In my early 20s I was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory condition that affects the intestines. Before I knew it, multiple prescriptions, discomfort and surgeries became the norm. Any major illness or life-changing occurrence tends to give people a wake-up call, and I was no different. I knew I needed to make some changes for better health, but wasn’t quite sure where or how to start.
Like most young women, I was extremely career-focused, working long hours, staying out late with friends, drinking too much and eating junk food like it was going out of style. I wasn’t all that concerned with my health and took for granted that it would always be there. I never truly grasped that what I was putting into my body was either fuel or poison, and the direct impact that had on my physical well being. I started researching and learning as much as I could about my illness and the mind, body, spirit connection, and I made a decision to take back control of my health to live a proactively healthy, balanced life.
In terms of physical health, the obvious area to focus our efforts is on the body. What we eat and drink, how active or inactive we are, and even what we put on our skin all contributes to our overall physical health. When many of us decide to get healthy physically, we make grand resolutions that involve completely overhauling our life. “I’m going to work out 6 days a week and go vegan,” we say. We bring a gallon of water and veggie sticks to work and do squats at our desks during conference calls. Our intentions, while true, don’t always end up working the way we imagined. Real life gets in the way of our health goals, and soon we’re promising ourselves we’ll do better next month, next year.
One of the most important things I realized in getting healthy was that it’s more successfully achieved in small, manageable increments. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Start by making a few key changes in your daily habits. Instead of removing things from your life, push things out with the ADDITION of healthier habits. The more small, easy changes you make, the less room there will be for unhealthy habits.
I’m excited to share a few of my body health hacks to help get you started in working toward a healthier you:
1. Purchase a Neti Pot. If you suffer from nasal issues, allergies, sinus infections or colds, a Neti Pot is great for keeping your system clear. Use it a few times a week, if not daily.
2. Use digestive enzymes. Like me, many of you may suffer from mild to moderate digestive issues. Consider using a daily digestive enzyme to help keep your gut healthy.
3. Take a probiotic EVERY SINGLE DAY! Adding a probiotic to your daily routine is easy and so beneficial. Make sure you take them if you’ve been prescribed any type of antibiotics in order to replenish your good bacteria.
4. Get physical. Add some type of movement to your routine and commit to a regular schedule of that practice. This can be as simple as a 20-minute walk, three times a week, or as much as 30-minutes of daily cardio. Whatever level you’re at, make the commitment to yourself and stick to it.
5. Invest in lighting to improve your mood. Light (or lack thereof), can have a significant impact on the way you feel in mind and body. Full-spectrum lighting companies offer compact units that can help to combat seasonal change and gently recalibrate your body, reducing fatigue and lethargy while improving focus and productivity.