4 Tips To Better Your Health

      I'm sure that you can probably guess what a couple of my top health tips are.  It is not the first time you'll hear or read these tips, and it definitely won't be the last.  By using this post as a guide for some of your daily habits you will definitely see some improvement in your quality of day to day life.  These are all the very basics to feeling well and being healthy and should be incorporated into our daily routines. Without doing these things, it is very difficult to achieve optimal health!
1. Eat your vegetables:  We are so used to hearing that you should eat your fruits and vegetables.  However, the reality is that fruits and vegetables are not equal!  Fruits are often tastier because of their sugar content, and this is the very thing that can make too much fruit a bad idea.  Limit fruit to 2-3 servings per day, but eat pretty much as many vegetables as you want (at least 4 servings).  Focus on getting the darker colored veggies (ie. leafy greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard) and remember--potatoes do NOT count as vegetables!  Need more help? Check out Jamie's post on how to sneak in some more greens.
2. Drink enough water:  We all know that water is essential for proper functioning of our bodies.  But why are most of us not drinking enough?  Taste, time, and limited bathroom access are the most common reasons I've heard.  Although 8 cups (2 liters) is the recommended amount of water to drink daily, it really depends on your personal needs (size, altitude, activity level, etc).  Start increasing the amount you drink slowly until you've found what works for you, and check out Dr. Peris' post on how you can do this.  If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, improving your hydration status could be your first step to feel better:
    • Headaches
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea
    • Fatigue
    • Hunger (the brain sometimes confuses thirst for hunger)

3. Exercise:  This definitely isn't the first time you've heard that exercise is good for you.  Exercise is important for weight management, detoxification, and stress reduction, among other things.  Inactivity is also related to higher rates of some cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and many other diseases.
4. Sleep:  It's not just about getting that 8 hours every night.  It's equally important to get a good quality sleep.  The majority of the patients I've seen get inadequate sleep (quantity) or experience sleep disturbances (quality)--they can't fall asleep, stay asleep, or may wake up feeling unrested.  If this sounds like you, you may want to consult your naturopathic doctor to help figure out the root cause. See Nadia's post on sleep hygiene for more information.
      Take a second to think about your current state of health (physical, mental, and emotional) and ask yourself how many of these four things are you doing regularly.  Chances are you can improve in at least one aspect.  It's important to remember that there is obviously more to health than the above four things, but it's a good place to start! Lastly, make sure you consult your primary care providers regularly.

All the best,

Photo from www.corbisimages.com

Dr. Cho, ND is a naturopathic doctor based in Pickering, Ontario and Richmond Hill, Ontario.  She maintains a private practice focused in pain management and sports nutrition, in addition to a general family practice at Durham Natural Health Centre.  To learn more about Dr. Cho, book a complimentary 15 minute consult by clicking here.  Not in the Durham Region?  Contact her through AnAvocadoADay@gmail.com to learn about more options.


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