Recovering from the holiday hangover: Sleep, think, move, and eat towards a healthier you
Beginning a new year causes people to fall into one of two major groups. The first group feels a huge let down after the holidays. They find themselves exhausted, stressed, and generally overwhelmed with the looming dark and cold days ahead.
The second group recognizes that it is time to take control of their life and get back to health. Whereas the holidays were fun, they understand that something has to change in their health or things are going to get bad – or worse.
Regardless of which group you fall into, know that even small changes in your daily routine can have huge benefits in improving your current and future health.
(Side note – if you are already living a healthy lifestyle, there may be some simple additions below that can help keep you on track!)
The path to recovering from the holidays begins with how you sleep, think, move, and eat.
Let’s start at the beginning – sleep! Most people require 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep. This allows the body to recover from the day’s activities and prepares the body for the next day. In addition to the amount of sleep, a consistent sleep schedule is also extremely helpful in minimizing your risks for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
As important as sleep, if not more so, is how we think! What is your “Big Why?” Meaning, what is your major motivation for wanting to be healthy? For some it could mean being around to mentor grandchildren. Others may be inspired to do mission work in the community or abroad. It should be something that has a deep meaning to you that will pull you through the tough times ahead as you make changes in your daily habits.
Movement is a complex topic all by itself! Obviously the first thought is toward exercise – and this is a good thought, but not the most important. Proper spinal movement is critical for optimum function of the body. Research has shown that proper spinal movement can directly affect brain function. It is not just enough to be able to touch your toes, it is about each bone in your spine being able to move correctly. Getting a spinal evaluation by a chiropractor is a great way to begin the new year. If you have never been to a chiropractor, we welcome you to the natural health world!
Lastly, what you eat is important. Some say that proper weight is 80% of what you put into your mouth. So, choose wisely! Cutting back on sweets, breads, and alcohol are obvious places to begin. But remember that many fruits and starchy vegetables can also negatively affect your weight. The proverbial “elephant in the room” when discussing nutrition is to address eating things that are not food. There is no junk food and health food. There is only junk or food! Think about it. If there is a ‘health food’ section at your grocery store – what is the rest of what is being sold? Let me just leave it there…
Perhaps the most important thought to leave you with is ‘grace.’ Give yourself permission to not be perfect as you work to make changes in your daily habits. But also hold yourself accountable to get back on track ASAP!
You have all the tools you need to start making changes to your future – now get started!
Dr. Dan Miller has been serving the Beaverton area since 1992. He has long held the belief that good health begins before birth. As a certified member of the ICPA, he has worked with thousands of parents and children over the years. For more information, visit his website at: www.BeavertonFamilyChiropractic.com