It’s safe to say that most people want to be healthier and live longer. Unfortunately, standard diets and lifestyles are not conducive to those goals. A more natural, holistic lifestyle involves making slow and measured changes to the way you eat and live.
Change by Degrees
Trying to make radical changes too quickly is a recipe for failure. If your body has been living on processed foods and getting no exercise for years, a radical change can throw it into what is known as a detox crisis. As you replace bad foods with good foods, your body starts to heal, and part of that is to dispose of the toxins that have built up over the years. If you make the changes too rapidly, too many toxins are dumped into your system causing what is known as “detox flu.” Slow, gradual changes will help you avoid this.
The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen
A better diet requires adding more fresh fruits and vegetables. Scientists have published lists of fruits and vegetables containing the most and least pesticide residue. The worst offenders are called “The Dirty Dozen” and you want to buy organics for those as much as possible. If you cannot afford to replace them with organics, then limit their use. There is another group called “The Clean Fifteen” that contains the least amount of pesticides, and are safer to eat without going organic.
Drinking More Water
Water intake is essential to flush toxins out of your body and keep your bodily functions operating normally. A common guideline is to consume your body weight in ounces of water every day, but you also get water from food, so 64 ounces of clean water a day is considered a healthy supplemental amount for normal activity. Caffeinated drinks cause water loss, so they don’t count toward your daily intake. In fact, it is recommended that you slowly remove caffeine from your diet.
Getting More Exercise
If you have not exercised in years, you need to start slowly. Begin with ten minutes of strenuous exercise a day. As you build up your endurance, increase that to 30 minutes a day. Walking is a great starter exercise that puts a minimal amount of stress on your joints and muscles. It’s best to walk outside where you can get your daily dose of sunlight, but if you can’t, a treadmill, mall walking and even walking in place are suitable alternatives. Exercise bands, with progressive strength levels, are a safe and economical way to start with calisthenics, because they allow advancement to more strenuous levels as you build muscle.
Stress is destructive to your physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Studies show that meditation relieves stress and can even boost immunity in some people. Meditation has been shown to help manage symptoms of diseases such as anxiety, asthma, depression, heart disease and high blood pressure. It has also proven effective in relieving chronic pain and promoting restful sleep. There are several different types of meditation, so find the one that works best for you and practice it for at least 30 minutes a day.
Changing your diet and lifestyle is a process that should be started slowly and built upon over time. A better diet, more exercise and meditation are just a start to a healthier natural and holistic lifestyle.
Todd Nelson, D.Sc. trained at the International Center for Natural Health and Medicine, graduating with both a Naturopathic Doctor degree and a Doctor of Holistic Health Sciences degree. Aside from heading the Tree of Life Wellness Center in Denver, Colorado as a naturopathic doctor, Todd is also a co-author of 3 books.
Photo Credits: Pixabay.com