As I write this we are in the middle of November, the smell of turkey and pumpkin pie in the kitchen, a chill is in the air (just kidding, this is So. California), and soon we will be opening gifts and sharing time with loved ones. But wait, what happened to the last ten and a half months? A blink or two and it’s gone I suppose.
Two things I do know for sure though. The older we get, the faster time flies; and the busier we get around the holidays, the less time and effort we spend taking care of ourselves. I haven’t figured out what to do about the first one, but taking care of ourselves must be a priority. Why? Because, if you are sick, injured, stressed or otherwise incapacitated, your ability to bless and support others is significantly reduced. Think of it like an airplane. If the cabin pressure drops and the oxygen masks come down, you are instructed to put yours on before assisting others. You are no good to others if you are passed out from lack of oxygen.
The same is true in life, especially during the craziness of the holidays. By following some simple (but often neglected) practices during the holidays, you can give your health a little boost. Remember, not everyone will follow these steps, and you may just be the one called on to take care of them during times of crises and sickness.
The key components to pay attention to (not listed in order of priority) are as follows: Diet, Rest, Physical Activity, Supplements and Prayer/Meditation. So now let’s deal with some of the specifics relating to our list. We have all heard “you are what you eat”, or “garbage in, garbage out”. The truth is, it’s true. In a nutshell, we should minimize simple carbs, try to eliminate sugar (not so easy during the holidays), eat a large amount and variety of veggies, drink at the very least 75-100 oz. of quality water per day and eat at least .6 grams of quality protein per pound of bodyweight. Take these as healthy guidelines only, as individual needs will vary.
Next is physical activity. A minimum of two days per week of resistance training is needed to maintain healthy muscle and connective tissue.
This could be in the form of weight training, body weight exercises, resistance bands, and for those with minimal time on their hands, come join us at OsteoStrong for a session on our patented BioDensity equipment. Regarding cardiovascular training, a minimum of 40 minutes (moderate to high intensity) or 60 minutes of lower intensity cardiovascular training is required per week for enhanced heart, lung and immune system function. Walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, etc., etc. are all great options.
As for the “Rest” component, quality sleep somewhere between 7-9 hours per night will generally keep the motor charged. Having trouble sleeping? Try taking 3-6 mg. of Melatonin or 5-Htp along with a Magnesium based tea about an hour before going to bed. If you have questions about which supplements are beneficial or a waste of your hard-earned money, bring them in and Dr. Castro can analyze your specific supplement needs and/or I can guide you regarding your intake and usage.
Last but not least, prayer and meditation play a vital role in relaxing, realigning and re-energizing. Letting go of our daily routine and spending some alone time with Someone bigger than our problems is an often-neglected component of overall health.
If you have not yet stopped by OsteoStrong and met with Gale, myself or Dr. Castro, please join us this December 13th between 3-7pm for our pre-holiday party and meet and greet. Mark your calendar for fun, food, drink and a step towards your new health.