Happy Spring to all of you Bluenoser’s!
Are you ready to optimize your health so that 2017 can be your BEST year yet? Get excited – because these tips are a) easy and b) worth it to kickstart your spring.
Consider an Oil Change
And not just for your car because it’s time to seriously rethink your fear of fat. Fat is what makes your brain run, it’s what helps your nerves communicate with each other, it is the building block for hormones and neurotransmitters, and is the key component of your cell membranes (read healthy arteries, veins, skin and digestive tracts). It is essential for optimal health.
But not all fat is created equal, and we need to incorporate more healthy fats and less (or ideally none) of the unhealthy fats. In superhero terms, the good guys – omega-3’s, polyunsaturated fatty acids and medium chain triglycerides (in lower amounts) – ward off chronic disease and support your heart. They can help decrease your total inflammatory load (helpful if you’ve got aching joints), lose that waistline fat and fire your metabolism, not to mention support your mood.
Need a boost? Eat small, cold-water fish twice a week, and add some nuts and seeds into your diet, as well as an avocado 2-3x/week. Coffee lover? Boost your brain with my favourite add-in to my morning coffee.
Take a Detox
And I don’t mean from food (though if you’re looking for an easy way to set yourself up some healthy habits check out my 21day Teatox). I’m talking about a technology detox.
Social media can be distracting, and it can lead to anxiety and even feelings of loneliness. And although I’m very grateful for technology you need to power it down every so often. Elevated cortisol (a stress hormone), headaches, isolation, weight gain and fatigue have all been associated with higher levels of technology use.
So start by powering down all electronics at least one hour before bed, because we need to minimize unnecessary exposure to have a positive benefit on our minds and our body. And for goodness sakes, don’t put your phone on your bedside table.
Spice Up Your Life
Add flavour to your favourite foods and drinks but maximizing the herbs and spices in your life. Cinnamon has been shown to curb inflammation; caraway, fennel, ginger, peppermint and chamomile are fantastic for soothing your tummy troubles and oregano can optimize your immune system. PLUS, herbs and spices add different flavours to food without adding extra calories, which can mean less sugars and salts added to your food.
Take a Breather
Do you feel rushed of overwhelmed during your day to day? This is something we’re all too familiar with in our modern lives. We automatically default to auto-pilot mode in order to get through our day, which takes us away from our experiences. Eventually, we because disconnected from the things and people that bring us joy.
You google stress and anxiety and a million and one results come up with mindfulness, yoga, stress-relievers and even boxing (I checked) as ways to combat this. I like a simpler approach; to take a quick 5 minute breather every hour to reset your system. Pay attention to where you are, what you’re seeing, what you’re listening to and non-judgmentally appreciate the present moment.
Try downloading something like headspace to help get you started.
Move Your Butt
We’re meant to move, and with that, the health benefits of regular movement are difficult to ignore. Besides keeping your metabolism running and building muscle, exercise gives you endorphins (which boosts your mood and your energy!). It can even improve your sex life. Start by moving on something you like to do. Maybe it’s Zumba, swimming laps or heading out for a walk with your dog.
Want to take your health to the next level? Optimizing your performance is all about individual care. It’s understanding how your organ systems, your brain and even your DNA all link together. It’s about ensuring your health is working for you, not against you. I’d love to chat with you about how we can work together to help you make your mark on the world.
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Dr. Ashley Margeson, ND is a performance optimizer and brain health expert who works with movers & shakers, entrepreneurs and professionals to ensure their health works for them, not against them. She has practices in Upper Tantallon, Bridgewater and Yarmouth. You can contact her clinic directly at 902.820.3443 or see her availability here