Living a Salubrious Lifestyle

Salubrious, my new favorite adjective, meaning healthy,  health giving, a place of pleasant and not run down, is one that we all need to think a little more about in this busy world we all live in.  Are there ways that you can lead a more salubrious lifestyle?   Do you work too much or live an over-scheduled stressed life?  Do you skip meals, eat too much or make bad food choices?  Do you know if the foods you eat are healthy?  Are you a “dieter?”  Are you at a  healthy weight?  Do you exercise?  How much do you sleep?  Do you smile and laugh often? What are your health and wellness goals?

Here are a few tips on how to lead a healthier and more salubrious life:

*  Maintain a healthy weight.  Maintaining a healthy weight puts less stress on your body.  Think about it this way:  all day long you carry two 1 gallon full milk jugs around with you.  Imagine how tired you would be lugging those around everywhere you go?   They are heavy and at the end of the day you are exhausted!   It’s tiring and stressful carrying around those jugs all day.  When you lose weight, you will not only look better, but you will also have more energy to more things that you love!  You will be healthier.

*  Don’t “Diet”- Eat Balanced Meals, Healthy Snacks.  So many people, women in particular, on are a cycle of dieting.  They restrict their calories for a period of time so they can fit into that favorite dress for an upcoming wedding or reunion with friends only to binge and go back to poor eating habits after the event.   Some research even shows that the high protein fad diets, such as the Atkins diet, have been linked to an increase in Cardio-Vascular Disease- reference- British Medical Journal.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is the best way to maintain your weight.  Check out the new USDA MyPlate nutritional guidelines for some tips on how to adapt a healthy balanced diet.  Nutrition Counseling with a Registered Dietitian (RD) can set you on a healthy path to losing weight eating a balanced diet.  RDs can help you come up with a personalized plan to overcome any challenges you may be having with losing or maintaining your weight.

And did you know that Blue Cross covers up to six Nutrition Counseling sessions with a RD per year.  Other plans may require a co-pay or physician referral, but even Insurance companies are seeing the benefit of Nutrition Counseling in the overall health of their members.

*  Turn work into play.  If you don’t like your job, think about changing it.  If you can’t change it or that is not a realistic short-term goal, turn lemons into lemonade. Focus on the positive things about your job, even if it’s just the paycheck, your buddy in the cubicle next to you or a couple small tasks you enjoy.  Focus on the happy parts of your day.

*  Exercise.  Exercise can not only help increase your energy levels and mood, but can also tone and increase your muscle mass.  The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you can eat. Yoga has amazing heath benefits and has been linked to a decrease in stress.

*  Sleep.  When we sleep our bodies rejuvenate.  Cells and tissue repair and our brains function better.  We recharge our batteries and re-energize.  New research has also shown that not enough sleep can lead to overeating or a reduction in insulin sensitivity.

* Figure out your source of stress.  Whether it’s money and finances, your job, your weight, messy home, etc., figuring out your source of stress is important.  The less negative stress in your life, the better you will feel.  If you don’t know what stressed you out, keep a diary for a little while and write down when you feel stressed and what happened prior to feeling that way.  Then, get some help from a professional.  If it’s finances, hire an accountant or financial planner.  Look into getting life insurance to give you a sense of financial security.  If your home is a mess,  hire a cleaning service or professional organizer.  If it’s your weight or diet that brings you down, hire a Registered Dietitian and/or personal trainer.   Nobody is an expert at everything.  Seeking out an expert can save you time and money in the long run.

* Laugh, Smile and have more fun!  Some research shows that the act of laughter can improve your health.   Laughing leads to an immediate increases in heart rate, respiratory rate, respiratory depth and oxygen consumption.  There also may be some effect of laughter on the so called ‘stress hormones’ of epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol.   “This is important because it is theorized that if laughter does, in fact, decrease stress hormones, this would be one mechanism that might explain the proposed connection between laughter and immune function, and from there to improved health outcomes.”  reference:  Mary Payne Bennett; Cecile Lengacher: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008;5(1):37-40.

This article was written by Kristie Finnan, RD, LDN- a Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist in Doylestown, Pa


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