Welcome to our first guest post! We're excited to hear from Alanna Waldron, a fellow RD and blogger, about her thoughts on other healthy habits that we tend to pick up from making healthier food choices. Check out her favorite healthy habits here and look up all her delicious recipes on her blog!
When you change your diet, it is very seldom that you don’t change other habits as well. Here are a few habits that I’ve picked up that surprised me, stemming from an interest in food. What really surprised me in grad school was how closely mental and physical health were related. Now I focus on both the physical aspects of my body like proper nutrition, exercise and good posture and the mental aspects of stress management in order to maintain good health. These are a few habits I’ve picked up to help balance a busy working life with my regular health practice.
1. Regular acupuncture – Stress management: Acupuncture is a Western medical protocol for focusing on correcting imbalances of energy in the body. Stemming from China, it modifies the flow of energy (qi or chi) throughout the body by inserting fine needles into specific body locations and pressure points. Acupuncture has many uses for health maintenance, including: anxiety, depression, digestive issues (nausea, IBS), pain relief (rheumatoid arthritis), migraines, Parkinson’s disease, and as rehabilitation for those who have experienced significant health battles.
2. Herbal tea: Less caffeine is good for preventing long-term exhaustion (adrenal fatigue). Peppermint tea is known as a great herbal remedy for stress and stomach upset. Benefits from drinking peppermint tea include: stress relief, sinus relief, weight loss, skin clearing, and stomach problems.
3. Vitamin D: Keeping ahead of disease and depression. During our adult working lives, it is possible that we don’t spend enough time outside despite living in a sunny locale. Have your vitamin D checked regularly by your doctor and supplement if needed. Low vitamin D has been linked to osteoporosis, depression, increased risk of cancer, decreased immune system, and many other health conditions. Experts recommend getting about 20 minutes of sunlight per day without sunscreen.
4. Get a standing desk: New research shows that sitting for more than two hours at a time can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, and risk of death. Try to take at least a five-minute break from sitting every hour.
5. Yoga/Pilates/Pure Barre: Yoga has so many health benefits, mentally and physically. There are so many ways to develop a yoga practice—in a studio, gym, or from home using DVD’s or YouTube. Prevents back problems, increases core strength and improves posture and stress response.
*Sources: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03065/Acupuncture.html, http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/5-health-benefits-drinking-peppermint-tea/, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005
Do you practice any of these? What are some of your natural habits?