101 Ways to Live Well: tips 4-6

4. Posture, posture, posture! Seriously, sit up straight. It will make you look better and more confident–regal even! And it will make your body able to function better all around. Your head should be balanced over your neck and shoulders. Your upper body should be balanced above your lower body.

The stereotypical “Chest up, shoulders back, chin up!” isn’t enough to have perfect posture. Consider dance, yoga, or Pilates to strengthen your core muscles.  See a chiropractor to avoid spinal subluxation that will interfere with the nervous system, and inhibit the body’s ability to function or heal itself in the long run.

Start by making simple changes on your own: use a support pillow as support for your lower back when you sit or drive. Stop carrying things with one shoulder. Cross your ankles, not your legs. Make a conscious effort to not slouch when on the computer, to take stretching breaks when typing or reading for extended periods, and to position your chair and desk for optimal posture.

5. Buy organic food whenever possible. News flash: toxins store in fat. Researchers are finding that the Eskimo people have been so overwhelmed with the passage of toxins into their homes and food sources that their fat tissues–their bodies!–can be considered toxic waste. They eat what they can find. We eat what we choose. Why do we knowingly pollute our bodies when we have the option of food that is not going to harm us? Furthermore, why are we needlessly requiring our bodies to hold onto fat with our consistent toxin intake?

While buying all organic all the time is the best solution, this is not always possible. In that case, we want to minimize toxin intake by avoiding the worst culprits for toxins. The Environmental Working Group researched and compiled a list of the top 12 produce items to buy organic, because of dangerous levels of pesticides, and the top 15 which can be bought not organic with low risk; it is called “The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15″. I recommend you print this and post it somewhere you will remember it when you buy groceries. A generalization to follow if you forget the list: if you are going to eat the peel, the item should be organic.

6. Sleep! Everyone may have a different “sweet spot” for number of hours per night, but as a rule try 8-10 hours of sleep. Sleep is something still a little mysterious to the medical world–there is no single answer to its purpose, and no conclusive answer to why we dream what and when we dream–but one thing is certain: it is important. Incredibly important.

We know some of what goes on during sleep: digestion, healing, cementing memory of things learned, balancing hormones, clearing inflammation, increasing brain activity, lowering stress, improving athletic ability, improving focus,  and more.

And we know what goes on when we don’t get enough sleep: an increase in appetite, sluggishness, lack of mental clarity, memory trouble, lack of energy, irritability, cravings for “junk food”, and a weakened immune system.

Do not cheat yourself out of sleep!

To help you fall asleep: stretch and practice deep breathing before bed, do not let your room be too warm or too cool, ditch the caffeine–especially 6 hours before bed–, exercise daily, and make sure there are not extra sources of light in the bedroom, as these will interfere with melatonin production (the hormone that causes drowsiness and regulates circadian rhythms). Sweet dreams!

Feel free to comment below or email me if you have any comments, questions or want more suggestions! drclaps@clapschiropractic.com.

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~ by danclaps on July 3, 2012.

13 Responses to “101 Ways to Live Well: tips 4-6”

  1. I make a conscious effort to throw my shoulders back, pull my core in. I think good posture is an underrated thing of beauty. But when you do see good posture on someone, it is lovely to behold. Oh, that, and I get adjusted!

    • Thanks for commenting! We certainly agree–good posture is so rare and beautiful to see today. It is great to hear that individuals, like yourself, take their posture seriously!

  2. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Thank you very much for your input, and I am so glad you enjoy reading the Live Well from the Inside Out blog. I will definitely take note of your idea to try different spacing and amounts of pictures–I will have to experiment with different layouts! The information is always the priority for me, but I definitely see your point. I will strive to make the posts easier to read from a spacial standpoint.

  3. Hello presently there. I found your site using bing. This generally is a very well crafted article. I shall be bound for you to bookmark this and application discover more of one¡¯s useful data. Was looking for post. I¡¯ll definitely return.

  4. Very good info can be found on this web site.

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  6. […] Use a good cervical pillow. A comfortable pillow should support your neck and help promote proper posture and spinal alignment while you sleep. These can be properly fitted to your spine by a chiropractor. […]

  7. […] you’ve been trying to improve your posture using periodic breaks, core work, stretching and awareness of posture. But if you receive texts […]

  8. I¡¯ve also been thinking the identical thing myself lately. Grateful to see another person on the same wavelength! Nice article.

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