How to Change Your Environment to Improve Your Health

The number of serious and chronic health issues facing children, individuals, and families continues to increase year after year. Some of these health concerns include an increase in diabetes, cancer, heart disease related diagnosis, mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, digestive disorders, obesity, and asthma, These health concerns affect not only our physical health, but just as importantly, our emotional and spiritual health. Important steps to better daily health includes advocacy, education, empowerment, and action. Taking control of your health is one of the greatest gift you can give yourself. By creating a healthy environment, you are creating the opportunity for overall wellness on many different levels.

Tips For Creating A Healthy Environment

  • What concerns do you have about your health or what goals have you set for yourself in terms of overall wellness? Keep a journal and make this a priority in your life. If you suffer from a medical condition, get your medical records and become your own advocate.
  • Look at the food you eat daily. Most people consume the Standard American Diet (SAD) that is composed of chemicals, preservatives, added sugar, “white” flour, unhealthy oils, GMOs, pesticide and antibiotic residue, artificial coloring and flavors, and more. The SAD is typically void of the proper nutrients our bodies require to sustain maximum health. Can you begin to make small changes each week to transition to a Green, Living, and Alkalizing Diet (GLAD)? Including whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, pasture raised meats, wild caught seafood, and healthier oils in your daily diet is important. Read labels and know where your food comes from. This also includes your beauty products and cleaning supplies. For example, the average women is exposed to 168 chemicals daily from her beauty products and most of these have never been tested for human safety.
  • Get the proper amount of sleep each night:

    School age children (6-13 yrs.) 9-11 hours per day

    Teenagers: (14-17 yrs.) 8-10 hours per day

    Younger adults: (18-25 yrs.) 7- 9 hours per day

    Adults: (26-64 yrs.) 7-9 hours per day

    Older adults: (65+) 7-8 hours per day

 Image Nomao Saeki

Image Nomao Saeki

Due to stress and increased daily demands, we are living in the sympathetic nervous system or the fight, flight, or freeze mode. In this state, our body is constantly releasing hormones to compensate. The parasympathetic nervous system, or rest and digest, is where we want to reside. Sleep is a very important process that assists our body in recovery and rejuvenation from the inside out.

  • Proper hydration is important. Drinking adequate water daily is essential for normal bodily function. Water intake can also include incorporating juicing, smoothies, teas, broths, and soups.
  • Get the body moving! Exercise is important for the lymphatic system and removal of toxins from the body. Develop a daily routine of getting some form of exercise.
  • Mediation/prayer is a great way to center and balance yourself in this fast- paced and stressful world.

So what role does your environment play on your health? Which of these tips do you plan on incorporating into your daily routine?

From Elizabeth DeRosa of Finding The Way Integrative Nutrition Health Coach & Author

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