Now is a wonderful time to reflect and make plans for the New Year. And if 2021 did nothing else good, it did point out the importance of prioritizing our health with not only ourselves in mind, but also with the greater good in mind. With new variants continuously revealing themselves, finding ways to incorporate new (or old) healthful habits into the day-to-day is essential.
If you don’t know where to start, we have gathered our 11 top helpful (and health-full) blog posts of 2021 to optimize well-being in 2022!
As much as we were all hoping to have COVID-19 on the run by now, it is still very much with us, with the Delta variant currently taking center stage. As the virus grinds on, continuing to follow CDC guidance and local mandates, getting the shot, masking, hand-washing and social distancing are all a big part of the ongoing battle. What else can you do to keep this unprecedented menace at bay? Do everything possible to support your immunity and remember, you’ve got a tremendous amount of control over it.
With so many of life’s pleasurable activities having been severely curtailed recently, small wonder so many folks have had more than a few dietary slip ups, with biggies like too much sugar topping the list.
Here are some reasons why health and wellness genetic testing is a powerful tool that provides insights into how your unique body functions.
One often overlooked but extremely helpful health marker I encourage everyone to track is their heart rate variability or (HRV). Learning more about your HRV can give you a better picture of your cardiovascular fitness and your over-all resilience, as well as helping to steer you toward more health-supportive daily behaviors and lifestyle tweaks. Think of HRV as a sort of on-demand monitoring and feedback system for doing stuff that keeps you well.
When it comes to gut troubles that make you feel especially lousy, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) ranks pretty high on the list. IBS is basically a vague catchall phrase that offers no insight into what’s actually causing the symptoms. The struggle, however, is very real – think abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc. So, what lies beneath all this gut misery, that afflicts roughly 25 – 45 million people in the US alone? In my three-plus decades of experience, I’ve found that one of the most common culprits is an imbalanced microbiome.
Even with vaccines starting to roll out, everyone still needs to keep focused on what they can do for their own immunity. With more easily spread mutations unloosed and clusters and spikes still to be battled through, it will be months before the world can truly breathe a sigh of relief, if we’re lucky. Until then, your best immunity defense – whether you’ve had the shots or not – is to keep your gut in tip-top shape: to feed it, care for it and tend it like your life depends on it because it does.
If you want to live well longer, the classics of good sleep, good food, plenty of movement and relaxation are absolutely foundational. Building on that solid base, you can get a little more creative with this powerful anti-aging, vitality-enhancing health hack, cold exposure, incorporating brief periods of exposure to cold temperatures into your daily routine. Why? In simplest terms, it may help make you one of the physiologically youngest people you know!
Contrary to what you might think, I’m not against medications, but I am against their overuse – and we are a nation of over-users. Lots of people think pills are harmless: they may do some good, and well, the doc said to take an Advil and call him in the morning, so why not? I’ll tell you why not. Drugs, be they prescription or over-the-counter, unbalance the system by design.
An out-of-rhythm lifestyle can throw off the gut and your sleep. And an out-of-rhythm gut can throw your entire life off-kilter – and screw up your sleep to boot. Conversely, good gut health can facilitate good sleep. So, the better you tend to your gut, the easier it will be to fall asleep and stay asleep.
The biological laws that govern sleep are more potent than social obligations and work responsibilities, as well as the pharmaceuticals created to override them (we’re looking at you, Ambien). They were written back when our ancestors were living in caves and huts, waking with the sun, eating the plants provided by nature, and resting as darkness fell. Even if our lifestyles are quite different today, our DNA hasn’t changed all that much.
For years, I’ve encouraged my patients to cook at home as often as possible so you’re in charge of your healthy eating, the ingredients and most importantly, their quality. Even if you’re not Top Chef material, when you stick to fresh, whole, unprocessed, organic and farmers’ market offerings, it’s hard to go wrong. Unless that is, you’re cooking with the wrong oils. They can damage your health just as the right ones can enhance it, so it’s essential to select the right oil for the job.