This has some really great guidelines. Most are pretty obvious, but it's good to see again and commentary is interesting
Key #1 Nutrition
After spending billions of dollars, over the past thirty years, the American Cancer Society has begun to realize that searching for a cure may not be the answer. Now they are focusing more on prevention. And what is the best way to prevent cancer? Fruits and vegetables.
There has been a lot of controversy lately over the best diet: High protein? High carbohydrate? paleolithic? Mediterranean?
But one thing the experts agree on is that we need more fruits and vegetables in our diet. Dr. Bruce Ames, a leading cancer scientist has said that if you aren’t eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables, you might as well be standing in front of a low level X-ray machine, all day.
You may have seen the American Cancer Society’s ad campaign: “5 A DAY”. Actually, they recommend 9 servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables, but they think five a day is easier to sell to the American public.
The Framingham study looked at Stroke risks. They found a direct correlation between 3 servings a day and a 22% reduction in strokes. 6 servings a day; 44% reduction in stroke. 9 servings a day, 66% reduction in stroke. Now that’s pretty remarkable.
Let’s face it, most of us are not big fruit and vegetable eaters. But we should be. Fruits and vegetables are full of disease preventing phytochemicals, including the now famous antioxidants. We have discovered hundreds, so far, but there are still many we don’t know about. And that’s one reason that taking vitamins is not the answer for a poor diet. I could go on for pages about other reasons. If you want more information on the research, let me know and I will send it to you.
Key #2: Exercise
Everyone knows we need more exercise. So, what’s your excuse? Not enough time? Not enough energy? too boring?
In fact, once you get on a simple exercise program you create a spiral of success. More time, more energy, more joy in every area of your life
So how to start? Well, you need at least a little energy to get started. It may be that you need to improve your nutrition to get that energy. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less fat, especially saturated and trans fat.
Ok, back to exercise: You should aim for an hour of exercise, almost every day. However, you can break it up into 6 ten minute chunks, throughout the day. During coffee break take a ten minute walk or climb ten flights of stairs.
Buy one of those six foot rubber bands designed for exercising. They are great for mini work outs. Buy several. Keep one in your desk, one in the car and one or more at home. Buy a brand that comes with a video so you can learn the exercises. Then buy some cheaper ones for different places. Any time you have five to ten minutes pull it out. Learn a few different short routines and alternate them. One for strengthening the arms and upper back, one for the abs and lower back, and one for the legs. Plus one or two good stretching routines.
Once you start feeling healthier, you can sleep thirty minutes less and use that extra thirty minutes for a good aerobic workout, three days a week. On the other four days, you can meditate or read a good book or enjoy a sunrise.
Obesity is becoming an American epidemic. One that leads to hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. The only healthy way to maintain a healthy weight is sensible eating and exercise.
Exercise improves our mood, our immune system, our stamina, our bone mass, and our ability to assimilate the nutrients from our food. So get up and have some fun. Play with your kids. Join a team. Walk your dog. Have fun!
Key #3 Oxygen
Are you breathing? Many people seem to barely breathe when under stress, sitting at a computer, and other times. Some people seem to barely breathe, all the time. Abundant oxygen is vital to our wellbeing. It is even more important today, than it was 30 years ago. Besides all of the toxins in our water, food and air, and our stress levels, all of which require more oxygen to healthfully process, we have a lot less oxygen in the air we breathe. You have heard about greenhouse gases and global warming, by now. Did you ever stop to think what all those greenhouse gases are replacing? Oxygen. Oxygen levels are getting dangerously low, about three percent lower than they were a few decades ago. Levels are within a couple of percent of being unable to sustain our lives, especially in cities with high smog levels.
We need to be breathing more deeply just to maintain normal levels of oxygen, let alone levels necessary to help us combat pollution and stress. Get more aerobic exercise and take several deep breathing breaks, throughout your day.
Key #4 Cleansing
In the 21st Century it is impossible to escape toxicity. Our air, food and water are all polluted. Not to mention all of the toxic ingredients they put in our personal care products and packaged foods. Regular internal cleansing has become essential to maintain good health.
The two main areas that require cleansing are the digestive tract and the Liver/ Gall Bladder. For most people, I recommend an intestinal cleanse and a Liver cleanse, as well as a Gall Bladder flush, every Spring. Many people with allergies, for instance, find that a regular Spring cleaning brings a lot of relief, through out the year.
Because cleansing can release toxins into the body, it is important to be careful. I always recommend a gentle cleansing. Eating lightly with an even greater emphasis on fruits and vegetables (I suggest 5 servings of each during non cleansing times), is always a great way to reduce our toxic burden and begin a cleanse.
Check out my many posts on the importance of our state of mind, particularly this one. Positive states of mind keep our immune systems robust, and help us ward of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. A positive state of mind makes it easier to maintain the other four keys. See this post for tips on staying happy.