One of the most important things we’ve learned in our two decades in health care is this:
Focusing on the foundationals is always the most important thing we can do to improve our health.
Good health is not something we have, it’s something we build and maintain.
Think of it like this: Builders put great care into making sure the foundation of a house is solid and strong before they begin to build upon it. Similarly, we can’t expect to build upon our health without having some basic foundations in place first.
These ten foundations will help cultivate the strong foundation your body needs to thrive.
1. Use Food as Medicine
Eat an unprocessed, whole foods diet. Focus on eating an abundance of seasonal vegetables, lean animal and vegetable proteins, complex carbohydrates, and seasonal fruits. Choose organic whenever possible. Minimize refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Our website has a plethora of recipes that you and your family will enjoy.
2. Stay Hydrated
Water is essential to keep our body functioning optimally. We get rid of most of our toxins through our urine, bowel movements, breathing and sweat. Aim to drink half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water each day. Staying sufficiently hydrated helps detoxify and flush out toxins from our body, ensures healthy respiratory, digestive and immune function, and maintains good energy levels.
3. Move Your Body
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health. The importance of exercise can be easily overlooked because the effects of not exercising aren’t as immediately obvious as the effects of inadequate eating, drinking or sleeping. However, movement is essential for a thriving body and mind.
Find an activity that gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster. Exercise outdoors in the sun and fresh air whenever possible!
4. Prioritize Sleep
Support healthy sleep patterns by waking and going to bed at the same time each day. Ensure that you are getting an adequate amount of sleep. Turn off electronic devices after sundown, as blue light interferes with melatonin production. Encourage relaxation by taking an Epsom salt bath, diffusing lavender oil, drinking chamomile tea, or by doing a meditation or breathing exercise to help calm the mind for sleep.
5. Manage Stress
While we can’t change what’s going on in the world, we can change the way we experience it. It is essential to understand your personal stress response and learn effective techniques to manage emotions such as anger, despair, guilt and fear. Utilize practices such as therapy, meditation, yoga, tai chi and breathing exercises to counterbalance the negative effects of stress on your body.
6. Decrease Your Exposure to Toxins
Over 60,000 chemicals have been introduced into our air, water, cosmetics, household products, and food in the last century alone. Recreational drug use, alcohol consumption and many prescription and over-the-counter medications place additional stress on our detoxification pathways.
Read our articles to help you choose natural home products, natural cosmetic products, non-toxic cleaning products, and learn how to create a non-toxic home. Consider investing in a humidifier, air purifier, and a sauna.
7. Foundational Supplements
Assuming there are no specific health considerations, we tend to keep supplementation simple. We recommend starting with the Foundational Four Supplements, to help support your foundational nutritional needs. Consider these the basic building blocks of your supplement regimen.
8. Be in Nature
Being in nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing. Time spent in nature helps our bodies stabilize their basic biological rhythms, including resetting our circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels, reduce nervous system arousal, enhance immune system function, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and improve mood.
Friends, family and social networks are vital to our health and well-being. Humans need hugs and touch. While one may have a full “online social life”, there is no substitute for physically being in each other’s presence.
10. Find Your Rhythm
Live at own pace. Find the routine and rhythm that works best for your body. Be intentional about what you allow to consume your attention. Consciously cultivate more positive life experiences and remove yourself from toxic situations and people whenever possible.
In order to maintain or regain our health, we have to stop living in our Sympathetic Nervous System (our fight or flight nervous system) where our body constantly feels like it’s in danger. Help your body to shift into living in your Parasympathetic Nervous System (our rest and digest nervous system) where healing and regeneration can occur.
Committing to working on these ten aspects of health can help you build a strong and resilient foundation. These days, making your health a priority may be more important than ever!