Beyond Diet: 7 Ways to Stay Healthy For Life

The media blasts us with mixed messages about how to stay healthy or get healthy. Many individuals are often coerced into buying expensive meal plans, assuming their diet is the end-all, be-all to their health problems.

But health goes beyond just diet.

What you put in your body is important. Yet, a variety of other factors are also at play. In this article, we’ll explore the 7 key areas of life that need your attention if optimal health is to be attained. These 7 key areas, in order of implementation, include Diet, Quiet, Movement, Relationships, Environment, Mindset, and Joy.

The Cluttered Health & Wellness Industry

Perhaps you’re recovering from an illness. Or maybe you’ve been confused in the past about how to stay healthy or the best way to get healthy. You want something simple – something that makes sense.

And you’re tired of trying to sift through the over-saturated health info across the web. One second, you’re told to do this new exercise or diet regime for optimal health. The next, it’s a whole new approach. It’s frustrating and confusing.

In this article, we aim to simplify and individualize your approach to health. Famed physician Jack Schwartz stated, “It’s not what you eat, but what eats you.” In other words, stress and lifestyle factors play an important role in your health and even your ability to absorb nutrients from the food you eat. In fact, research indicates that those who eat in a stressed-out state, such as watching the news, may absorb 50% fewer nutrients from their food. It’s not solely about diet or exercise. Inevitably, other factors also play critical roles in determining your health.

The 7 key areas of life are essential in programming the immune system and fine-tuning the stress response. In turn, this leads to optimal health and well-being.

In fact, research indicates that those who eat in a stressed-out state, such as watching the news, may absorb 50% fewer nutrients from their food.

However, it’s also important to note that these key areas may differ for each individual. What works for one person may vary for the next. We are all unique, and when it comes to good health, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It comes down to knowing yourself and becoming in-tune with your body. What works for you? Let’s explore this more in-depth in the sections below.

The 7 Key Ways to Stay Healthy for Life

So, how can you stay healthy for life? The truth is that we can’t tell you exactly what that entails. Your diet or movement routine may be very different from the person next to you. But we can guide you through the 7 key areas that you should focus on improving to enhance your overall health and well-being. These aspects will help you explore what works for you. They will force you to turn inward and look at your unique situation.

1. Diet

Diet is by far the most confusing aspect. But it’s a good starting point. When you put good food in your body, you generally feel better. 

Yet, you’re told to eat spinach and kale to reach peak condition. You’re informed that a low-calorie diet is best. Or perhaps you’ve been blindsided by all the news about the keto diet. And maybe these foods or diets never seem to sit well.

The basic rule goes if something doesn’t feel good, maybe you should reconsider eating it. You need to find out what foods feel the best for you. Some individuals may require a vegan diet for optimal health. Others may need a carnivore diet. It depends on your situation. For instance, a vegan diet may help one person control their pre-existing genetic condition of high blood pressure. However, it might make another person feel weak or fatigued. Again, it depends on you. 

If you aren’t sure exactly how to improve your diet, download The Innovative Medicine Diet Guide PDF here. Discover where you can make improvements – starting today.

2. Quiet

Most assume diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. While both are important, exercise may prove to be detrimental if you aren’t sleeping or if you are already in a hyper-stressed out state. That’s not to say it doesn’t help, but that first your focus should be on recovery, sleep, and relaxation. 

The effects of sleep deprivation have been studied across various channels. Your performance tanks with a lack of sleep. Most notably, a scientific review highlighted how sleep deprivation impairs attention, working memory, long-term memory, and decision-making. Long-term sleep deprivation has even been compared to a person’s mental and physical state when under the influence of alcohol. In fact, one study demonstrated that 17-19 hours without sleep is equal to a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.05. If you’re having difficulty sleeping, check out the 5 Ways to Optimize Regenerative Sleep

In addition, relaxation and rest help to improve your mental state. A 2009 review explored evidence from various studies showing that relaxation techniques, such as visualization, imagery, and meditation, increased immune function and response. Consider trying different relaxation techniques to lower your stress levels and reset. Find a suitable technique that works for you and your life. It’s all about finding that right balance for you.

3. Movement

Undeniably, movement is important. The human body was made to move. A sedentary life doesn’t serve us well. Yet, a physically active life has shown to increase life longevity. But does this mean you need to be killing yourself in the gym 6-7 days a week? Probably not.

Again, this requires an individualistic approach. You want to move mindfully to avoid injury and pain. When pain occurs, it can discourage you from continuing with an exercise routine. You want to find a movement regime that works for you. 

For example, if you have arthritis, high-impact activities aren’t the best idea for you and your body. You’ll want to find something you enjoy that involves low impact on the joints, such as yoga, walking, cycling, or swimming. 

Ideally, you want to determine what’s best for you and your body. Explore different activities and make it a habit. Remember, exercise has an array of benefits, including a decreased risk of chronic diseases, improved mood, decreased stress, and much more. Start small. Move mindfully and with control. Gradually increase your activity. You’ll be more likely to stick with it. 

4. Relationships

Meaningful and strong relationships make us happier and healthier. A Harvard study that lasted over 80 years proved this fact. Researchers found that how happy you are in your relationships has a powerful and undeniable influence on your overall health. They went as far as to call it a form of self-care. And in a way, it is. 

A study of more than 309,000 people showed a lack of strong relationships increased the risk of premature death from all causes by 50%. That’s equivalent to smoking about 15 cigarettes a day and even higher than obesity and physical inactivity.

Setting time aside to strengthen the connections and bonds with the people that matter in your life can have a significant impact on your well-being. The more meaningful, deep, and happy these relationships are is actually a better predictor of physical health than looking at a person’s cholesterol levels. Learning how to communicate properly with the people you love and putting time into building these relationships is one of the best things you can do. Pick up the phone. Plan social catch-ups or get-togethers. In terms of your health, it matters more than you think.

5. Environment

We’ve all heard the debate between nurture versus nature. Undoubtedly, nature, or your environment, plays a role in your health and your life decisions. Your environment also has the ability to influence your mood and behaviour. In turn, this impacts your healthcare decisions and well-being. 

Possibly unsurprisingly, these 7 key areas are interconnected. Your environment may impact whether or not you get that necessary movement in each week. It affects your sleep. It determines your food choices.

So, what can you do about your environment? Decluttering at home can help relieve stress. Changing environments to workout or work can provide motivation. Sleeping in a dark, quiet, and cool space can give way to a good and restful night. When it comes to food, you can remove yourself from an environment that doesn’t support your specific diet requirements. It all comes down to what you need. Determine where you can make improvements, and go from there. 

6. Mindset

You’ve probably heard it before: Your mindset matters. For instance, what patients think or expect through healthcare treatments can determine their outcome. Another scientific study also explored patient outcomes following a hip fracture. Researchers found that self-determination, a positive attitude, and social support were critical pieces in making a full recovery.

Related: The Healing Mindset

Developing a positive mindset may prove difficult, especially if you’ve been through a recent health crisis or life event. But not only is it possible; it may be necessary to lead a healthy and long life. So, how can you be more positive? Many individuals find positive affirmations help them. This includes phrases that emphasize and support a positive perspective. Others have found meditation, practicing gratitude, relaxation, general life balance, exercise, and humor have helped them develop a better attitude. Again, this is where you may have to explore a variety of techniques or activities to find what works for you and your life. Innovative Medicine has a large library of resources including techniques like EFT that you can use to start seeing improvements right away. 

7. Joy

Happiness and good health go together like peanut butter and jelly. When you have good health, you’re happier. When you’re happier, you’re more likely to have good health. Joy, bliss, and fun is part of that. Mounting research in the field of PNI (psycho-neuro-immunology) shows how joyful activities reduce stress and boost the immune system.

How can you find joy in your life? Take the time to participate in activities that bring you joy, such as hobbies or sports. Being an adult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take time to have fun. And sometimes, joy and happiness comes out of the above 6 ways to stay healthy. Indulge in games with friends, such as board games, or find that movement activity you love. These are all things that can bring more joy into your life.

Find Your Individual Approach to Optimal Health!

Learn what works for you, your life, and your body. It’s easy to make blanket statements about health, such as what diet or exercise is best. But each individual is inherently complex. No one can tell you what to eat better than you can. It comes down to tuning in with yourself and your body. It’s about knowing yourself and making changes based on what you know.

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the above 7 aspects, take it one day at a time. Trust your intuition. Use exercises and techniques to help you make better decisions when it comes to your health. 

For instance, you could make a list of the various diets you’ve tried in the past. Beside this list, state the reasons why each diet attracted you to it. Then, take a few moments to sit quietly. Take deep, controlled breaths. Turn inward. Ask yourself the question, ‘Which of these diets will best support my overall health and happiness?’ Then, open your eyes. Did you find clarity? You should be able to come up with some kind of personalized plan of action. And if it’s all new, don’t panic. Sometimes, you need to branch out from what you’ve been doing wrong to figure out what is right. Your health and happiness could, ultimately, depend on it. 

So, how do you stay healthy? Did we miss anything on this list? Leave us your comments below!

The post Beyond Diet: 7 Ways to Stay Healthy For Life appeared first on Innovative Medicine.

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