No one wants to experience declining health as they age. At the same time, many of us treat our health like an afterthought — a thing we'll deal with as problems arise, but not something we worry about in the day-to-day. However, it's exactly that approach that leads to chronic health problems by the time you reach middle age. If you want to enjoy better health for longer, it's time to make some changes. Here are six ways to get started.
Control Your Breath
Odds are, you don't spend a lot of time thinking about your breathing. But maybe you should. Your breath is a powerful tool for reducing stress, improving circulation, and even boosting your immune system, Washington Square Journal reports. Aim to breathe slowly through your nose, expanding your abdomen with each breath and exhaling at a slower rate than you inhale. It's tough to unlearn habits, especially when they're as subconscious as breathing, so consider taking a meditation or yoga class to learn better breath control.
Go to Bed Earlier
Are you sleeping enough? If you're like many Americans, the answer is probably a no. However, your sleeping habits affect more than your energy levels. When you don't get enough sleep, you increase your risk of a wide range of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and even Alzheimer's disease. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night, so head to bed at least eight to nine hours before you have to wake up.
Measure Your Food
According to MyFitnessPal, most people underestimate their calorie intake. If you can't seem to lose weight no matter what you try, start measuring your food to determine the exact calorie content of your meals. Measuring can be done with tools you already have around the kitchen, like measuring cups and a digital scale. When you start tracking your food, odds are that you'll discover a lot of calories you weren't accounting for! Once you understand what you're actually eating, you'll find it's a lot easier to execute proper portion control and finally reduce your calorie consumption.
Eat Your Colors
Many of us don't eat as much fruits and vegetables as we should. And when we do, we tend to stick to a handful of favorites and shy away from unfamiliar produce. However, monotonous eating habits increase the risk that you're missing important nutrients in your diet. To get more beneficial nutrients including antioxidants and phytochemicals, aim to include a wide variety of colors in your produce choices. From deep purple blueberries to bright orange winter squash, there's a rainbow out there just waiting to make it to your plate.
Watch Your Posture
Modern life has us sitting in front of computers for large portions of the day. If you don't practice good posture at your desk, you could develop severe back problems. In addition to buying an ergonomic office chair and getting up to move every 20 minutes during the workday, make sure you're practicing good posture at your desk. Ergonomics.com explains exactly what proper desk posture looks like.
Do your muscles constantly feel tight, even when you haven't worked out? Muscle tension can be a sign of stress and anxiety. If it's not addressed, that tension could grow into persistent, debilitating pain. Bodywork like massage and myofascial release provide immediate, short-term relief from tension and pain. For long-lasting relief, it's important to find ways to reduce stress and anxiety in your life.
If you're reading this, it's time to stop putting better health off until later. It's much easier to maintain good health than to fix poor health, and it doesn't have to mean completely overhauling your lifestyle. Through a series of small, intentional habits like these, you can build a strong body and mind for life.
It’s almost that time of year again- vegetation season is underway and crops are being sewn as we speak ! So it leads me to wonder and begs me to ask, do you do business with any of your local farmers? If so, how often do you shop at your local Farmers’ Market?Where does most of grocery money go ?
When you shop at your local farmers market, you are not only getting localized, fresh, seasonal food- Your helping support a local farmer and their families lively-hood!
I have come up with 10 reasons why not only you should be supporting these farmers, but I will prove how the money invested in a good, dependable farmer can be one of the best decisions you could make for your families health !!!!!
1) Locally grown food tastes and looks better. The crops are picked at their peak, making them nutritionally dense. While farmstead products like cheeses are hand-crafted for best flavor. Livestock products are processed in nearby facilities and typically the farmer has direct relationship with processors, overseeing quality - unlike animals processed in large industrial facilities.
2) Local food is better for you. The shorter the time between the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost from fresh food. Food imported from far away is older and has traveled on trucks or planes, and sat in warehouses before it gets to you. These very same foods are laden with chemicals to keep them looking appealing!
3) Local food preserves genetic diversity. In the modern agricultural system, plant varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen uniformly, withstand harvesting, survive packing and last a long time on the shelf, so there is limited genetic diversity in large-scale production. Smaller local farms, in contrast, often grow many different varieties of crops to provide a long harvest season, an array of colors, and the best flavors. Livestock diversity is also higher where there are many small farms rather than few large farms.
4) Local food is safe. There's a unique kind of assurance that comes from looking a farmer in the eye at farmers' market or driving by the fields where your food comes from. Local farmers aren't anonymous and they take their responsibility to the consumer seriously. Like any good business, they want the reassurance from their customers, the very same food they are selling you they are consuming themselves !!
5) Local food supports local families. The wholesale prices that farmers get for their products are low, often near the cost of production. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food - which helps farm families stay on the land. Plus you are getting first dibs- food that was literally just picked and on your plates within hours of harvest !!
6) Local food builds community. When you buy direct from a farmer, you're engaging in a time-honored connection between eater and grower. Knowledge is power and in knowing farmers, it can give you insight into the seasons, the land, and your food. In many cases, it gives you access to a place where your children and grandchildren can go to learn about nature and agriculture.
7) Local food preserves open space. When farmers get paid more for their products by marketing locally, they're less likely to sell farmland for development. When you buy locally grown food, you're doing something proactive to preserve the already working landscape. This landscape is an essential ingredient to other economic activity in the state, such as tourism and recreation.
8) Local food keeps taxes down. According to several studies by the American Farmland Trust, farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas most development contributes less in taxes than the cost of required services.
So our society accepts the fact that we have a designated physician, mechanics, massage therapist and even a stylist. But when we talk about our personal farmer its seems kinda strange, like Meijer’s is my grocery store ….right ??? I assure you that the money invested in your local farmer is money worth spent and they will appreciate you too!! It’s a relationship worth building for your health and your families !!
Rebecca L. Neil HHP. LMT
Owner, Paradigm Wellness
Rebecca L.Neil HHP. LMT.