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The Path to Optimal Health: Back to Basics

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Author:  Dr. Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPP, ND Markham, ON

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The Path to Optimal Health: Back to Basics 

The path towards optimal health is different for each individual, yet there are certain basic truths essential to each and every journey.  Treatments do not have to be complicated – indeed you will find that, in most cases, building a strong foundation is the most important element.

The following tips help you think about the current imbalances in your life. Your naturopathic doctor can assist you in determining how best to implement lifestyle changes and what additional therapies are required given your particular health concerns.

Get Outside
Canadians spend most of their lives inside buildings (often the most toxic spaces) disconnected from the rhythms of nature. Spend at least 20 minutes outside each day. Revitalize yourself with some sunshine and fresh air.

Move Your Body
The body depends on movement to maintain healthy bones, muscles, joints and circulation. Ensure to move at least 30 minutes each day. The activities need not be complicated; for example, park further away from the door, take the stairs, do a 10 minute walk at lunch, play with the kids or go for a nice stroll.

Water
Water is foundational to all of the body’s functions and structures. Without regular intake, the body becomes dehydrated and many health problems ensue. Everyone’s needs vary according to personal lifestyle, dietary and health status. As a general rule: weight in pounds ÷ 2= daily water requirement in ounces (e.g. 160lbs ÷ 2= 80 oz or 8 glasses of water daily).

Nutrition
A healthy diet is the cornerstone of energy and vitality since the foods you choose become the building blocks for all cells and organs. The ideal diet does not exist- only diets ideal for each individual. A proper diet involves balance between proteins, carbohydrates and fats. In general, aim for a diet rich in whole foods tending towards vegetarianism.

Breathing
Breathing is what defines life. Proper breathing makes optimal use of your respiratory system and benefits posture, digestion, blood pressure, as well as the nervous system. Most people are shallow breathers. An ideal breath is slow and deep. Different breathing techniques are used depending on the health goal.

Sleep
Most people need an average of 7 to 8½ hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly. Aim to go to bed and get up at the same time every day- establishing a routine is a major component of quality sleep.

Play & Laugh
Do something fun every day, even if it’s just for 5 minutes.  Self-nurturing activities are a vital part of stress management and overall good health. Sometimes the most important change a person can make is rediscovering the passion in their life. 

For more information about Dr. Iva Lloyd ND please visit: www.naturopathicfoundations.ca 

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