Get Your Health in Check
Being healthy is not just about eating good food and exercising, sometimes it’s just not enough, so we need to look at the whole picture and focus on all aspects of our life. Listed below are the 6 principal foundations of health taught through the C.H.E.K Institute. These foundations look at all areas of health and work towards improving health and eliminating stress, disease and injury. In return you will feel fitter, more energetic and a better sense of overall wellbeing.
1. THOUGHTS: You’re a reflection of what your mind perceives
Thoughts lead to actions. Everything that you do will begin with a thought and every action that stems from your thoughts are positive or negative dependent on your state of mind. Your thoughts are more powerful than you realise, so be conscious of your thoughts and make them positive. This will be reflected in the direction you take with your success. This may not feel natural at first so start by recognizing negative thoughts and trying to find the positive side. Meditation is a great way to help you recognise your thoughts and perception, and to help you learn how to change these negative thoughts and find the positive.
2. BREATHING: Breathe with the belly
Breathing right is essential for optimum health. The average person should breathe about 14-16 times per minute which works out at about 20000-23000 times per day. Breathing is one of the most important things we do and without it we die within minutes. Most people however, don’t breathe correctly due to stress, poor posture and even sucking the tummy in to hide belly fat. Breathing techniques have been used for thousands of years in practices such as yoga, tai chi, chi gong and meditation to help heal and improve health. Scientific studies have shown that proper breathing technique helps the body manage stress.
3. HYDRATION: You are 60-75% water
Hydration is crucial for health and the water quality is just as important. Tap water and most bottled waters contain toxic chemicals, Chlorine and Fluoride being the main ones. Chlorine is added to kill germs and bugs but it will also kill the good bacteria in our guts which will put our immune system at risk as the majority of our immune system is governed by our gut health. Chlorine is also a known carcinogen which causes cancer. Fluoride is also added to supposedly help prevent tooth decay but it has been proven that it doesn’t when compared to countries that have banned fluoride in town water. The fluoride that is put in our water is a toxic waste product from industrial companies and has also been used as a pesticide to kill. The way to get good quality water is to use a filter such as a reverse osmosis which will remove the heavy metals and toxins but will also require remineralisation with a pinch of Himalayan sea salt or Celtic sea salt. Another option is bottled water which has come from an artesian source such as brands like Fiji or Evian. You should aim to drink your bodyweight in kg times 0.033 in litres.
4. NUTRITION: You are what you eat
We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat” but you may not be aware how true this is. Some studies show the human body has up to 100 trillion cells and every second, thousands of these cells die and are replaced by new cells made up of what you put in your body, so quality is key here. Would you like to wake up tomorrow and the cells in your eyes replaced by that toxic fast food burger or a healthy organic chemical free piece of meat or vegetable? Commercial grade foods are full of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, toxic additives, preservatives, flavourings and colourings. Animals are fed antibiotics, steroids, hormones, food that’s not part of their natural diet and this makes a very unhealthy animal or plant and you can only get health from a healthy source. Choose Organic, Free range and chemical free whenever possible. Food ratio, size and frequency is also very important. All meals should contain an individualised ratio of fats, carbohydrates and proteins in the right size and frequency for you as an individual to keep your blood sugar levels stable, hormones balanced and metabolism high.
5. MOVEMENT: Move more!
Your body is like a system of pumps, pumping blood, oxygen, nutrients, food and waste around the body and requires movement to function properly. Movement also stimulates the nervous system and musculoskeletal system which will improve strength, fitness, energy, bone density, circulation and digestion. The right type of movement is crucial to obtaining optimum health and will keep you away from injury or over stressing the body and leading to any number of ailments. The type of movement you need could range from energy building movements to help reduce stress such as tai chi or yoga to postural exercises and stretches to help realign the body into an optimal posture to move, through to resistance and fitness based exercises to help improve your life’s daily activities or sports. You may also need to do a combination of different types of movement to achieve your full health.
6. SLEEP: Sleep with the Sun
Our body is in rhythm with the sun and moon cycle (circadian rhythm) and releases different hormones accordingly to help us sleep and wake. The body physically repairs from around 9:00pm until 2:00am and then physiological repair from 2:00am until 6:00am. It is important to get 8 hours sleep during these hours for optimal health and recovery, so you should always try and be asleep before 10:30pm. Studies show the average life expectancy of a shift worker who doesn’t sleep during these night hours has an average of 10 years less than the average, even if they still get 8 hours sleep. We also need to be careful of what we do before we sleep at night e.g. bright lights will trick the body into thinking the sun is up and this disrupts your hormones which affects your sleep/recovery pattern.