Each month there are approximately half a dozen to a dozen health awarenesses to observe. September is a special month in that it generally represents a starting over. This is the ending of summer and the start of fall, a season that is about letting go. Further it is the start of school for many children and college students. September is not only a month for the youth, but also those who are over the proverbial “hill”, with the recognition of “Health Aging®” Month. The linked organization promotes the best there is for all things aging: mental, physical, social, and financial.
With respects to the body, what are the keys to success for healthy aging? Prevention is the best medicine for your not only your physical health, but financial is well! Maybe you're past the the prevention and need to make progress in your health, no matter where you are at, these are 5 steps that will lead your path to wellness.
1. Sleep: Most adults need 7-9 hours per night of good quality shut eye time. For your body, this is when it is restoring and recovering from all the stressors of the day. Your muscles are relaxed, your blood pressure drops, hormones are released that help aid in metabolism, energy and immune health. If you are having trouble look to the National Sleep Foundation for some help. (Keep in mind,the only other bedroom activity aside from sleep, this act also provides many benefits to your body)
2. Hydrate: Do you drink enough water? Are you drinking things that dehydrate you, such as caffeinated beverages or sugary carbonated beverages? If you have trouble getting in the basic 64 ounces of pure H20, consider putting in lemon, or even fruit or veggies such as cucumber.
3. Nourish: You are what you eat. This has been and will continue to be your best medicine, as Hippocrates alluded to. Your body needs so many nutrients to carry out the basic functions. In the morning fuel your engine back up, perhaps an egg and spinach omelet. Pair protein with vegetables. Eat a snack every 2-3 hours, some nuts or a fruit. Lean and green will make you a fat burning machine! Seek help if you are feeling stuck or need some inspiration. The Worlds Healthiest Foods is a great place to start!
4. Move: Two types of movement will be addressed here: exercise and bowel movements, a hush hush topic, but the two do interact. Your body is comprised of approximately 640 muscles that need to be used, otherwise loosed! Back in the day before gyms, and still to this day in other parts of the world, there was no need for “exercise” it was a built in part of daily life. Walking, farming, and other chores necessary for existence. Movement is still necessary for optimal aging. Now, your taking these steps because you're on the path to good health right? Well, this path is paved with “good intestines”. Meaning if you aren't eliminating daily the waste products that are in your body, it will suffer.
5. Measure: That what gets measured gets done! When was your last visit to your holistic doctor? Do you know if your blood sugar and cholesterol are in the healthy range? Keep a log of these baby steps you are doing so you can measure your progress and outcomes!
Increasing your chronological age is inevitable, but the way you do it is up to you! Your health is not just about you too, its about your family, friends, and society who all want you to thrive, not just survive. Change starts with you!