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Simple Steps to A Healthier You

Setting the Stage for Overall Health

“Little by little, a little becomes a lot.” -Kristin Boehmer

Our culture is fixated on health and wellness. Fitness programs, diet kits, and health club memberships have contributed to the steady growth of the global wellness industry, rising from $3.7 trillion in 2018 to $4.2 trillion today. This shows the desire for a well-balanced, vibrant, healthy life is prevalent in our world today. However, modern health and fitness fads can sometimes distract us from the facts. How do our bodies work? What do they really need in order to be healthy? Is it as complicated as it seems? In an ever-growing industry, how do we know what to believe?

Back to Basics

At a time of great technological advancement, doctors and nutritionists are advocating less for the new, state-of-the-art approach to nourishment, and more for the opposite. Health experts are urging people to return to our ancestral ways in order to heal the systems of our bodies. It’s unrealistic for all of us to become full-time hunters and gatherers, or to completely eschew all modern advancements in agriculture. Instead, we’re peeling back the layers, asking ourselves the important questions, and returning to the foundations of basic health – one step at a time.  As our favorite doctor always says, “Health comes from nourishment, avoidance, and detoxification.” - Dr. Jeremy Kaslow. The secret to healing and restoring our bodies is not some newfangled pill or technology. It lies in the basics of how our bodies have been structured since the time of our ancestors. To better understand, let’s look at five primal foundations of health; hydration, nourishment, movement, sleep, and stress management. It’s that complex, and it’s that simple!

    1. Hydration- As basic as this subject might seem, water is known to be considered the most important nutrient. We can survive weeks without food but only days without water. It enables toxins to be flushed out and body functions to operate properly. Water transports nutrients and hormones, improves oxygen delivery to the cells, supports digestion, lubricates joints, moistens oxygen for breathing, and improves cell communication. Symptoms are the body's way of signaling something is out of balance. If symptoms like low libido, painful PMS or menopause, fatigue, morning sickness, congested skin, dry eyes, sleeplessness, anxiety, and/or depression, constipation etc. are present, it's a good idea to address water intake as a possible connection.
    2. Nourishment- Picture your food as medicine. The closer we can get to nature, the better for our bodies. Nourishment is about more than what we are eating – it’s also about what we are not eating. One simple way to begin: avoid any grocery items with long ingredient lists. Over time, we will dive into the details of nutrition and what various ingredients mean in our foods. In the meantime, focus on whole foods that can be hunted or gathered. Remember, “The problem is that we are not eating food anymore, we are eating food-like products.” - Dr. Alejandro Junger.
    3. Movement- Think of your fitness routine as one of the pillars that contributes to a life well lived and body well loved. Fitness is so much more than being a hot body on the beach or an uber strong athlete. Historically, our ancestors moved constantly throughout the day, benefitting from the many physiological and psychological impacts of movement. Today, so many people spend their time seated at a desk, with movement almost entirely missing from their routine. What would it look like to commit to regular exercise? A raised heart rate contributes to detoxification of the body, increased metabolism, improved digestion, sharper brain function, and reduced risk of chronic pain and injury.
    4. Sleep- “You can think of deep sleep as the best life insurance policy possible,” says neuroscientist Matthew Walker. There is so much more to sleep than simply regaining energy. Consistent, deep sleep can improve the immune system, increase productivity, sharpen the memory, and help to maintain a healthy weight. Sleep is so important the rate of heart attack, suicide, and automobile accidents go up significantly with Daylight Savings Time. If the loss of one hour of sleep can have such dramatic effects, it simply goes to show the connection between sleep and our overall wellness.
    5. Stress management- Picture yourself walking down a dark hallway, and being startled by someone around the corner. What does your body do? It goes into overdrive; you lose oxygen supply for a moment, your heartbeat will race, and you may even feel faint. This shows us that stress is far more than an emotional condition. In fact, stress is very closely linked to our bodies and our overall organ function. The body is always working to maintain homeostasis (stabilizing the systems and processes of the body), and a stressor has the power to throw those systems off. This causes hormonal imbalance, fatigue, digestive issues and much more. 

Just like our four categories Health, Home, Haute, and Husbandry overlap and work together, these five pillars of health are also interconnected. The more properly hydrated we are, the more well nourished we’ll be, and the less we’ll likely crave junk food. The less junk we eat, the less we’ll have to detox from food-like products. When we do need to detox, our bodies will have the proper fluid to do so. When we move, we’ll be more energized, having propelled our detoxification process. We will get better sleep, which is also enhanced by proper nutrients and avoidance. When we pause to examine the way our bodies function and thrive, we see it’s both simple and complex to live a full and healthy life. There is no quick fix or magic pill, but rather a delicate cycle of balance, consistency, and intention. Think “whole-istically” in order to live holistically. 

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