ARTICLES . . .
5 Simple, Daily Actions to Maintain Health - by Dr. Jewel Sommerville
Maintaining health can seem a daunting task when piled on top of maintaining our job or profession, maintaining our car, maintaining our hair color, maintaining our home, maintaining our children’s schedules, maintaining our friendships…
However, there are some simple, basic steps we can take to better maintain ourselves (mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually) which will, in turn, actually help us to better maintain all of the other maintenance lists we keep in our lives!
Here are some simple steps you can take on a daily basis to face the trials of life with increased strength and resolve:
1) Eat more Serotonin-Rich Foods - serotonin is one of the “feel-good” drugs our body naturally produces (prescription drugs like Prozac work with serotonin, for example) but many of us produce too little, especially if we are eating a low-nutrient, processed food diet. Foods such as: chicken, turkey, quinoa, lentils, yogurt, kidney beans and salmon naturally give us more of this feel-good chemical.
2) Take Vitamin D in the Winter Months. Vitamin D boosts the immune system, not only warding off colds and flu but also inhibiting the development of autoimmune diseases and cancer. Vitamin D boosts mood, reduces inflammation and pain, reduces the risk of high blood pressure and regulates both calcium and phosphorous in the body.
3) Go Outside!! Sunlight plays a major role in our mood – make an effort, especially in the winter months, to get a minimum of 15 minutes sun exposure daily!
4) Breathe into Your Belly. Deep breathing (which means the belly rises when you inhale and falls when you exhale) calms us, helps us to think more clearly and make good decisions, decreases anxiety and improves sleep PLUS it burns fat.
5) Daily Dedicated Movement – this means 30-60 minutes of movement – whatever kind you like: walking, dancing, swimming, hiking, biking, roller skating… Whatever you like, vents stress and brings you joy, peace, calm… We burn cortisol (stress hormones) when we move, not to mention strengthen our heart muscle, increase lung capacity, calm the mind and boost our mood.
They are simple habits but their effects are profound when practiced as a part of your daily maintenance plan.
Here’s to maintaining your health with grace and ease in the new year and always…
Jewel Sommerville, D.Ac., Holistic Health Rhode Island, Ltd.
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