There are five basic action steps you can take to encourage glowing, vibrant good health. These five keys to vitality are simple, easy to implement, and cost very little to apply. Let’s look at each of these health habits and see what it would take to improve the quality of our lives.
The first key is proper breathing – air is free, but many of us don’t yet capitalize on one of our most important nutrients, oxygen. Air is needed for all aspects of body function, yet most of us could benefit from adding a few simple breathing exercises to our daily routine.
Try this – breathe in deeply for a count of three, and hold it for a count of twelve. Then, release the breath to a count of six. This style of breathing rejuvenates your metabolism, and feels great. Do ten of those every morning, and you’ll go a long way toward refreshing your cells with their most essential nourishment.
Your second key is food and water – in addition to the gaseous fuel breathing provides, you need solid and liquid fuel as well. Eat a blend of wholesome foods, balancing proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and listen to your body to tell you the best proportions, and when during the day each suits you best. Drink a lot of water – at least half an ounce for every pound of body weight. Your metabolism requires it.
Your third key is sleep – at least seven to eight hours each night. Make your sleeping space as dark and as quiet as possible. Choose a bed and pillows with the right firmness and shape to sleep comfortably on your back or side. And if you miss sleep for some reason, make it up as soon as possible. Your brain maintains itself during sleep – do your best not to cut corners here.
Your fourth key is movement. This can be vigorous exercise, like running, swimming, or sports, or it can be more subtle, like yoga, t’ai chi, stretching or walking, but the purpose is to get your body into motion. This improves your blood circulation and keeps your muscles fit and functional. If you don’t use it, you could lose it, so get moving and you’ll feel better and look better.
The fifth key is to invest in body maintenance, both in discovering the best strategies for you to establish as lifestyle routines, and building a team of wellness professionals to advise you and help you pursue the best health possible. Nutritionists, body workers, personal trainers, yoga and martial arts instructors, life coaches and of course doctors of chiropractic can each play a significant role in helping you live your best quality of life. Keeping your brain fit with meditation or energy balancing also keeps your mind-body connection operating at peak efficiency.
So how can you sculpt this information into a game plan for vitality? Start with the shape of your day – if you’re aiming for seven hours of sleep, and you have to arise at 7 AM, then you know you have to be in bed by midnight. If you weigh 160 pounds, you need about ten eight-ounce glasses of water every day – that’s two in the morning, two in the evening, and two with each meal, for example. If you need to get started with an exercise program, start with three thirty-minute sessions each week, walking, stretching or some other low impact activity until you get used to the stresses of repetitive movement. Pick some aspect of this five-point plan and build yourself up in that area before you move on to others.
Use Dr. Leonette as an adviser in building your wellness team – he can provide suggestions about lifestyle choices and other professionals you could consult.
If you’re really serious about living with optimal vitality, these few simple habits can make all the difference for you – try it and see for yourself!