8 steps towards a healthier you
A healthier you begins right this moment. Today I want you to get on the journey by adopting 8 principles which I will outline for you.
Step 1: A Positive Mindset
The way you begin your day tends to set the tone for the rest of your day. I strongly encourage you to get into the habit of making your first few minutes awake meaningful. Use at least 8 minutes to start your day engaging in, singing/listening to classical music, reading inspirational quotes, prayer, positive thoughts or self talks.
Step 2: Hydration
Remember that your body is 70% water and you lose some of that water every day through sweat, urine etc. Make it your goal to drink at least 8 cups (8 oz) of water each day. Your body will thank you for it!
Step 3: Nutrition
I have made this step easy for you with my 4+4 Diet Plan. Imagine your plate as being divided into four equal parts. Each time you have a meal one quarter should be raw plant food (e.g. salad), another steamed vegetables (e.g. broccoli, kale), another healthy carbohydrates (e.g. brown rice, sweet potato) and the other healthy protein (e.g. garbanzo beans, tofu). There are some foods that are making you sick such as fried foods, meats, fish, cheese, eggs, sugar, coffee, white rice, white flour and oil which must be eliminated from the diet or at worst, kept to 10% of your diet.
Step 4: Intermittent Fasting
This simple step can revolutionize your health! Simply choose 8 hours per day during which you will eat. For example 8:00 am- 4:00 pm or 9:00 am-5:00 pm. This will result in you fasting a total of 16 hours per day which will help you reach your weight loss goals and feel generally more energetic. Drink lots of water or unsweetened warm beverages outside of your eating times.
Step 5: Mood stabilization
There are many who don’t fully understand the benefits of getting outside into the fresh air and sunlight every day. Depression is at an all time high and in many cases there is a direct correlation to the amount of time spent indoors. I encourage you to get out into the sunlight everyday for at least 8 minutes and take a brisk walk. Your body and mind will thank you.
Step 6: Physical Activity
In addition to getting outside, some amount of physical activity is key for a healthier you. Our bodies were created to move and we need to allow our bodies to function in the manner they were made. Eight repetitions of 5 minute intervals of exercise routine daily is a great plan. This is how it would work, 4 minutes moderate intensity, 1 minute cool down. For example you can do 4 minutes of speed walking followed by 1 minute of walking at a normal pace. This may be repeated 8 times. You don’t need to get dressed and beat traffic to get to the gym for an hour if that’s not you. Just get out and move. That’s what is important.
Step 7: Disconnect
What do you usually do for those last few minutes before turning in for the night? Are you busy scrolling through social media or cleaning the kitchen? Slow down. Stop for a moment and use those last few minutes to disconnect form the technology and work and fill your mind with thoughts of gratitude. Forgive yourself and anyone who may have offended you and be at peace. It may be helpful if you kept a little journal to jot down your thoughts and blessings.
Step 8: Recharge
Sleep has so many benefits many are unaware of. In addition to helping you feel awesome; it also boosts your immune system and can help militate against weight gain. As a matter of fact, getting too little sleep is dangerous for your health. Aim to obtain 8 hours of restful sleep daily and try to be in bed before 11:00pm. A body that is stressed and tired is not able to heal and replenish itself. Allow tomorrow to take care of itself.
Start with Step 1 and begin implementing these steps for a healthier you. We’re also here to help you implement these steps. Visit us at the Cooper Wellness Center, 3604 N McColl Rd, McAllen, TX 78501 or give us a call at (956) 627-3106.
To your health,
Dr. Dona Cooper-Dockery, MD