Enlighten Healthy Habits Part 1

A Healthier Lifestyle Is Just 10 Small Adjustments Away pt.1

Difficult as it may be, there comes a point where we all have to realize that it is essential for overall well-being to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Even with that understanding, many Americans will struggle with making the right choices that lead to adopting healthier habits. Around 53% of people asked in a nationwide survey admitted to not having a healthy lifestyle, and a considerable portion of people when asked, reported to feeling overwhelmed, by the noise in the wellness community, and just plain intimidated by the number of options available. Often leaving the individual without any idea where to start. Ultimately, they miss out on the motivation window that had them considering a change in behavior to begin with. In the next two installment of “Enlighten’s Living Lit” we will provide a comprehensive guide, highlighting the value of ten healthy lifestyle changes that can significantly improve your physical and mental health. The implementation of these healthy changes can propel you into taking control of your wellness journey so that you and your loved ones can live a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life–together. The time for change is now! I mean, after you read this. 1. Exercising Regularly Exercise is crucial when developing a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. This essential component to a healthy lifestyle is a truth that one has to accept, as a reality as real as death and taxes. But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Figure out what physical activity works for you. Maybe you want to do a class with a friend, which can also provide you with an opportunity for more social connection. If you are just starting out and have trouble getting yourself moving, that’s alright. A little goes a long way. With these types of lifestyle changes, consistent incremental change, eventually yields big results. This is not a race, unless that is the activity you choose. The best exercise for wellness is not weightlifting, CrossFit, or H.I.I.T. Rather it is the exercise that you will do. A small start is good, especially if you are progressively adding to it. A good initial goal to work toward, would be to incorporate at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense activity into your weekly routine. This can be achieved by breaking your workouts into multiple, manageable sessions throughout the week. Be sure to allow your body ample time to rest, allowing your muscles to recover between workouts. Incorporating Red Light Therapy before a workout session can allow for more energy, better performance, and improved flexibility. Having a Red Light Therapy session after workout can lower inflammation, accelerate recovery, and enhance muscle grownth. The benefits that regular exercise offers are quite numerous, including improvement of mood through increased serotonin production, weight management, and reduced risk of disease. Get moving! 2. Adjust Your Diet During the process of adopting a healthier lifestyle, the adage “you are what you eat” could not be more, true. Not all foods are of equal value and you can’t tell me all calories burn the same. For a balanced diet a person needs to prioritize eating foods rich in nutritional value such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains. There are many diet plan options to choose from like keto, carnivore, paleo, or you might even consider incorporating vegan or vegetarian meals into your diet to lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels. When making dietary changes, don’t forget to include healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and seeds, which are high in brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids. A good source of protein will also help with satiating hunger longer. Remember though again, small changes go a long way. So the initial returns, should be noticeable. When I first began my 100+ pound weight loss journey, my first dietary modification was to stop eating fast food all together. That lead to an almost immediate loss of my first 20 pounds. Doing regular Red Light Therapy sessions during this time helped my body to become a fat burning machine. After my initial dietary changes, I found that time restricted eating worked best for me. I also accompanied that with a high protein diet with very few processed foods. I give myself as the example to illustrate how I implemented some small changes that have led to me being 95+ pounds down and still going. Most importantly you need to figure out what works for you. Everyone is different and everyone should choose a nutritional plan that fits them best. Think of a diet not as a task to get you to a goal but rather as a means to adopting new long-term eating behaviors that will lead to the lasting benefits of a healthy lifestyle. 3. Sleep Quality Should Be A Priority A sign of good health is having the energy necessary to complete your daily tasks without being completely exhausted by them. For a healthy lifestyle you need restful sleep. It is common consensus that adults need seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night to promote overall well-being. Deprivation of sleep can cause various issues, including problems with memory, a weakened immune system, mood swings, and is linked to weight gain. Everybody’s body has a 24-hour cycle that dictates a person’s physical, mental, and behavioral changes. This cycle is called the circadian rhythm. It is our body’s response primarily driven by light and dark. You can regulate the circadian rhythm by doing some of the following suggestions. Establish a regular sleep schedule. Take in a lot of light as soon as you wake up. The sooner in the sun the better. Dim lights and stay away from screen glow for 2 hours before bed. For a better night’s sleep, you can also include Red Light Therapy, which has been shown to support the circadian rhythm. Remember to not drink caffeine to late into the day; its effects can be long lasting, making it harder to go and stay asleep. Allow yourself the time to sleep. There are not enough hours in the day, so don’t waste them fighting exhaustion. Remember you can’t make your dreams happen, if you are not allowing yourself to dream, so sleep tight! 4. Up Your Cardio: Kick Bad Habits Another thing to be considered when making changes for a healthy lifestyle. What habits are causing more harm than good in your life? I have found the reduction of alcohol consumption to be very helpful personally. Moderation is key for minimizing the risk of health issues down the line. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of diseases and early mortality. As well as will save you $10 a day. Which can be better used on newly acquired healthy habits like; going to the gym, yoga classes, Red Light Therapy sessions, etc.. Additionally cutting down on fast or ultra-processed foods, which are often laden with sugar, sodium, and saturated fats, which often contribute to chronic conditions. The above-mentioned habits are but a few of the myriad of unhealthy habits that one can struggle with. The point is getting them out of your way, through moderation or abstinence, so you can incorporate new ones that align with your current goals and values. Having had a problem at one point or another with every bad habit under the sun, I have a familiarity with how difficult it can be, and empathize with your apprehension, when it comes to letting old habits go. The unfamiliar is scary and most of the bad habits we acquire are to comfort us. In order to have a healthy lifestyle, you must embrace sacrificing comfort for change. 5. How Can I Manage ?!: Stress Management There are more adult Americans reporting having stress related health issues than not. Approximately 76% of Americans, according to a 2022 article published by The American Psychological Association reported to having impacted health from stress. The health consequences of chronic stress, that is stress lasting weeks or longer has many short and long-term health consequences ranging from headache, depression, and hypertension. In reality the list could on and on. The truth is that there is no way to live without stress in your life, it has both built in utility for us to thrive, as well can be a detriment to how we survive. For instance, the stress of learning something new is a positive stress we go through that helps us to develop. Chronic stress, however, can lead to a wide range of physical and mental health issues. There are things that should be carefully considered when managing stress. Identify the stressor. Is it necessary for you to take it on? Does it move you towards your goals? Add value in some way to your life? Or are you doing it for you, or to please others? These questions can begin to provide some insight of what you should be asking yourself. If you have come to answer your questions, with an emphatic, YES, you will need to figure out the best way for you to manage that stress. When stress is taken on, voluntarily or non-voluntarily, there is a need to find stress management techniques that work for you. Practice stress management techniques to reduce cortisol levels. Utilize meditation apps or breathing exercises to integrate mindfulness into your daily routine. Get in touch with nature. Maybe it’s a combination of things like a morning walk, afternoon yoga, and a night at the Bingo Hall. What matters is that it helps you reduce stress. Only you can figure that out. I know regular Red Light Therapy sessions helps me to keep everything in balance. Red Light Therapy helps by reducing cortisol and enhancing mental wellbeing by boosting serotonin. Half-Time Reflection: I know it’s a lot and we are only halfway through. Remember it is not necessary to make all the changes at once. All you need is to pick one change and start small and be consistent. Think of it as eating an elephant. You will eventually eat it, if you take it, one bite at a time. Consistently one bite after another until there is no elephant left in the room. Be advised, it is not recommended you start from the end like hyenas do. So, until next time, I leave you with this. The only thing in life that does not change is that change is a constant. Are you going to be the change? Want to get started with Red Light Therapy with us? Click here to book now: Shop – Enlighten Red Light Center (redlighttherapycenter.com)

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