A healthy lifestyle - what the heck is it?!
Well Sam and I gave you some ideas last year, but it really changes depending on who you ask. Which also makes it a very confusing topic to delve in to for anyone interested in 'cleaning up' their health. And seeing as how we are running a business which is designed to help you with getting a better understanding of how your body works, I thought it might be helpful to share some information around the reasonably well recognized, but lesser known things you can be doing to help yourself.
Now this advice is certainly not aimed to be medical based advice and obviously speak to your medical practitioner before you start making any drastic life changes, and equally I'm really happy to discuss aspects of this information to help you better understand it.
Priority number one... Breathing!
Probably the one thing we all take for granted will just keep happening. And it's 100% true that so long as you're alive, your brain will make sure you're still breathing as it desperately needs the oxygen exchange process to survive. But what is surprising about breathing is that what we often hear portrayed in the media, and even in the Pilates studio, is a significant step away from efficient, normalised breathing patterns. We're often hear 'take a deep breath' or 'breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth...' and in Pilates it's 'do this on the out breathe, relax on the in-breath' for example. But the hard truth is that we don't need all this deep breathing business for everyday life. What really need is much less deep breathing, instead gentle diaphragmatic breaths, through the nose if possible and relatively silent. Ash is going to write further about this in the coming months so keep your eyes on the blog. In the mean time, for interest sake, head over to the work by Tess Graham from Canberra, or have a look into Butyeko breathing - it might just change your life.
Priority number two... Understanding your relationship with your natural environment
Without getting too deep into the physics of how the earth interacts with the sun and other gravitational forces in the universe, it's important to clearly acknowledge that we have different seasons at different times of the year. The implications are that we have different spectrum's of light that make their way through the atmosphere to us, linking in to changing weather cycles and temperatures. This ties massively into what has always grown in our locality, and the stimulus our light-sensitive body developed receiving, and therefore what reactions are occurring in our body to maintain our health within that environment. Now as technology has skyrocketed in its complexity and helpfulness, we can pretty much get any food we want from anywhere, any time of the year. Unfortunately our body has developed as rapidly as technology has! So in terms of nutrition, what this means for you is that to get the most energy friendly nutrients for your body, you need to eat food that grows in the same spectrum of light you’re in i.e. if you live in a area that is dominated by a red light spectrum, then you really need food that comes from a red light spectrum area, as food from outside of that spectrum won’t be providing quite the right nutrients to support the reactions your body goes through, based off the environment it is in. This is why eating seasonal and local is best! And if we’re being super fussy, the closer to organic/wild, the better it is. Supermarket bought is still better than none though!
Tied into this is an understanding that the sun is incredibly important to us, as it fires off a huge number of physiological reactions that stimulate our body to power us and ensure that our body doesn't start turning on us and start attacking itself. You need lots of skin and eye contact with the sun, within a few hours of the sun rising and before the sun sets. There is some incredibly interesting research coming out these days starting to change the scope in which the health industry looks at the sun - when you find the right balance it's not as dangerous as it's made out to be, and often has very strong healing properties if you build up what’s called your ‘sun callus’. Click here to read some of the research.
And our last essential element to your relationship with the environment, is to touch the environment! Because we generally live in and around non-natural surfaces and materials, we're having less opportunity to trade off the excess free protons we generate through living and metabolic cycles, with the free electrons the sun provides to the earth. Add into that an abundance of non-native electromagnetic fields derived from man-made sources of electricity, and we've got a rapid build of metabolites that aren't being taken out of the system, resulting in inflammation in our system. So you're best solution? Barefoot in the grass, as much of your time as you can! Minimum 30 minutes a day is essential. And then reducing electronic devices in close proximity to you is ideal but work with that as best as you can. Little things like turning your WIFI off at night, keeping your phone on airplane mode if it's near you, using as much natural light as you can in your house where possible... If you want to read up a bit more, follow this link or this link. There are products to help you earth/ground while inside - barefoothealing.com.au or betterearthing.com.au.
So what does an ideal lifestyle look like? Well, if you had all day to just ensure your survival, it would be barefoot in the grass without technology and eating what’s grown organically in your back yard or what you’ve caught from the wild. Throw in a bit of meditation and you’re away!! Realistic? Not always… But if you are dealing with long-term diseases or illness, chronic fatigue, gut health or immune-system related issues, I’d highly recommend starting to what aspects you can of this information to your day and see if they make any changes.