1. Maintain healthy eating habits. Eat for what you are preparing to do. The largest meal of the day should be breakfast as this will give you fuel for the busy morning, eat a hearty lunch to supply the needed energy to finish the activities of your day, and eat a very light dinner with less protein since most people are quite inactive (physically) after dinner. Eating a variety of foods will also help insure you get all the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes your body needs. By doing so you’ll have a healthy heart, healthy brain and fully functional digestive system. Avoid the refined sugars that make your blood sugar spike and fall quickly, leaving you feeling sluggish and heavy. In Chinese Medicine, your digestive system is your immune system. (See Healthy Eating brochure)
2. Sleep well every night. To prepare for sleep, make sure you are not thinking about work, personal issues, family issues, etc. Your mind must be clear and calm in order to get rejuvenating, healing sleep. Make sure you are sleeping through the night without waking up. Sleep enough hours that you feel adequately rested upon arising.
3. Stick to a healthy exercise routine. Healthy exercise should make you perspire lightly without shortness of breath, no fatigue or pain, you should feel energized afterward. Exercising correctly should make you feel good. Be sure to do calming relaxation stretches when you are finished. Once you have put into place an exercise routine, be determined to stick to it.
4. Pursue your passions. Set some time aside to practice an instrument, do art, take photo’s, build models, bake or whatever else that makes you happy and enriches your life. If you want to learn something new, take an evening or weekend class. Take time to find a hobby. If you can’t seem to find enough time in the day to pursue any outside activities, try to cut back on a time-wasting activity like channel-surfing or internet surfing. Taking time to engage in activities that interest you will make you feel good and is essential for maintaining balance in your life.
5. Maintain healthy relationships. Prioritize developing meaningful relationships above simply being social. Share things that are unique to you with those whom you trust. This will help you to develop qualities that are essential for healthy lifestyle, such as patience, kindness, and forgiveness. Your internal health is effected by your mental and emotional well being.
6. Keep your mind active. Read more, solve puzzles, play games of strategy, play an instrument, learn a language,… even if you feel like you’re “past your prime.” Staying mentally active helps to keep your memory strong, improves your problem solving skills, helps with mental clarity, and it boosts your creativity. Golfers get mental stimulation using their decision-making skills as they plan stroke strategies. As the sport involves the control of repetitive movements, it instills mind-body discipline. So never stop learning and escape to the links where you can spend a few hours in the fresh air counting birdies, bogeys and mulligans.
7. Make little lifestyle changes. Working to correct health problems also requires you to make small changes in you lifestyle. Sometimes it’s what we are doing that either creates or aggravates a health problem. Along with your regular exercise routine, park farther away from the store, walk the dog more often, or weed your garden; instead of sitting in front of the television or computer to eat your meals, set time aside to slowly enjoy each meal and prevent mindless overeating.
8. Do EVERYTHING in moderation. What is good for you can also be bad for you, if you do too much of it or not enough. All aspects of your life require moderation in order to have a healthy balanced life.