2 Tips for a Healthy Body in 2018
A Healthy Body is what so many of us are reaching for this year – so how about 2 simple tips to help you through 2018. Okay so you have survived the silly season and we are ready for the real knuckle down part of the year to begin:
Number 1 on the list is simply to move more.
As the saying goes “motion is lotion” and the benefits that can be gained from daily movement are innumerable. The beauty of this tip is that you are only limited by your imagination – walking, yoga, swimming, cycling, dancing, martial arts, tai chi, running, surfing, rock climbing etc etc
Now what about the benefits:
- Improves circulation and increases oxygenation and nutrition of cells
- Decreases fluid congestion by promoting movement of blood, lymph, and intracellular fluids
- Increases strength and connective tissue health
- Improves balance and reduces risk of falls
- Releases feel good pain-reducing chemicals such as endorphins which in turn reduces risk of depression and anxiety
- Promotes increased immunological function
- Regulates a healthy appetite and improves digestion
- Improves glucose regulation and decreases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Promotes healthy sleep patterns which in turn increases immune function, decreases ageing, and reduces the risk of many disease processes
- Improves bone strength – weight bearing exercise increases osteoblastic activity in the bones which reduces the risk of osteopaenia and osteoporosis
- Promotes healthy weight maintenance
- Slows the ageing process and makes you look and feel great
- Can be a great socialiser and build stronger community ties
- It is generally the cheapest form of medication you can take
- Numerous studies show that exercise outperforms medical interventions such as surgery and medications
Simple ways to integrate more movement into your daily life include using a stand up desk, scheduling regular stretch and movement breaks at work, taking the stairs instead of the lift, riding/walking to work, & eating your lunch outside
Number 2 – Practise healthy sleep patterns
Sleep hygiene as it is now known has become an increasingly important topic in the fast paced modern environment. The human body has a circadian rhythm (basically a fancy name for your internal 24 hour body clock) that controls your sleep/wake cycle. This rhythm is affected by variables such as light and temperature, and in turn affects feeding cycles, hormone production, cell regeneration, and brain-wave activity. An area of the brain called the hypothalamus controls the circadian rhythm via light input from the eyes. This in turn stimulates the production of the hormone melatonin from the pineal gland. Melatonin levels increase at night and it is the messenger that tells the brain that it is time to go to sleep.
Light wasn’t such a problem in the pre-Industrial age when artificial light sources were far less common. However in the rapidly advancing technological age we are bombarded by artificial light sources – street lights, television, iPads, mobile phones etc etc. Of these sources the blue light devices (ipad, TV, laptop, mobile phone) are the worst – these are able to suppress melatonin production significantly more than a yellow light source (streetlamp).
This disruptive influence of artificial light affects our circadian rhythms and may lead to adverse effects such as disorders like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. From an osteopathic perspective sleep disruption can decrease tissue healing capacity and lead to increased pain perception.
So what to do:
- Have adequate exposure to healthy sunlight during the day – e.g. get outside the office at lunch-time
- Avoid or decrease exposure to stimulants such as coffee – especially in the afternoon/evening
- Exercise and stretch to ensure that your body is relaxed and ready for sleep
- Have a comfortable sleep environment with a cool temperature
- Avoid exposure to artificial lighting – especially blue lights. This may mean not using that iPad in bed!! If you must use your devices after 6 or 7pm then try downloading the f.lux app which adjusts screen light to a yellow hue which changes based upon the time of the day
- Sleep deep and wake up refreshed and clear!
2 simple steps that will improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of disease and dysfunction – and best of all they are basically free! Enjoy your year!
For more information read here Come and see us at Optimum Wellbeing, Worongary, Gold Coast, Osteopathy, Naturopathy and Massage