The following is one of my favorite quotes taken from a nursery rhyme by Wayne Fields,
“the best six doctors anywhere
and no one can deny it,
are sunshine, water, rest, and air,
exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend,
if only you are willing,
your mind they’ll ease,
your will they’ll mend,
and charge you not a shilling”.
This quote speaks to me because it affirms what I believe to be true. Let's take a look at how each of these healthy habits can help you lead a happier and healthier life.
The suns rays naturally provide the body with Vitamin D. About 10-15min (maybe a little longer if you have darker skin) of sun expose a day is needed to maintain healthy blood levels. Vitamin D is not only important for keeping your bones strong and healthy, it aids in the the release of the body's natural melatonin which improves sleep. Daily sunshine also boosts serotonin levels which improves your mood.
Some of the many health benefits of drinking water include aiding in digestion, normalizing blood pressure, cushioning joints, and improving both your mental and physical performance. Being well hydrated is one of the simplest health habits you can follow to boost your energy, promote weight loss, and prevent headaches. Upon awakening, the body is usually dehydrated so I recommend consuming a glass of water first thing in the morning. Adults should work toward drinking 2 liters or 1/2 your body weight in water. Your urine is a great indicator of your level of hydration. If you urine is clear or pale yellow in color, that usually means you are getting in enough water.
Sleep is essential for proper function of your mind and body. It is recommended that adults get anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep a night. A lack of sleep has been linked to a higher risk, of certain diseases and medical conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, poor mental health, and early death.
According to the Sleep Foundation, adults who do no not get an adequate amount of sleep may want to consider doing the following:
Establish a realistic bedtime and stick to it every night, even on the weekends.
Maintain comfortable temperature settings and low light levels in your bedroom.
Keep a comfortable sleep environment by ensuring you have the best mattress, best pillows, and best sheets for your sleep preferences and body type.
Consider a “screen ban” on televisions, computers and tablets, cell phones, and other electronic devices in your bedroom.
Abstain from caffeine, alcohol, and large meals in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Refrain from using tobacco at any time of day or night.
Exercise during the day; this can help you wind down in the evening and prepare for sleep.
Getting fresh air can help you to destress and improve your physical and mental well being. Fresh air is good for your digestive system and strengthens your immune system. The increase of oxygen helps you to digest your food properly as well as helps your white blood cells function properly by fighting and killing bacteria and disease. And remember, venturing outside helps you produce more Vitamin D from the sun!
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things that you can do for your healthy. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise such as brisk walking and at least 2 days of activities that strengthen muscles.
Moving more and sitting less can help decrease your risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers (including colon), osteoporosis, and increased feelings of depression and anxiety.
Honestly, the word diet is not my favorite due to the negative connotation associated with it. When considering your nutrition, eat more WHOLE FOODS. Whole foods are foods close to their natural form as possible. When making food choices, this looks like eating more veggies, fruits, lean protein, and healthy fats (like fish, avocado, nuts, and seeds). Consider foods high in fiber and look to reduce the amount of food that have the fiber stripped away such as white or refined foods.
So now that you know about the 6 best doctors in the world, what is your next move? If you are curious as to how to stay accountable in any of these areas, consider reaching out today!