1 . Increase Water Intake

Get a water bottle that has a measure on it, install an app that reminds you to drink water at timed intervals, drink 1-2 glasses of water first thing in the morning. Try to drink water away from meals so that your digestive enzymes can work more efficiently. Drink warm or room temperature water so that you system doesn’t get a shock as it would if you drank cold water. Coffee will dehydrate you, so for every cup of coffee you drink, you need to drink 2 cups of water. Herbal teas are okay to count as water intake but not black teas, as they contain caffeine as well. Increase your water intake gradually by 4-8 oz per day. Check out this website to find out how much water your body needs. https://www.h4hinitiative.com/tools/hydration-calculator

2. Increase Daily Activity Levels

You don’t have to be involved in programmed exercise, just increase the amount you move daily. Walking is known to be the safest and most effective form of exercise. The key is to make sure you are walking with correct form and technique. Most of us have altered gait patterns that can be due to many factors. Here are some correlating factors; old injuries, learned behaviours, bad habits, sleeping and sitting patterns, work related patterns, surgeries, sports specific movements, etc.

Learn more about correct gait patterns at our first workshop on May 25th at 12pm. Please call Mindy at (416) 576-7837 for more information and to RSVP.

3. Increase Your Daily Intake of Fruits and Vegetables

There are a number of fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. Try to increase the number of fruits and vegetables you consume every day. Did you know that tomatoes and cucumbers are classified as fruits? These both have a high water content as does any melon, particularly watermelon…obviously. Celery, zucchini and mushrooms also have a high water content. By increasing your fruits and vegetables, you automatically increase the amount of fiber you are ingesting. Fiber is important for the digestion and elimination process. Fiber helps to regulate your gut bacteria, it removes toxins and waste products and improves elimination.

Sounds like a 2 for 1 deal to me!

4. Breathe

You’re probably thinking, ‘But I breathe all the time’. On average we only use about 1/3 of our lung capacity. This means we have oxygen deficiency which can lead to fatigue, lack of concentration, decreased sleep levels, inefficient organ function (specifically of the digestive system), decreased immunity and so on. The act of breathing deeply affects us on so many levels, it’s a wonder we don’t do it more.

Deep breathing involves activating the diaphragm to expand and contract. This action works like an internal pump for the digestive system that sits below it and for the lymph system that is closely interrelated to the lungs above it. Thus our digestive system works in harmony with the normal pushing and pulsing action (peristalsis) of the stomach and intestines that occurs each time we eat. It also increases your immunity levels by moving the lymphatic fluid through the body through both deep breathing and exercise.

Deep breathing also has an added bonus. It calms the nervous system down and is an automatic de-stressor. Try this 1-3 times a day. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through the nose. As you breathe in, count to 4 and see if you can expand the breath into your belly, out to the sides of your ribs and up to the top of the chest. Exhale slowly out of your mouth and take another slow count of 4 to release the breath. Do this 8 – 10 times (or 2 – 3 minutes) and visualize your breath entering and escaping your body. Try to keep your focus on your breath during this entire time. Your goal eventually is to make your exhales longer than your inhales and to increase the amount of air you can take in with each breath.

5. Sleep Well

Here are a few proven tips to help you sleep better. Try to keep away from devices and electronics at least one hour before sleep. Keep your room as dark as possible. Find something relaxing to do before going to bed (ie/ listening to music, reading a book, meditate, light stretching, deep breathing, etc). Keep your phone at least 6 feet away from your head so that EMF’s don’t interfere with your brain waves that may affect your sleep. Try to eat your last meal at least 3 hours before sleeping. Avoid drinking fluids 1½ to 2 hours before sleep. Using lavender essential oil on your pillow will calm you and improve the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Do about 5 minutes of deep breathing before you fall asleep. If you have trouble calming your mind, try listening to calming meditation music and do some deep breathing. Enjoy catching your Zzzzzz’s!

If you are already doing some these, GREAT JOB! If not, implement only one of these changes at a time. Take at least 30 days to create a new habit before implementing a new habit. Making healthy lifestyle changes can take a lifetime. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If you fall off don’t sweat it, get back on again and keep trying. Eventually, it will become a daily habit.

Slow and steady wins the race to health and longevity!

Five Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle