Water is the most important substance for sustaining life. To reinforce its importance, consider the fact that the human body is composed of more than 50% water! Incredible!
Water has a variety of beneficial roles - ranging from adequate hydration to disease prevention:
1) Drink 1-2 glasses of water immediately, at the onset of a headache. Although headaches have many different origins - dehydration may be the cause. Headaches can often be avoided with adequate fluid intake.
2) Drink 1-2 glasses of water upon waking to activate your internal organs. It takes time and energy for the human body to wake up after a good night's sleep. Provide your body with that extra boost it needs to get the ball rolling in the mornings.
3) Increase your water intake to help with constipation. Water can provide that extra "lubrication" your bowels may need in order to properly evacuate.
4) Water can help flush toxins out of the body. We are exposed to chemicals and other contaminants on a daily basis; even food can be embedded with toxic constituents. The detoxification process can also yield many "outward" benefits - including improving the look and feel of your skin.
Here are some simple tips that could have you rested up sooner:
1) Avoid stimulating activities in the bedroom. Turn off cell phones, the television, and other electronics that emit electromagnetic radiation. If possible, use the bedroom for sleep only.
2) Set the mood: dim all lighting in preparation for sleep.
3) Take the time to relax and unwind before trying to fall asleep. Avoid running a marathon before bed - this activates the sympathetic nervous system and puts your body in a "fight-or-flight" state. The body is able to relax properly when it is in parasympathetic mode.
4) Establish a regular sleep routine. Routines are important in everyday life, and it is important to make sleep a part of it too! It is amazing how quickly the body adapts to a fixed schedule.
Keep in mind it is important to see a health professional for sleep disturbances, as there may be an underlying cause that needs to be addressed.
It is difficult to lose weight, but that being said, please keep in mind that there are many rewards for accomplishing your goal! It is common to attempt a weight loss program multiple times and not successfully reach weight loss goals. Don't give up! There are many different reasons why you might be having trouble losing weight; therefore it is important to talk to a health professional.
Below are some simple weight loss tips that may hold the key ingredient to what you need:
1) Eat five small meals throughout the day as opposed to three large meals. This recommendation is based on the concept that eating constantly helps balance blood sugar levels and may, as a result, prevent overeating later on.
2) Increase water intake gradually to eight cups per day. People often misinterpret thirst for hunger.
3) Increase vegetable and fruit intake - avoid processed and refined foods. Healthy snack choices provide essential nutrients and are less calorie dense.
4) Exercise regularly (thirty minutes, three to four times per week) as part of a healthy lifestyle!
As the cooler weather rolls in, our immune systems may become more susceptible to developing an illness. Here are some basic preventative techniques one can take to minimize the chances of catching a cold/the flu:
1) Wash hands before eating meals and after going to the washroom to kill surface germs.
2) Avoid touching mouth, nose, eyes, and all other facial features to prevent the transmission of germs through mucous membranes. Mucous membranes provide a gateway for microbes to enter and infect the body.
3) Cover mouth with your arm when coughing: this minimizes the likelihood of airborne transmission of the bacteria/virus.
4) Take Vitamin C regularly to help boost the immune system.
5) Drink plenty of fluids - fluids help flush the system out and take less energy to metabolize than solids. The body is able to conserve more energy to fight off the infection when given a fluid-based diet.
6) Minimize the stress in your life. Cortisol is known as the "stress hormone" and when it is being produced long-term it depletes the immune system.
7) Get enough sleep - aim for 8 hours per night. There is nothing more restoring than a good night's sleep! The body conserves energy during sleep and this energy can be used to fight off infections and help repair the body from everyday life influences.
Ashley Kowalski is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor in Embrun, Cornwall, and Ottawa. She is currently accepting new patients.