If you’ve visited me often, you’ve probably noticed that periodically I like to share research and tips on taking care of our bodies and living a healthy lifestyle. Last October I wrote about Working For Wellness with information regarding how our diet, exercise, and even our attitude impacts our body and how well it functions. I included a Resource List with articles and recipes to help you stay fit.
Did you read the latest COVID-19 research indicating a link between low zinc levels and positive cases and death? No, it does not prevent or cure the disease, but a low level on hospital admission did correlate with a higher rate of death. More study is need. If you are not getting enough zinc, you can increase it through diet. Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain types of seafood (such as crab and lobster), whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products. If you take a multi-vitamin, check to be sure zinc is included. Stay tuned as research is being done around the world on this dreaded disease.
My interest in the latest scientifc research goes back before I ever wrote my first blog post, and in many ways was one of the reasons I started blogging. Most of us think of genes as the unchanging and stable part of us inherited from our ancestors. Back in 2016, one of my earliest posts, Wellness: Your Diet Changes Your Genes – You Are What You Eat, shared the fantastic research indicating that our diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices “mark” our genes and tell them what to do. I learned that genes, a part of the DNA molecule, have small chemicals that attach in a process called epigenetics. When they attach to genes, they ‘mark’ the gene. These complex chemical compounds tell the genome what to do, and the marked gene is sometimes passed on as cells divide. As we said in the 1960’s, you are what you eat. And what you do. And what you are exposed to. Poor diet, exposure to chemicals, lack of exercise and other lifestyle choices can mark your genes and turn on or off our weaknesses. This means more cancer, heart disease, or other health problems.
Today I am reviewing a few tips to remind us what we need to do. What prompted me to write about taking care of our bodies again? Staying home for months I have gotten out of my walking routine, and I physically feel the difference. At a time when I should be trying to get my body more fit to resist disease, I have weakened it. Somehow I lost a lot of my motivation by the 3rd month of quarantine. Well, I’m back and am working on getting stronger. My friend and I have pledged to start walking more.
Now let’s do a little review.
Commit to Daily Exercise & More Daily Movement
One practical tip for living a healthier lifestyle is to move more. Getting a workout is ideal, but if you don’t have time, then at least commit to moving your body often throughout the day. Did you know that prolonged sitting has been linked to 4% of all deaths? Sitting is the new “smoking”. Bustle has a great post with 9 Ways to Work More Movement Into Your Daily Life. Get up earlier, stretch more, walk more, cook more, stand up at least an hour, and just move. The more steps you get the fitter you’ll be, and better you’ll sleep at night. Have you tried yoga? Get a yoga mat and do stretches and get your body moving. I encourage you as the colder weather comes, to plan physical activities that gets your body moving but still stay within safe guidelines for the virus prevention.
If you need to lose a few pounds, the Mayo Clinic Diet provides a personalized plan with meal plans and recipes. You can track your progress with an interactive tool. The second requirement for healthy bodies is using your bodies and muscles in healthy ways. Boost your weight loss with exercise and fitness plans. Even if your weight is perfect for your age and body, Mayo’s tools, techniques, and tips can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle for life.
Take Care of Your Teeth
I’ve been putting off going to the dentist since March. Oral hygiene is an important part of the puzzle when it comes to your overall health and wellness. Poor dental care can lead to complications, such as periodontal disease. Inflamed gums can recede back and expose the roots of your teeth causing more tooth decay. Sometimes surgery is required to fix the periodontal disease. There is the traditional surgery and the latest technique of laser surgery. Take the time to find out which is best for you based on the details and recovery time of each option. To prevent gum disease, brush and floss daily and schedule regular dental checkups. My plan includes seeing the dentist before the end of the year. I’m not quite ready to sit in the chair with my mask off today but I hope to schedule an appointment for December. Cross your fingers statistics are better in 2 months.
Find Ways to Manage Stress
Two years ago, I covered several techniques to manage stress in my post, Want to Stress Less? If you just need a review, it’s a quick read on simple actions like belly breathing, aromatherapy, and hydration. You need to find a way to manage it so you can function to the best of your ability each day. Check out VeryWellMind’s tips to deal with stress for even more strategies. Then you can live a healthier lifestyle and feel more in control and emotionally stable. Don’t forget playing with your pet is on the list!
Eat A Rainbow
A good diet has many benefits, including improving your immune system. Last month I went into depth on a good diet with lots of colorful vegetables and fruit. If you’ve been bored staying in too much for the last 6 months, do resist the urge to eat too many salty/sugary snacks. It’s just too easy to open a bag of chips, drinks sodas, or get fast food take-out. I know it is. However, these types of habits can lead to poor health. Review your menu planning and try to eat a variety of plant-based food with less animal products. See A Good Diet For Your Immune System for more information and ideas.
Take Breaks & Get Plenty of Rest & Sleep
You may have a deadline and lots of work to do, but for your mental and physical health, take breaks. If you have an dip in energy in the afternoon, eat some energy balls, have a cup of tea, or take a walk outside to do deep breaths. Don’t forget that you need a full night’s sleep, to function at your best. Go to bed at a decent hour and practice a calming bedtime routine that relaxes you. You’ll be able to think clearer and make better decisions when you make rest and sleep a priority. See Self Care: Tips To Help You Sleep Better for more ideas.
I hope I’ve inspired you to include plenty of movement and a good diet in your daily schedule as we all strive to stay safe, healthy, and happy.
This was a collaborative post but the opinions are my own.
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