Total Nutrition Technology
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

By: Nate Questelle - TNT Health Educator

Being healthy doesn't need to be difficult. These are 6 simple rules we should all be aiming for for optimal health:

1. Sleep Better.
This is when your body recovers from all the stress you have put it through during the day. Especially during Deep Sleep, muscles and tissues are rejuvenated and new cells are regenerated during this phase of sleep. Sleep deprivation can also inhibit the production of hormones and offset their effects on the body. If you are not getting at least 7 hours of restful sleep per night, most of your efforts with diet and exercise are going out the window.

2. Clean up your diet.
EAT REAL FOOD It is as simple as that. What is real food? Food that is not overly processed. If there are ingredients on the label that you can not pronounce are have no idea what they are…good idea not to eat it. Choose whole, nutrient dense food. You can choose these by, first off, shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store. This is the Produce section, Breads (whole grains, in moderation), Meats (Beef, Chicken, Pork, Fish), and Dairy/Eggs (Eggs, Cheese, Milk or Almond Milk (if no nut allergies), Yogurt, and all natural butter(choose grass fed or pastured when possible for all dairy, eggs, and meat) Look for GOOD FATS. Olive Oil, Avocados, Nuts, Coconut Oil, etc…

Basically if “food” can sit on a shelf without refrigeration or being frozen and not spoil or rot…leave it alone!

3. Increase Water Intake.
Choose filtered water whenever possible. The less Chlorine the better, and shoot for half your body weight in ounces. Example: You weigh 200lbs you divide in half 200/2 = 100…so try and drink 100 oz. per day. Our bodies are almost 60 % water. We use water for temperature regulation, nervous system protection, cushioning joints, keep skin moist, and rid the body of waste. Even mild dehydration can have significant effects on you. Two noted side effects are fatigue and feeling of hunger…two things you definitely do not want while trying to exercise and manage your weight.

4. Walk outside, often.
Straightforward. Shoot for 30 minutes per day. Work up to this if just starting out. Vary your terrain and your speed to challenge yourself. The benefits of walking are numerous ranging from improved cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and reducing risks of certain cancers, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis…just to name a few. It is also a known endorphin releaser that helps elevate your mood and just make you feel better…we can all use that.

5. Stress Management and Social Engagement.
Again, straightforward…manage your stress or it will manage you. A certain amount of stress is OK and can actually be a good thing. It is a Motivator, when you have that deadline at work or you are cramming for a test. It is also a Cognitive Enhancer. Studies have shown it aids in memory and recall. Finally, it gives us that adrenaline surge when in danger to save ourselves. But long term or chronic stress, left untreated can lead to a whole host of health issues from the initial tense muscles and head aches to the far end of the spectrum of stomach ulcers, heart disease, and cancer. Stress is also hard on your digestive system, as it affects which nutrients your intestines absorb, influences how quickly food moves through your body, and can provoke you to eat more or less than you normally do or should. Researchers also find that people with strong social connections have less stress-related health problems, lower risk of mental illness, and faster recovery from trauma or illness. All of us need other people in order to be well and thrive.

6. Resistance Training.
Lift something heavy at least twice per week. The benefits of resistance training are right up there with walking. Protects bone health and muscle mass, makes you stronger and fit, improves body mechanics, boost metabolism, helps prevent disease and again elevates mood!

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