The newsLINK Group - Easy Ways to Be Healthier

Editorial Library Category: Health Topics: Being Healthier Title: Easy Ways to Be Healthier Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Most people want to live a healthier life, but in the middle of life’s everyday challenges, that can be a problem. The result can be chronic health problems, pain, and an expanding list of restrictions. Editorial: Easy Ways to Be Healthier 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Most people want to live a healthier life, but in the middle of life’s everyday challenges, that can be a problem. The result can be chronic health problems, pain, and an expanding list of restrictions. Fortunately, you don’t have to change everything at once. Even a few relatively simple changes will improve the quality of your life and will improve your health. Read on for some easy recommendations that can add up to substantially better quality of life. Sometimes it’s the little things that can bring about the most change. Too Much Work Working all the time isn’t good for your health. It’s a wonderful thing to be ambitious and work hard, but you really can do too much of it. The stress from working too hard affects your sympathetic nervous system, causing your adrenal system to pump cortisol and adrenaline through your body all the time. The consequence from too much cortisol and adrenaline is serious: You will probably gain weight. You might be more prone to migraines as a result of shallow breathing, anxiety, a quickened pulse, and unhealthy vascular tone. What is vascular tone? To answer that question, it’s necessary to understand a little more about how blood circulates through your body. As you probably know, you have a system of veins and arteries in your body. The walls of the veins and arteries are made from smooth muscle tissue. The arteries carry oxygen-rich blood through your body. The veins return that blood, minus the oxygen, back to your heart for a new supply of oxygen. Vascular tone has to do with the muscles tissue of the veins and arteries. It describes the diameter and tone of a blood vessel when it is dilated all the way. The right amount of tone is different in different parts of your body, because some organs need more blood than others. For example, your myocardium, which is the thickest heart muscle, needs to receive a lot of blood. As a result, it has a high vascular tone. The kidneys have a much lower tone and get much less blood, along with the other organs of the urinary system. An unhealthy vascular tone means the veins and arteries can’t supply the right amount of blood and oxygen to your body. Most people have to work, and even the ones who don’t still have their own set of stresses. That means you aren’t going to get rid of the stress in your life. But how can you possibly get your body to stop sending too much cortisol and adrenaline through your body? The answer is surprisingly simple. Learn how to meditate. Research has shown that meditation helps you counterbalance your sympathetic nervous system by activating a different part of the autonomic nervous system, your parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system undoes whatever the sympathetic nervous system is doing by slowing down the heart and causing the blood vessels to dilate. In addition, the parasympathetic nervous system regulates many of the body’s glands and helps your digestive system to function correctly. Meditating can be as simple as focusing on your breath, in and out, while thinking of a mantra such as the following, which has been used by a well-respected and loved Vietnamese Zen monk, Thich Nhat Hanh: Breathing in, I feel calm. Breathing out, I smile.” You don’t have to do this for very long, and you don’t even have to use the words suggested here; just by focusing on your breath as it comes in and out of your body, and directing your thoughts with a two- part mantra, you can calm the sympathetic nervous system after just four repetitions. Do more than that, of course, if you have the time. Too Little Sleep Sleep is a mystery. Experts know we need it, because someone who has been deprived of sleep will die after a few