by Dr. Aimee Warren
- Practice daily meditation – In a recent article, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from John Hopkins University indicated that mindfulness meditation can help ease anxiety, depression and pain. The practice of mindfulness meditation is simply sitting quietly and comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and bringing your mind’s attention to the present. Take 20-30 minutes every day (optimal is 30 minutes twice per day) to help ease and manage your stressors.
- Be a nighttime creature of habit – Getting a good night’s sleep is paramount to perfect health. We all know that we don’t feel very good when we don’t sleep well, but more importantly, chronic sleep deprivation can contribute serious health problems such as high blood pressure, increased stress hormones, and irregular heartbeat. To get a better night’s sleep, create nighttime habits that prepare your body and mind for sleep such as drinking herbal tea, taking a warm bath, meditation, and unplugging from all electronics an hour before bed.
- Move your body every day – Yes, EVERY DAY. If I had to choose the single most important thing on this list to help you be healthier in 2015, exercise would win hands down. The goal should be to exercise 45-60 minutes 4-5 days per week, but it all counts! Park in the furthest parking spot, take the stairs, do some squats while brushing your teeth – it all counts. Our bodies are meant to move and the more sedentary we are, the faster our bodies will break down. Make a commitment to break a sweat once a day.
- 5.Check yourself before you wreck yourself – According to a recent study, nearly 50% of Americans have either high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a combination of the three; all are major risk factors for heart disease which is the leading cause of death in this country. What’s more, close to 10% of patients with high blood pressure and high cholesterol don’t know they have it; 3% for diabetes. Take care of your ticker – go get a physical and some blood work. Knowledge is power!
- Eat more… (plants that is) – With all the fad diets out there, it’s no wonder people are confused. This year has everyone back in hunter gatherer mode eating wild wildebeest cooked on a spit. I say, keep it simple and a plant based diet is where it’s at. I love the quote from Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”. If you fill your plate with mostly plants and eat sensible portion sizes of food that your great great grandmother would recognize as such, you’re doing ok.
- 7.Take a good multivitamin and an extra D– You never know what vitamin or mineral you might be missing and depletion of only one essential nutrient can set off imbalances of a wide range of metabolic pathways. Poor diet, poor soil quality, and lack of variation in food intake are some of the reasons we find deficiencies. Getting your micronutrient levels checked and taking a good multivitamin with extra vitamin D are a good idea.
- 8.Connect with nature – “Go get your mind right” is something my husband tells me when he sees me stressing out or worrying, and this is my cue to go outdoors and clear my head. Nature puts things into perspective and I can’t help but feel less stressed when I stand next to the ocean or go for a hike. Seeing the vastness and beauty of nature has a way of making problems seem less huge and horrifying. Managing and decreasing stress are vital to good health, so get YOUR mind right and get outdoors.
- Drink more water – Think about how your house plants look after you forget to water them and imagine your body organs the same way when you’re dehydrated. The health benefits of water are numerous and include improved kidney function, weight management, and improved bowel function. So how much should you drink? Here’s an easy calculation: body weight x 2/3 = oz of water to consume daily. Increase and adjust for exercise.
- Boost your health with a daily dose of gratitude – Research studies in mental health show that grateful people tend to be healthier than their not so grateful counterparts. They tend to engage in healthier lifestyle traits such as regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Those who practice daily gratitude also tend to have better immune function, antioxidant function, and handle stress better which has all sorts of awesome health benefits such as decreasing the risk of heart disease and cancer. So here’s your prescription: Start your day either thinking about or writing down five things that you are grateful for. Dose it daily and you’ll be healthier and happier this year and years to come.
Dr. Aimee Warren is the Medical Director at Kairin Clinic, Temecula Valley’s leading medical boutique. To learn more about their unique practice, visit their website: www.KairinClinic.com or call (951) 225-1003 to schedule an appointment today!
Dr. Aimee Warren
31717 Temecula Parkway, Ste O