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Whole Body Health — Simplified!

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Wouldn’t it be nice if one day you could say, “I’ve done it. I’ve achieved perfect health,” then kick back and rest on your laurels forever? Unfortunately, staying healthy is a lifelong journey, and you’re never really “done.” There’s always something to improve upon — maybe you hit the gym religiously but stay glued to your desk chair for hours on end, or you eat clean but can’t kick a soda habit.

It’s not that you have to be perfect. In moderation, that happy hour drink or Sunday on the sofa isn’t going kill you. Instead of swearing off anything remotely unhealthy, focus on the big-picture things that protect your health.

Heart Health

  • Exercise. Practice a variety of exercise, including strength training, cardio, and flexibility training. Aim to exercise most days, but schedule rest days to give your body time to recover.
  • Watch your stress. You can’t avoid all stress, but nonstop stress is bad for your blood pressure.
  • Eat less red meat. Saturated fats in red meat like beef, lamb, and pork raise blood cholesterol. If you eat a lot of red meat, your risk of colorectal cancer spikes too. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends limiting yourself to three servings of red meat a week, or about 12-18 ounces.

Lung Health

  • Exercise. Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, increases your lung capacity.
  • Watch your indoor air quality. Did you know the air inside your home is more polluted than the air outside? Make sure you’re changing that air filter on schedule (you want a minimum MERV rating of 6), stop using products with fragrance, and take steps to protect yourself during wildfire season.
  • Breathe deeply. Diaphragmatic breathing is better for your performance and your health. If your chest rises when you breathe instead of your stomach, you’re not breathing from your diaphragm — thankfully, Breaking Muscle is here to show you how.

Brain Health

  • Exercise. Noticing a theme here? If you want to stave off cognitive decline, be more attentive and imaginative, and just plain feel better, make fitness a part of your life.
  • Watch your drinking. Overindulging is bad for your brain. Excess alcohol consumption significantly increases dementia risk. You don’t have to become a teetotaler, but you should stay on the low-to-moderate end of the drinking spectrum.
  • Sleep better. Sleep is when your brain cleans and repairs itself. If you’re tossing and turning through the night, assign yourself a bedtime, lay off the PM caffeine, and stop watching TV in bed.

Nutritional Health

  • Exercise! Yes, exercise matters here too. Working out keeps you regular by stimulating and strengthening your digestive muscles and increasing production of digestive enzymes.
  • Eat real food. If you’re trying to decipher ingredient lists, you’re shopping for the wrong food. The cleanest food is made with single ingredients — eggs, whole grains, dried legumes, fresh meat and seafood, and whole fruits and vegetables.
  • Practice portion control. Even the healthiest foods cause weight gain if you overdo it. Take your time and eat slowly so you notice you’re full before you’ve gone too far, and stop eating in front of the TV so you can pay attention to your body instead.

If you haven’t gotten the hint yet, we think physical fitness is a pretty important part of your whole-body health. No matter what your health goals are for the new year, we invite you to meet them at Wine Country CrossFit. Whether you dive right into CrossFit or Boot Camp classes, book a personal training session, or try something new with Aerial Silks, you’ll like what working out at Wine Country CrossFit does for your whole-body health.

Cheryl Conklin