The Naturopathic “Basics”
Sometimes we all need a little reminder about the simple things we can do to prevent illness and illuminate health naturally. Here are what I like to call “The Basics.” I have to remind myself to do them every day!
Get enough sleep! Most adults need between 7-9 hours per night. Remember that if you don’t get enough sleep one night you need to “catch up” that sleep in the next few nights. Also practice good “sleep hygiene” – don’t have a TV or computer in the bedroom, sleep in a dark room, remove all your EMF emitting devices from your nightstand. Go to sleep before midnight! Nap to tolerance.
Sip throughout the day, don’t let yourself get thirsty. Aim to drink about a cup of water each hour. Half your body weight in ounce total each day.
Conscious deep breaths return the body to a parasympathetic state (rest and digest). By taking deep breaths, we tell the body to turn off the cortisol stress response, we improve the function of our lungs, we keep our arteries from getting clogged. And if we use the breathing time mindfully, it resets our brains as well. I recommend either deep belly breaths or left nostril breathing at least three times a day.
Exercise & Movement
The benefits of exercise cannot be overstated. Balance between weight bearing and aerobic. Find a schedule that works for you. Current recommendations are exercise at a moderate activity level for 30 minutes 5 times a week, or strenuous activity level for 20 minutes 3 days a week.
Nature & Fun
Spend enough time outside to aquire Vitamin D without getting burned. Breathe clean fresh air. Do something fun every day! Laugh more: laughing boosts your immune system, stimulates your endorphins which reduce pain, and protects the heart. Hug your friends, family and pets.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Aim for at least 5 servings per day, and ideally eat 7-10! A serving of raw leafy greens is one cup, for other vegetables (and cooked greens) it’s half a cup. A fruit serving is also half a cup, and most of the time a single piece of fruit (one apple, one banana) is one serving. Consider snacking on fruit (with a protein), making smoothies (fun for the kids too), eating a big salad for breakfast, etc.
There is growing evidence that people who perform acts of kindness throughout the day experience less social anxiety.