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Modern medicine has come a long way from the days of bloodletting and leeches. Even with our advances in cellular technology, medications, surgical interventions (including transplants) and the like, these cannot save you from the problems caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Instead of looking to modern medicine for the treatment of a problem, why not live a healthy life and try to avoid illness in the first place.
There may be some truth behind the saying “Early to bed, early to rise makes a person wealthy and wise.” (Benjamin Franklin) While you may not be wealthy, rising early may make you healthier and more productive throughout the day. Now, we’re not talking go to bed extra late and get up extra early, therefore causing sleep deprivation. But listen to your body’s rhythms. When you awaken, instead of laying around, dragging out your morning routines, eating breakfast while curled up on the sofa, get up and really start your day strong.
Prepare Your Mind
Studies have shown a mind-body connection that can’t quite be explained. Why do people who take placebo’s show improvement? Why have some people with strong faith healed without medical intervention? I’ve read several studies but nothing I’ve read has provided the exact reasons why and how these things work.
Many diseases of today have a psychosomatic link. The fact that anxiety and stress are risk factors in most diseases/disorders prove that the mind is a powerful force that can increase our risk for illness. To decrease the ill effects of stress and anxiety on the body, the mind should be kept healthy too, with meditation. Meditation should be done regularly to detach and let go of the worries and stressor of life, with the goal of preventing their effect on the body.
Do you, or anyone that you know, work 7 days a week, 24 hours each day? No. Our minds and muscles need a break, too. (With the exception of vital organs, of course!) But what about our digestive system? So much of our immune system and health are linked, not just to a healthy diet, but also a healthy digestive system.
Intermittent fasting (IF) gives a periodic rest to the digestive system. Fasting also helps with the elimination of waste from the body. This video gives a great deal of information about IF as does this book. ***Note: Fasting may not be for everyone, so be sure to do your own research and, as with anything related to healthcare, discuss any changes to your normal routine with your doctor.***
Eat When You Are Hungry
Simple concept, right? But something so simple is often overcomplicated. With so many different diets to follow, it’s no wonder we make different dietary choices every few months. We have trained ourselves to ignore our body’s signals. Social pressure, emotions, and other stressors can also affect our eating habits.
Eating when our body tells us that we are full, or simply not hungry, can contribute not only to digestive issues but also more complex diseases (such as diabetes). So, instead of stressing to follow a strict new diet fad that tells you to eat every3 ½ hours, whether you are hungry or not, try listening to your body.
If you are not hungry, wait a while, then eat. (Now, keep it healthy! If you are not hungry for a reasonable amount of time, then you need to 1. Eat. 2. Consult your doctor; something may be wrong. Also, eating every hour is just as much of a concern. Consult your doctor or nutritionist regarding any dietary changes.)
In the past, most of our daily lives involved exercise. From gardening, farming, cooking, and cleaning, it all involved exercise. Riding a horse, walking to make purchases (pre-automobile), all involved exercise. People of the past used body movement to get things done.
Today, we drive to work; sit at a desk; communicate via phone or text; drive to the store to buy prepared food – or drive to the supermarket to pick up our already picked, bagged, and carted groceries at the curb. We then drive home and microwave our food to eat. At this point, we are so mentally exhausted, we start the Roomba and dishwasher before preparing for bed; just to do it all again tomorrow.
Along with stress and diet, the lack of physical activity is a leading risk factor for many diseases. So, add walking, swimming, aerobics, or weight training (as directed by your doctor) to your daily routine, especially if your job provides limited activity.
Proper sleep is essential for good health. Our lifestyles today are such that many people have a difficult time listening to their bodies when it is time to sleep. The lifestyle of a student, doctor, nurse, truck driver, and many other careers, have us fighting against the natural body rhythms that tell us to sleep at night and be awake during the day. We drink coffee and other stimulants to stay up late, and again to get through the day. Although this is routinely done, we could be putting our health at risk every time. Alternative medicine practitioners believe that this unnatural sleep style is increasing our risk for certain disease, including cancer. So, listen to your body and sleep when you feel tired!
The old saying about “an ounce of prevention is worth than a pound of cure” is probably true (thanks Benjamin Franklin). These tips may help boost your health, help with weight loss, prevent illnesses and therefore the need for a modern medical fix.
There are many more ways to help you along your journey to total health. These tips are just a few. What do you do to live a healthy lifestyle in an unhealthy world? Leave a comment below!