Tips to stay healthy

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In the last two years I didn’t get sick. Only three times I had pains because of the body response due to physical strain. Working on changing habits and making better food choices has changed my lifestyle.

More than a year ago, I read a book called “The balance within: The science connecting health and emotions.” presenting the mind-body connection and explaining how the immune system works. I’ve realised that to some extend, most of the things goes down to our every day choices.

Each day we can choose to take care of our body & mind and always keep improving on who we are. I personally wanted to make science more practical and apply it to every day life. This is what really worked for me:

1.Food

Food is our fuel and the medicine we need over a lifetime. Become aware about your food choices and always keep improving.

  • Must eat

Eat more garlic. In addition to boosting the immune system, it’s anticancer and antimicrobial against a variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. 

Chilli peppers are another great source of nutrients that could bring multiple benefits such as losing weight, lowering the risk for Types 2 Diabetes, reduce inflammation, boost immunity and create cardiovascular benefits. They contain a substance called capsaicin, a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes.

I eat bee pollen every morning and instead of sugar I have natural honey.  A tablespoon of honey has more carbohydrates and calories than granulated white or brown sugar.

  • Tea

I love tea and drink it regularly.  A long list of medical plants contain chemicals that enhance the immune system activity including echinacea, ginseng, rosemary and oregano. Chamomile, linden and thyme, considered a natural antibiotic, can be easily find in nature. 

  • Raw food

Key ingredients don’t survive cooking. Eat more raw food if possible. I challenge you to eat the veggies as they are. And try to grow your own food at home. So far in “my garden” I have – spicy peppers, parsley, lovage, onion and garlic.

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2. Adapt to lower temperatures  

Always keep a fresh air where you live, rest or work. The science says that sleeping in a temperature between 18 to 20 degrees allow your body to release more melatonin, one of the best anti-aging hormones.

In a 4-month study, it was determined that sleeping at an average temperature of 19, not only burned more calories while awake, but the amount of “brown fat” (or good fat) in the body increased. Brown fat allows your body to burn calories, not store them. Together, this could help lower the risk for metabolic diseases like diabetes over time.

I sleep at 19 degrees during the winter and I always use cold water after sauna. At home, the water for showering has no more than 40 degrees (also during the winter) and has been years now since I use cold water for my face, hands and even feet. 

3. Spend time outside

Spend time in nature. Go out for a walk, run, hike, ride your bike, swim in a lake, walk in the park, or do whatever makes you feel good but do it outside!

This year I used my bike as a public transport during the winter. Sometimes where I live, the temperature goes down to -15 degrees.

Research reveals that environments can increase or reduce our stress, which in turn impacts our bodies. What you are seeing, hearing, experiencing at any moment is changing not only your mood, but how your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working.

Because few foods contain much vitamin D, doctors recommends to regularly spend short periods of time in the sun. Vitamin D most vital role is in regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, which are essentials for the normal growth of bones and teeth. Some studies show that Vitamin D could fight depression and boost weight loss.

4. Keep a positive mind

Our brain has its own mechanism to cope with stress, known “fight-or-flight”.  What matters the most when we are stressed out is the release of cortisol in our body and its important role on our health. On the short term, our bodies are pumping out cortisol almost constantly. But on the long term, too much cortisol could cause physiological damage.

Cortisol functions to reduce inflammation in the body, which is good, but over time, these efforts to reduce inflammation also suppress the immune system. Chronic inflammation, caused by lifestyle factors such as poor diet and stress, helps to keep cortisol levels soaring, wreaking havoc on the immune system.

5. Exercise

Exercise discharges tension and stress and enhances immune function. Stick to an exercise regimen. The muscle you develop will help increase your metabolism: the bodies of muscular people burn more calories even while they’re at rest.

Neurogenesis studies shows that running helps growing new brain cells in the hippocampus, the area responsible for learning, memory, mood and emotion. Both meditation and exercise also have proven beneficial in the treatment of anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.

I have always been a sporty girl, I played handball during mid and high school. Currently I am very much into running  semi-marathons, mountain biking and fitness.

Exercise has become part of my lifestyle now. I encourage you to exercise in nature and open spaces as much as possible. Getting out of your comfort zone will make you see the world and discover yourself from new perspectives.  

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