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Five to Flourish™

A Pro-Active Approach to Physical, Emotional and Mental Well-Being

By Limore Kurtz Dooley, MA, RDN, CPT, CYI

When the head is heavy and the heart is heavy, the body is heavy. Period. We cannot ignore the mind/body connection. Emotional and intellectual energy we carry translates into excess body weight and systemic inflammation. To successfully achieve and maintain a healthy weight, minimize inflammation, and prevent disease, a comprehensive whole-health approach is needed. We are not only what we eat, we are what we think. That's why,at LKD, we focus on the five factors of healthy living:

 

#1 Stress Management

 

Our bodies naturally respond to the ever increasing stressors of modern day life with systemic inflammation and cortisol secretion, causing a slew of physical ailments that range from arthritis to obesity. To alleviate this flight-or-flight response from everyday stressors, we need to engage in daily stress management behaviors to help us prepare our minds and bodies for the world around us. To promote optimal health, we need to practice reacting to our environment in a calm, relaxed manner. Relaxation techniques are the key to maintaining a healthy body weight, decreasing chronic pain and preventing and managing a wide-range of diseases.

 

#2 Sleep Quality

 

Each night as we lay our heads to rest, we are preparing our bodies for restoration and rejuvenation. In a quality sleep cycle over 7-9 hours, our metabolic rates reset, our skin cells refresh and so many organ systems recharge for optimal functionality. Thus, quality sleep is the key to prevention and treatment of diabetes, depression and a slew of other emotional, physical and mental disorders. Sleep enhancement techniques are often requested and even required by today’s modern, fast-pacing, mind-racing population.

 

#3 Hydration

 

We cannot live without water, period! 2 liters of water consumption or more per day will fuel our bodies for activity, alleviate constipation, manage chronic inflammatory conditions such as migraines and prevent overeating via satiety. Water consumption is our bodies’ natural filtration and detoxification system, without adequate daily intake, our internal environment becomes a toxic playground for disease and disorder. So flush your body every day to keep disease away.

 

#4 Nutrition

 

There will never be a more powerful drug injected in to the human body than the food we put in to our mouths. The clinical studies have been done and the science is there to prove that eating highly processed foods, laden with artificial chemicals and sweeteners, cause several different types of cancer. Sugar rich foods have a direct correlation with diabetes. So many commonly consumed foods are loaded with calories and saturated fat, that obesity is now an epidemic. If we choose to intake a plant based diet, i.e. a diet high in fruits and vegetables, we will run faster, live longer and be free of so many of the modern day disorders that plague our bodies.

 

#5 Physical Activity

 

If you don’t consider it fun to run, guess what, neither do I! Any sort of movement will strengthen muscle, support bone and thus prevent osteoporosis. In addition to burning calories, physical activity increases circulation, improves mental clarity and helps us maintain flexibility and range of motion as we age. To put it simply, exercise is the fountain of youth. Take the work out of working out by engaging in recreational activities such as yoga, dance, swimming or simply walking outdoors.