Health is your greatest asset. We hear this and know this intuitively. Yet precious few of us are taking the right steps and action now to ensure it remains our best gift. Over the years, The Live Well Centre has helped many people to reshape their health. Along with the right treatments and procedures, we have helped our patients and clients make the right steps and lifestyle changes to take better care of themselves. In fact, that is why The Live Well Centre was created 6 years ago, to help lead our community to make the right choices and actions to lead healthier lives.
In the past we have worked with many people one-on-one, as well as led many group workshops and courses over the years. Our courses, such as The Primal Challenge and Live Well 101 Workshops, as well as our workplace lectures, were met with great success as participants made significant changes to their lifestyle, seeing rapid and severe changes in their health. In fact, we still get occasional thank-you and shout-outs from people who took our courses years ago, highlighting the fact that they are still living a healthier and better life from the info they gained in one of our courses.
Unfortunately, we are not scheduled to run another course in the near future, but we will be releasing an on-line version combining our 2 most popular courses, The Primal Challenge and Live Well 101. This means you will have the ability to follow along at home and digest the material at your own pace, along with supportive video, texts and emails to maintain the action that will take you to your greatest health yet.
We will send the details about this course in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, here are the Top 10 ways to Live Well, from Live Well 101. This is just a mini-summary. We will explain in detail in the course, but if you have a question or concern, in any of these areas, just email, call or visit us at The Live Well Centre. Now is the best time to take that first step to greater health!
You may have seen the headlines from last year, “Sitting is the new smoking!”. Unfortunately, we live in a society where it is normal to sit 8-10 hours at a job, followed by 3-5 hours of sitting at home/commuting. If there was one thing you could do to change your health drastically, it would be to simply move move often during the day. This is at work, home or wherever. Science is now telling us that an hour of daily exercise won’t take away the negative effects of chronic sitting. Only the act of getting up and moving slightly but consistently will. The best practise is to simply stand up and stretch your back, shoulders and neck for 30-60 seconds, every 20-30 minutes. I am always telling my patients you are better getting up and taking many frequent mini-breaks through-out the day, rather than working for a long time and taking a long
2. Eat from nature, mostly plants and quality meat.
This simple rule to follow, regardless of whatever fad diet and trend people are following, has two important results. The most important has always held true, which is to avoid processed foods. Simply cutting out processed food will enhance your health tremendously, as you avoid all the terrible cancer-causing chemicals and additives, and focus on eating quality foods from nature to get your source of nutrients. The second is it cuts out sugar. Sugar is the number one poison we put in our bodies, and everyday science is discovering new links between high sugar diets and the most serious diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
3.Maintain proper position and posture
As chiropractors, you would be amazed by all the young and “healthy” people we see that are in substantial pain. In fact, our growing demographic are 20-30 year-olds with neck and back pain, who are either students or working in a desk job at a computer all day. The stress of sitting at a computer, or looking down at a phone for hours each day are enormous, and can produce the same effects over time as having a severe whiplash accident. It is critical to maintain a neutral and healthy position in your spine and back at all times, whether sitting, standing or sleeping. We have great ways to teach you how to do that, just ask us! In the times when you do have to bend or look down, try and shorten it to brief periods followed by some counter exercise. And when you can, get up and move!!
4.Lift heavy things occasionally
Our bodies were designed to perform heavy tasks with maximum effort occasionally. It was imperativee that we lifted a heavy boulder to make a shelter or lifted a load of wood to burn for heat, or we would simply perish. That same ability is in each one of us. And we only have to access that or train that for 10-30 minutes at time, twice a week! The benefits of doing full body complex movement like lifting and pushing heavy objects are great. It keeps our muscles active, it helps burn fat as a fuel source, and keeps our bones strong. And most importantantly, it keeps us functional!! We can keep ourselves fit and active, able to pick up our own groceries, lift a bag of dog food etc. This is what keeps us from getting injured, and more importantly out of the nursing homes when we get older.
5.Get adequate sleep. Always
We are genetically programmed to wake and sleep according to the natural light here on earth. That has been severely disrupted with all the artificial light and constant stimulation of electronic devices. Science now proves this disrupts the production of hormones that regulate and control our immune system, including melatonin and cortisol. Importantly, a lack of proper, quality sleep will increase your risk of cancer. The great news is, there is no cost to avoid ths, only more sleep! And who can’t afford that? Seriously, sleep is far more important for so many reasons than people give it credit for. Forget the “I can get by on 6 hours of sleep!” Yes you can “get by”, but you certainly are not going to be as healthy as you can be, and worse, your body will lower its defences to many serious illnesses later on. Try and get a minimum of 8 1/2 hours of sleep a night. Ask Dr. Pain, as part of his Live Well Challenge, he worked on getting 9 hours of sleep a night, and never felt better!
6.Get sun exposure, but still take vitamin D
We make our own natural source of Vitamin D from the sun. And Vitamin D helps regulate growth in virtually every cell of your body and prevents a variety of diseases. Vitamin D deficiency can increase our cancer risk, as well cause cardiovascular illness, cognitive impairment as well as kidney dysfunction. Fortunately, we can make enough Vitamin D by simply getting 30 minutes of sun exposure to our direct skin everyday. (Up to 10,000 IU a day from the sun, compared to 300 IU from the average western diet). Of course in northern climates, this can be hard to do in the long winter months. Therefore it is best to supplemnt with a couple thousand IU/day to shore up the deficiency.
7. Balance your nervous system: Breathe, relax, play, enjoy!
A busy and tech heavy world builds to a constant level of back-ground stress. This raises and throws off our natural cortisol levels (stress hormones) that negatively impact our health.Simple acts of taking time to do some deep breathing exercises, taking a walk in nature, playing a game of frisbee, meditating, getting a massage or chiropractic adjustment, can all help to restore the balance of your nervous system. This keeps your stress hormones in check for when you really do need them.
8. Go slow and long
There is a fine but very important line between doing active exercise and getting into a belt of “chronic cardio”, where you are exercising yourself at a high level of effort day after day. Think about the people doing those fitness classes or elliptical trainer sessions each day, but never seem to make progress in their fitness goals. There are many reasons for this, which we will explain in our larger course, but understand doing an hour of intense exercise will not take away the negative effects of sitting for 9-12 hours a day. If we again look at what our bodies were designed for, we are able to move long distances at a slow pace. An example would be going for a 1-2 hour long hike, working at a slow pace, heart rate at 50-60%. So at least once a week, slow the pace down, get outside and take a long hike in the woods. This will also help you attain several of the other LiveWell 101 laws, breathing in nature, getting Vitamin D, and if you take a friend, building a support network!
9. Stretch and mobilize daily
As we age, and we settle into a lifestyle that is more desk related, we have to take the time to stretch and mobilize our tissues daily. If we don’t we risk sliding down the hill of a slow insides loss of normal range an dffunction. Before we know it, not only can we not touch our toes, but we have trouble even putting our shoes on, or turning our neck when driving to reverse our car. Our tissues are made to last many years, I have seen people in their eighties and nineties with great flexibiliy and function. But you have to do a little bit of work on a daily basis. Just like brushing your teeth each day for a few minutes, if you spend 5-10 minutes a day stretching and mobilizing your joints, you will maintain them in a much healthier state for a far greater period.
10. Community and support
Surround yourself with family, friends and loved ones. Relationships are one of the key indicators for a long and healthy life. Work to keep up the social bonds. This gets trickier with the digital age, but in some ways can also be easier. You can use social media to initiate the contact, but try and make sure face-to-face contact on regular intervals to get the maximum health benefits of having a support network.
Let us know what you think! How are you doing bringing these important actions and habits into your routine? Now is the time to make the change, just let us know if you need help or have questions!