Guest Post: Tips for Achieving Optimal Health

To anyone that knows me, it’s no surprise that I am in to healthy living.  I try my best to eat healthy, attend CrossFit regularly, and I truly believe in that whole concept that our body is our temple.  That’s why when Healthline contacted me about hosting a guest post for them, I jumped at the opportunity!  Please welcome Leslie Vandever, from Healthline, as she gives us her tips for achieving optimal health!

health465

**

Optimal health. What a concept! What would it take to be totally healthy in every way?

Well, we’d never be able to splurge on a super-sweet snack or stay up too late and deprive ourselves of a full eight healthy hours of sound sleep. We’d enjoy push-ups and jogging and never get depressed. Our posture would be perfect and we’d never carry a pound more or less than the optimum weight for our age, gender, height and build. We’d never, ever be plagued by a cold or the flu.

Actually, maybe “optimal health” wouldn’t be very much fun. Not very realistic, either. But there’s nothing to say that we can’t try. And so in the spirit of the late, great John Harvey Kellogg, who once said “Keep your feet on the earth and your head up, but not too high in the sky. Be humble,” let’s find out what we can do to be healthier.

Eat mindful

Developing healthy eating habits doesn’t take a diet book, just some common sense. Choose what you eat for each meal from the different food groups—vegetables and fruits, whole grains, protein from fish, lean meats, beans, or eggs, and finally, low-fat dairy products. Sugary foods should be reserved as a once-in-while treat, no more.

Drink six to eight coffee-cups full of water per day. Choose water instead of soda-pop when you’re out. Your body will function better if it’s well-hydrated.

Say no to highly processed and fast foods. They’re loaded with calories, salt, sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, and saturated fat. Instead, cook your meals fresh. Read the nutritional labels and know what you’re eating.

Get a yearly health exam

Your doctor will run tests and examine you to check several common health indicators, such as blood pressure, blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels. The idea is to catch problems before they start or catch them early, when they can be treated with the greatest success. By paying attention to your physical health, you’ll know what needs to be done to get closer to your “optimum health” goal.

Get some sleep

Sleep is vital. The average adult needs about seven hours of sleep every night for optimum health. How can you make sure you catch your Z’s?

  • Go to bed each night and get up each morning at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room with no distractions. That means no computer or TV.
  • If you’re having trouble “shutting your brain down,” try counting your breaths. When your mind tries to chase off on another tangent, gently bring it back to your breath and resume counting. Often, that’s all you’ll need to drift off.
  • If you still have trouble after trying the tips above, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to help.

Move that body

Humans were made to move. But today’s culture keeps many of us stuck behind a desk and, when we get home, too whipped to do more than watch TV or surf the Internet. What to do?

  • For five minutes, three times a day, stand up, stretch and do some gentle weight-bearing exercises with small hand-weights or resistance bands. Run in place or walk around the block, fast.
  • Next, add a brisk, 15-minute walk each day during your lunch hour.

If you do these exercises, you’ll be meeting the Mayo Clinic’s exercise guidelines for adults. It adds up to two-and-a-half hours a week of moderate exercise. Yay you! You’re well on your way to optimum health.

For more health information, click here.

Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer. She also writes a blog about living well with rheumatoid arthritis called RheumaBlog, under the pen-name “Wren.” In her spare time, Vandever enjoys cooking, reading and working on the Great American Novel.

References:

Can I Become “Un-Lost”? *Pretty Please*

I maneuver the car swiftly through the intersection as the water sloshes near my tires.  It hasn’t let up since I awoke this morning.  The thirty minute drive extends to forty on the river highway of 495.

“Where should I meet you?” I ask as she picks up after the third dial.

“Just pull into the garage,” she responds.

I find a spot quickly and put the car in park.  A quick glance in the rear-view mirror reveals disheveled hair and smudged eye makeup.  A sarcastic *perfect* mumbles out of my lips.  I grab for my purse as my phone buzzes loudly in the middle console.

I select the answer button, impatiently, assuming it’s her, but as another her’s voice grazes my ear, I realize my haste assumption.  “Hey mom,” I reply softly; my laundry list of to-do items scurry around disconnectedly in my brain.

“Hi sweetie,” she says.  “I read your latest blog post and you seem a little… disheveled.”

“Oh no, mom; I’m fine.” I respond.  “I just wanted to write about being in a blogging funk, since it happens to a lot of people.  That’s all.”

Since, you know, just because I write about being in a blogging funk doesn’t mean I’m actually in a funk…

Right?

untitled

**

This past week, The Nester challenged us to come up with an “un-word” for 2014.  An un-word is a word that you are rejecting for the year.  It is a word that you are not.  In fact, you would like to un-do it.

At first, I didn’t know what to write about, or if I would write at all.  Because me, with my disheveled hair, haste phone call pick-ups and blog posts about being in blogging funks – I mean obviously I am perfect.  Plus, I already wrote about my real word for 2014 – so why come up with an un-word?

But, as I tried to write this week and failed at that too, I realized that lately I’ve been feeling a little… lost.

I’m currently in limbo at work.

I’m intermittently attending the gym this month.

And, my blog is being… funky.

Suddenly, I discovered that probably the best possible thing that I could be doing is coming up with my un-word for 2014.  So, ladies and gentlemen, here it is…  For 2014, my un-word is lost.  As in, I would like to become un-lost.  Some of my life events (like work) are a little out of my control, but hopefully with a little more focus and concentration, I can improve my gym attendance, blogging lifestyle and, overall, get myself out of this little lost funk I’m in.  And, this will hopefully include letting you in on a little secret about this here blog too… Ooh foreshadowing!

Now, I’m off to go find my makeup remover….

*Have you been feeling funky lately?  What is your un-word for 2014?