
An attitude of gratitude directs our minds toward positivity and possibility. Our altitude in life is determined by our attitude, and what better attitude than being grateful. Exercising gratitude re-wires our brains so that gratitude, rather than negativity, becomes the default. Remember that energy flows where attention goes.
Smile and Laugh
Smile every day and try laughing! If you find it difficult, join a laughing yoga class. The neurochemical changes brought on by laughter are nothing short of great stress relief and rejuvenation for the body. Laughter is a wonderful medicine.
Care for Your Teeth
Floss and brush your teeth at least twice every day. Gum disease is a serious health matter and can lead to many infections and heart disease. Remember that your gastrointestinal system starts in your mouth.
See Your Doctor
This may not be a daily habit of healthy people, but it certainly is a regular one. See a physician who is trained in Regenerative and Functional Medicine. If your medical insurance program does not cover you for all aspects of well care, and is mainly focused on disease care, invest in your own wellness. This is the biggest and best investment you will make in your entire life. Any time you can prevent or decrease the risk of illness, you have given yourself the gift of life. In today’s society, heath care programs focus on the financial management of caring for more sick people as the population gets older; rather than decreasing disease with proactive health care in our medical system. I look forward to the day when all medical schools will require all medical students to go through Functional and Regenerative Medicine training.
These simple habits of healthy people are easy to follow in your everyday life, yet it takes a little practice before they become second nature. At the Ageless Living Wellness Centre, we offer a multitude of services and a commitment to your better health. Come see us any time, and let us know how we can be of service to you. Visit agelessliving.com today, and let’s get you started on your healthy day.
By Dr. Kamran Forghani, MD, FAARFM, FMNM
Dr. Kamran Forghani, MD, is board certified as a Fellow in Anti-Aging, Regenerative, Functional, Metabolic, and Nutritional Medicine. He completed his postgraduate medical residency at McGill University and practiced as an emergency room physician at McGill University teaching hospital for three years, then completed a three-year family practice specialty at the University of Washington in Seattle prior to his return to Canada. He has always had a great interest in preventative medicine and believes that we can all be healthier by being proactive rather than reactive to our physical, mental, spiritual health.