Do you know if your body is inflamed right now?
I ask this because it isn’t easy to know if you have low lying inflammation.
You can go years, symptom free until you begin to experience pain or digestive trouble or in-fact any of this list:
asthma, diabetes, heart disease, digestive problems, cancer, mental disorders, strokes, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, migraines and allergies, etc etc.
Yes, they all have one thing in common…a link to inflammation.
Note, acute inflammation can be a good thing as it helps your body repair itself from injury or infection. To enjoy good health, it’s long term or recurring inflammation that we want to address and reduce.
Unless you are super healthy, let’s assume there is some degree of inflammation, and that you’re not feeling your perkiest. Time for a a few changes?
This is a long blog with lots of great health supporting info.
Like good dark chocolate, just take it in small chunks!
Prevention is always best. However the plan for prevention is the same as if you already have any of these ailments.
IMPORTANT PAUSE TIME – please check in with your posture right now.
It is fine if you’re kicking back on the sofa as you read this, just be aware of your body and that you are taking light, nasal breaths.
Blink often and even close your eyes occasionally. Also, check you’re not squinting, just increase the size of the font.
This will allow the information to settle in and you will be more likely to make the changes you need.
If you notice a muscle of joint soreness, your position needs adjusting!
Why not just take drugs that reduce inflammation and pain?
To help tame symptoms, your first choice might be medication.
Sorry, but this is a lazy way out and although meds might bring some short term relief, in the long term you are likely to increase your problems and add new ones. Check out this eye opening info-graffic from Dr Mercola.
Take pressure of your doctor, the NHS or your insurance company and take care of your own health.
Be healthy now for a healthy future
So, what is the lead cause of chronic inflammation?
Simple, it’s an overall unhealthy lifestyle.
One that includes a poor diet,
a lack of exercise and high levels of stress.
So, to reduce inflammation you need to eat healthy, train and relax!
All six categories of the Restore Your Body Programme (full info here) are about improving the health of your body.
Not only are you looking to restore your body’s health and vibrancy, but also prevent or at least slow future degeneration.
I don’t have any of the above list of ailments and I don’t want them either.
That’s why I look after my self through exercise, clean eating and time off from work. And other things too, as you will see below.
Here are 8 great ideas to clean up your internal and external environment.
- Learn to breathe well. Review any of my restorative, warm up and exercise videos as these have breathing advice filtered throughout. e.g. a few minutes into to this spine release video you can get an idea of natural breathing. Also lots of guided breathing on this relaxation audio. I will blog about breathing techniques more specifically soon.
- Find ways to manage and reduce stress. Relaxation is a great daily practice and can bring immediate relief from stress. When you have finished reading this blog, please review this list of 10 tips about releasing tension and managing stress. Click this link for a couple of my relaxation audios. Of course, mindful movement practices are also great: tai chi, qi gong, yoga, Pilates.
- Try earthing/grounding – Our beautiful planet earth is naturally rich in negatively charged free electrons. When you walk bare foot, hang out near the ocean or waterfalls (even gardening) your body literally absorbs these antioxidant rich electrons. It’s this process that reduces positively charged free radicals that damage your health and increase inflammation and ageing. More about this on earthing on a previous blog. When you next fancy watching a movie, watch this ‘Grounded’ documentary instead.
- Get outside regularly. As well as household cleaning and personal hygiene products on points 6 and 7 below, to reduce inflammation you also have to be careful of new sofas, carpets, paint (buy Earthborn or similar), clothes, children toys…the list goes on. If you always buy products that care for the environment then they care for you too. Whatever you buy, research what’s in it and on it and consider the implications on your health and the environment. Also, if you live in a flat or work in an air conditioned office, be sure to get outside regularly or at least open the windows.
- Work out – A great boost to your immune system and metabolic health is to regularly engage in high intensity exercise. This should be in the form of sprint training and slow strength training. Twice a week is enough as over training can lead to more inflammation! Take a few days between intense sessions where you work on flexibility. Note, steady state exercise such as long distance bike rides and 10 mile runs do not bring the same benefits. Although these can be mentally rewarding they are not as productive for the health of your body.
- Clean up your house/shed. Many household and garden products increase inflammation. You literally breathe these harmful products into your lungs. Buy or simply make your own natural cleaning products. Look under your sink and in your bathroom cabinet and remove all those chemical laden bottles. If you don’t have time to make your own, (basically lemon and water with an occasional sprinkle of bi-carbonbate of soda) then purchase non toxic alternatives such as Green Your Life. Replace your non-stick pans with ceramic. Also clean up your shed. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in ‘Round Up’ is about as toxic as anything. More info here. Buy a cheep weeding tool and enjoy ‘earthing’ as you rid your garden of weeds the natural way!
- Watch for what you put on your skin (your largest organ that absorbs whatever goes on it) – Buy only organic bath/shower/moisturising/sun cream/insect repellent (and make-up) products. Try Neals Yard for organic versions of all these. Personally, I make my own personal hygiene products. For deodorant I make a 50:50 mix of bicarbonate of soda and coconut oil with a few drops of essential oil (and I never smell). The same mix is a great toothpaste. Also I haven’t shampooed my hair in over 3 years – I simply mix a teaspoon of bi-carbonate of soda in water and rinse my hair 2 or 3 times a month. For moisturising/shaving, I use coconut oil. It really is easy to get clean, it’s mostly your mind that needs adjusting to something new. Think of the money you will save over a year or 2 and the reduction of plastics on earth. Great blog here about showering less often to improve skin health.
- Reduce alcohol – I have written about this before. Take at least 5 days a week off drinking. And if you do drink, drink light. Seriously reducing your alcohol content (and accompanying mixers/snacks) can dramatically alter your health. Your body and tolerance will soon adjust. It is really good to be a lightweight when it come to drinking…one should be enough to get a buzz!
“What can I have instead”? I hear you ask. For a healthy and delicious alternative to alcohol, research how to make your own fizzy kombucha tea. If you do want a drink, enjoy a small glass of organic red wine and if making a cocktail use mostly coconut water as the base (this is hydrating, so less of a hangover). A mocktail is even better…shake, coconut water with ice, then add some flavoured kombucha after shaking or use lemon and lime rather than mixers. Remember to never drink fruit juice.
Ok, so there are some things to consider adding to your life and some things to eliminate. But…
…aren’t we missing something!
YES, none of the above will be that effective if you don’t clean up your diet. See next week’s blog for vital information about foods that heal/lead to inflammation.
Thanks for reading. Implement some of the above practices asap.
Take care, thanks Danny
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