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  • Sharon Cole

Top tips for staying healthy



I am all about supporting you on your health and wellness journey, but sometimes we can feel a little under the weather, our immune systems need a boost and we lose that spring in our step that allows us to enjoy life to the full.

There are many reasons why you might not feel your best; you may not be exercising as much as you’d like, you may want to lose a few pounds, or you may not be sleeping very well – or all three.

Staying healthy should be a lifestyle choice, not an occasional fad or quick fix. When you balance the mind and body, tuning into to what you need to nourish your physical and mental wellbeing, your energy levels increase, and your daily habits change, and you don’t want to go back to your old ways.

Here are my top tips for staying healthy

#1 – Natural Remedies

“The more you can avoid putting anything unnatural into your body, the better”

I know we are told that many tablets are safe and that pesticides are needed to protect our food crops, but the body cannot recognise these substances and doesn’t understand how to process them, overloading the liver and making us feel sluggish. Using natural products either on or in the body whenever possible, is a much better alternative.

If you have a headache, the chances are you ate something that doesn’t agree with you, you are stressed, or you are carrying tension in the muscles around the shoulders, neck and head. If there is no one around to give you a massage, you can ease some of the pressure points yourself, or have a cup of relaxing herbal tea. Going for a walk in the fresh air can do wonders for stress and muscle tension too.

#2 – Breathe deeply

“Look for something beautiful that nature has provided.”

Every cell in your body needs oxygen to survive, so breathe deeply. Make sure you get as much fresh air as possible and take time to breathe. If you live in a town or work indoors, seek out the local green space and make a quick walk part of your daily routine.

As you walk, focus on your breathing and take in the environment around you; notice the trees and flowers, on sunny days, feel the warmth on your skin, if it's raining, imagine the rain washing your stress away. Take some really deep breaths from your stomach, allowing your body to relax and de-stress.

#3 – Eat real food

For your body to become the well-oiled machine you desire, you need to fuel it the right way. Overly processed food is hard to digest and has little nutritional value. To make the changes you need, focus on the basics and keep stuff really simple. This means easy-home cooking that you can do around a busy day, working late, or running after the kids, without resorting to the quick and easy junk foods.

By making better food choices, energy becomes a by-product. Eating good wholesome food is a win-win as you will look better, live better, and most of all, feel better.

#4 – Try alternative remedies

As a therapist, I like to practice what I preach, and I am rarely sick. When I do get the odd cold, I usually recover quickly. For me, staying healthy means taking daily supplements and exercise, as well as regularly receiving Reflexology and massage therapy.

Alternative therapies work on treating the body holistically, understanding your own body chemistry, listening to your body when it starts to complain and knowing what works for you. The difference between traditional therapies and modern medicine is that you don’t wait until you are ill to see someone. You keep your body in the best possible health so that you avoid being sick in the first place.

#5 – Cut down on your sugar

We all need the odd treat now and again – just not sweet ones! There is much research out there that shows you how bad sugar is for your body and your immune system. The problem is, it’s highly addictive too.

Learn to make swaps that make you feel like you are rewarding yourself but in a healthier way. Learn to love dark chocolate, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds. Use honey or agave syrup on yoghurt or porridge, and keep non-sugary snacks with you to keep temptation at bay. I usually snack on fruit and nuts, and always have raisins in my bag!

“After a while, you will find you are no longer craving these foods that you have been avoiding.”

#6 – Drink lots of fluid

“Keep your body well hydrated and clear of toxins.”

It’s important to drink plenty of fluids as the body needs the intake for clearing toxins and staying hydrated. According to FatigueAnswers.com, when we are dehydrated, the body ends up having to direct blood to working muscles rather than the skin, and the body is unable to diffuse heat. The internal temperature of the body is what makes us feel tired and sluggish. It can also cause brain fog and headaches. Don’t make your body work harder than it has to!

Tea and coffee are diuretics, causing salt and water to be expelled as urine, and adding milk takes the cleaning effect of the liquid away. Water and herbal teas are the answer.

There are so many amazing herbal teas out there these days that you are bound to find one you like. Try to drink up to four pints a day, but you may want to reduce this a couple of hours before bed so that sleep isn’t disrupted with frequent trips to the bathroom!

#7 – Keep fit

My clients know how much I love the gym and running, but not everyone is a fan. Finding your own way of keeping fit can be of great benefit; everybody is different and requires different levels of fitness to maintain optimum health. Your heart and bones, in particular, need regular exercise to stay strong.

Swimming is an excellent overall exercise, as are walking and dancing. Even a short burst of 10 minutes brisk walking is known to increase mental alertness, energy and positive mood states.

Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that combines movement and relaxation is beneficial for both body and mind. In fact, it's been called "meditation in motion." Classes are offered at various levels, which makes tai chi accessible, and valuable, for people of all ages and fitness levels.

#8 – Get plenty of sleep

“Very few things make you look and feel better than a good night’s sleep.”

We all need a good night’s sleep to stay fit and healthy. Sadly, a large number of us have difficulty with sleeping for the optimum amount of time each night. Insomnia usually has an underlying cause, so it may be worth a visit to the GP or trying alternative therapies such as massage, reflexology or NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) to sort any health issues.

Keeping regular sleep-promoting night-time habits can go a long way toward helping you consistently get more high-quality sleep. One great way to purge your body of stress so your mind can relax is to learn progressive muscle relaxation and deep muscle relaxation techniques.

Meditation is also a proven tool to relax your body and quiet your mind; it can easily transition you into sleep.

Nothing looks as good as healthy feels

Sharon Cole

Plus: Ideas for healthy snacks

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