A Nurse’s Top Three Tips For Healthy Living
This is a guest post by Catherine Morgan. Catherine is a writer, nurse, and mother. She has two blogs, Be the Change You Want to See in Yourself and Women4Hope, where she writes about positive life changes, women’s issues, health & wellness, and inspirational thoughts. She is also a contributing editor at BlogHer.org.
1. You are what you eat, and it is never too late to start eating healthy. Every day, try your very best to put healthy foods and plenty of water into your body. When you have a choice between something healthy and something not healthy, go with the healthy choice. But, don’t be too hard on yourself on the days you fall back into old habits. There is no rule that says, to be healthy you have to be perfect. Even if you are eating healthy 50% of the time, that is still better than none of the time.
If you are one to never go for the healthy choice, then start today with a commitment to eat one thing that is good for you (just one thing that you would normally not eat), and do that for a week. After a week, start eating two things that are good for you, and so on, and so on. Before you know it, you’ll be eating healthy half the time…And that’s a great start.
You can start today, loving yourself and your family enough to stop poisoning your body with unhealthy foods. Heart disease is the number one killer in our country. And 80% of heart disease is due to eating an unhealthy diet that leads to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Start today, and take a bite in the right direction…Your heart will thank you.
2. Give yourself some “me” time each and every day, even if you think you don’t need it. This is so often overlooked because we are all so busy with our lives. But, we each have to find time to be one with ourselves, even if it is just a short amount of time. A bath, a silent meditation, an hour to read a book or write in a journal, something that takes us away with ourselves.
If you are thinking that you don’t need to do that, you most likely just don’t know how to do that. Even though taking time to yourself sounds simple, it’s quite difficult and almost scary if you have never been one to do it. So take it slow, sit quietly with yourself (without the t.v. or the radio) for just five minutes. Think about what quiet activity you could do on your own for just a short period of time each day, and then start doing it.
Taking quiet time for yourself each day, is how you help to promote a healthy mind and spirit. And these quiet activities also tend to reduce stress, and even lower blood pressure. So give it a try.
If you are a mom with kids, who never has a free moment…Try involving your children in some way to help you get this precious time. When my children were younger, I had a special book that I would ask them to get me in the morning before I got out of bed. They knew that this was the time of the day that I took ten or fifteen minutes to myself, and they would sit quietly in another room until I was finished – then we would begin our day. It also teaches your children the value of quiet time, and that being alone doesn’t doesn’t have to be boring.
3. Exercising your body and mind. I’m not advocating rigorous exercise, or increasing your exercise quickly or dramatically. I just want to point out the obvious…Being a couch potato is counter productive for the general health and wellness of your body. Increasing your physical activity (even in a small way) is very beneficial.
If you normally don’t get any exercise, try taking a walk around the block, or parking a bit further away from the grocery store, or taking the steps instead of the elevator. Just take baby steps, see what your body can handle, and then gradually do a bit more. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, be kind to yourself, and know that every little bit helps.
*Important Note: Not all people can increase their physical activity without exacerbating a current medical condition. Let me use myself as an example. I have high blood pressure and a few other problems with my heart valves, and light exercise is recommend to me for these conditions. However, I also have Asthma and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and anytime I increase my physical activity even slightly both of these conditions are made worse. But at the same time, there are many other people with Asthma and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that don’t have any problem with small increases in exercise. You need to find what works best for you.
We are all different, and what works for one of us won’t always work for all of us. That is why anyone with a chronic medical condition should always check with their doctor when they decide to increase their activity, even slightly. Your doctor can then give you some guidelines to follow, so you don’t do anything to make your medical problems worse.
When it comes to exercise; more isn’t always better, and pain doesn’t always mean gain. Whether you work-out at a gym, or walk around the block, keeping active is a very important part of keeping healthy. Each of us has to find an activity level that works for us, the important thing is to not stay sedentary. There are even exercises you can do without getting out of your chair. As you begin to increase your activity, you will most likely find you have more energy, and when that happens you will know you are doing something right
And don’t forget about keeping your “mind” active as well. There is scientific proof that as we get older we begin to lose some of our cognitive skills (such as memory), but there is also evidence that we can stop or at least slow that process by giving our brain a daily work-out. You can give your brain a work-out by reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing memory games, and basically anything that makes you think.
If you just make some small changes in your life, better health can be yours. So start today, and be the change you want to see in yourself, and your health…It’s as easy as one, two, three.
What are your favorite tips for healthy living? All comments big and small are very welcomed!
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