This Article is About
good health
good posture
fruits and vegetables
proper diet
good sleep
breathing technique
everything in moderation
food groups
heart rate
7 Essentials To Good Health, And None Of Them Are Exercise
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7 Essentials to Good Health, And None Of Them Are Exercise

Ok, here is a scientific fact that we all should know. If you remove physiological stress from the body, it will heal itself. Here are 7 non exercises that will help you keep your stress low, and your natural health high. If you try any of these for even a short time, your body will be healthier for it.

1. Breath-Breathing is the single most effective way to improve your health. Immediate effects in heart rate, blood flow, metabolism, are all beneficial, as well as an increased sense of calm. The favorite breathing technique of those that I train is the “box” breath. Inhale, hold, and exhale for the same amount of time, say 5 seconds. Increase the number of seconds to your comfort level, and enjoy good, healthy results in less than a minute.

2. Good Posture- As a career Physical Therapist, I cannot emphasize this too much. Grandma was right when she said “sit up straight”. The essential cues of good posture are shoulders back, chin level, chest out, tummy in. Don’t get too technical with this; you could even imagine a string pulling your head and chest skyward. That will help you make Grandma proud as you “sit up straight”.

3. Good diet- Well we should all know by now, fruits and vegetables are the way to go, even if we may like cookies and ice cream. Everything in moderation is ok, especially in diet, but the top 2 food groups are undoubtedly fruits and vegetables. This particular “non-exercise” may have the most research proving proper diet absolutely promotes longer life and health.

4. Good Thoughts- This is my particular favorite in this list of 7. You see, the body does not know the difference between what you are thinking and what is actually happening. Olympic athletes that “ran the race in their minds”, actually fired the actual muscles in the exact sequence required for the event. Your body will take on the characteristics of your thought, so why not think of health, celebration, and success, rather than the alternatives.

5. Good Sleep- In today’s world, virtually everyone I know will tell me, they just do not have enough time for a good night’s sleep (8 hours being the gold standard). Now realize that a 20 minute nap will rejuvenate your inner and outer health. Make sure to get up after 20 minutes, or your biorhythms will become confused. It is possible for some to fit in 2 of these power naps a day, and enjoy the incredible health benefits of sleep, without necessarily sleeping longer hours at night.

6. Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water- Dehydration is a problem for all of us, and particularly those over 65. We are made of at least 75% fluids (some studies will say 90%), so this simple non exercise keeps us operating at peak efficiency. ½ cup each hour you are awake is ideal, and one bathroom visit that is completely clear will indicate your system is “flush”, and healthy.

7. Fast- even for short times, say 12 to 24 hours, regularly, (ideally 1x week)- Just imagine not taking out the garbage in your home for a week. Not a pretty picture. Same for our bodies, if we want them clean on the inside; we have to give them some time to clean out. 24 hours 1 x week is ideal, but even short 12 hour breaks will reap the rewards of better health.

The take home message here is you can achieve very high levels of health without being a workaholic in the gym. Keep your stress levels low, and your body will do what it was intended to do. The body was designed to be healthy, and self-healing. Consider (and actually try) any one of these non-exercises and you will be healthier, and hopefully happier. Good luck.


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