The new year is a great opportunity for a fresh start and to review your health, longevity and vitality. While traditional new year’s resolutions may focus on diet and exercise, there are a variety of ways to optimize your health patterns. Consider adding these three annual checkups to your 2021 Optimal Health Checklist when you set your intentions for this year.
1. Annual Hormone Health CheckUp
Make sure to prioritize keeping your hormones balanced.
According to Empower Your Health, “There are up to 40 different hormones circulating in your blood at any time. Once released into the bloodstream, a hormone circulates throughout the body until it reaches its specific target — or targets — to perform its function.
While all these glands normally coordinate with each other exceptionally well in order to regulate various metabolic processes, hormonal function is a balancing act of sorts. Too much or too little of one hormone can have an impact on the release of other hormones.
If this hormonal imbalance occurs, some of your body’s systems do not work properly. In order to bring the hormones back to their normal levels, your body has built-in mechanisms to keep track and respond to any changes by means of a complex, but highly efficient, feedback system that links some endocrine glands with others.”
Follow these tips to keep hormone levels balanced.
- Reduce Alcohol: According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol can impair the regulation of blood-sugar levels by interfering with hormones. It can reduce testosterone levels in men by damaging the testes. It can also increase the risk of osteoporosis by causing parathyroid hormone imbalance.
- Eat a pH-Balanced Diet: Maintain a balance of both acidic and alkaline foods to balance organ pH.
- Relax and Have More Fun: Enjoying nature and laughing more can boost endorphin hormone levels, relieve pain and strengthen immunity.
- Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Lower cortisol levels by expressing yourself through art, music and dance.
- Receive BioIdentical Hormone Therapy (BHT): Consult with a hormone therapy specialist to create customized BHT solutions. BHT compounds have exactly the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones that are produced in the human body.
2. Annual Immune Health CheckUp
Strengthening your immune system can help defend against respiratory viruses and aid in faster recovery.
Your immune system defends your body against outside invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and toxins. The lymphoid organs, thymus, lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow work together to block, break down and remove threatening substances.
The key to balancing the immune system is to practice exposing yourself to more healthy substances and environments. Too much caffeine, sugar and alcohol can trigger too many reactions or even dull them.
Also, if you’re always feeling stressed, your immune system can be overwhelmed with constant activity. The more comfortable you are in your environment, the less your body may feel threatened. The more you can engage in your environment in a balanced way, the more your adaptive immune system can improve threat detection accuracy and keep you safe.
Follow these tips to strengthen your immune system.
- Get More Vitamin D: Vitamin D has been shown to lower the risk of viral respiratory tract infections such as COVID by lowering the rate of replication.
- Bask in Nature: Enjoying fresh air and sunlight is an easy way to balance your immune system. Go for a walk, ride a bike or set up a picnic. Plants naturally clean the air by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
- Move and Groove: Allowing your body to be adaptable and flexible can help keep your immune system balanced. Try some light, creative forms of exercise like dance, tai chi or yoga to reduce stress and improve balance.
- Soak and Savor Scents: Sensory and aroma-therapy can reduce stress and bring your body back to the “rest and digest” state. Simply adding a cup of epsom salt to your bath acts as a natural exfoliant and anti-inflammatory remedy. Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfate which can help release toxins from your body. You can also add eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils which have antiviral properties.
- Laugh Out Loud: Watching your favorite comedy show or YouTube video can increase oxygen intake, stimulate your heart, lungs and muscles, and increase endorphins. Laughing also activates T-cells which are the secondary response defenders in the adaptive immune system.
- Receive a Myer’s Cocktail: A Standard Myers’ Cocktail bypasses the digestive system and delivers the nutrients directly to your bloodstream. You can choose to add additional nutrients that support anti-aging, disease prevention and detoxification.
3. Annual Sleep Health CheckUp
Feeling tired? Getting quality sleep is a key factor in maintaining optimal health. Practicing more natural sleep habits to enjoy more effective rest and relaxation.
Harvard Health explains, “Sleep serves to “restore” what is lost in the body while we are awake. Sleep provides an opportunity for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself…This is further supported by findings that many of the major restorative functions in the body like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release occur mostly, or in some cases only, during sleep.”
According to the CDC, adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night for the best health and wellbeing. However, at least 30% of adults report sleeping less than 7 hours per 24-hour period. Because sleep plays such a vital role in restoration, getting quality sleep is one of the top ways to prevent disease.
Follow these tips to improve the quality of your sleep.
- Limit Caffeine: Drinking too much coffee, soda and energy drinks stimulate alertness in the moment, but it can also over-stimulate your nervous system and may prevent sleep at night. If you need a mid-afternoon energy boost, try going for a quick jog or walk. Getting away from your desk and enjoying a change of scenery can stimulate your brain and increase focus naturally.
- Lower Room Temperature: Cool down your body before bedtime, so you can fall asleep faster. Try setting your thermostat to lower your room temperature by 5 degrees one hour before bedtime.
- Turn Off Electronics: Electronic devices emit blue light which suppresses the hormone melatonin that regulates circadian rhythms and sleep. Turn off electronics 30-60 minutes before bedtime or wear blue-blocking glasses to reduce exposure.
- Write Down Your Thoughts: Anxiety and stress can significantly disturb sleep. If you keep thinking about something that happened during the day, or are worried about tomorrow, try to physically write out your thoughts about the situation. In as little as 5 minutes, you can feel more calm and relaxed. A 2011 Sleep Study found that journaling resulted in reduced bedtime worry and stress, increased sleep time, and improved sleep quality.
- Support Natural Sleep with Supplements: Supplements with magnesium, 5-HTP, melatonin and GABA can help calm your nervous system and support relaxation.
After you’ve reviewed your hormone status, immune system strength and sleep habits, try to choose at least one tip from each checkup type. Focus on integrating those three tips into your daily routine to optimize your health and increase vitality all year long.
We wish you Happy, Healthy New Year! ~ From Your NBH Wellness Family
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