Believe it or not, these things will not involve a 30 day diet challenge or a crazy workout. Every year people make their resolutions with good intentions. Then guilt sets in and distractions happen. They are usually out the window by February. I try and teach my patients how to practice balance. Make small changes that make a big difference and don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake. Jump right back on as soon as you can, and it gets easier. Some of the major changes people want to make include losing weight or eating better, and exercising more. Today I’d like to give you some tips on balance. Not diet tips, not exercise tips but things that will help to keep you balanced and able to make better decisions on the changes you’re trying to accomplish.
My first tip involvestaking time to breathe. We take the breath for granted until it becomes compromised with disease. Breathing properly brings more oxygen to the body. There is a method of breathing called the relaxing breath or the 4 – 7 – 8 breathing technique. It can help reduce anxiety and aid with sleeping. Breathe in deeply for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. This is a simple technique that costs you nothing but your time and concentration. Try and practice it throughout the day. I would suggest at least three times a day and perhaps set your phone to practice it every hour. You’ll see changes quickly.
Another involves hunger and diet. This is not a diet tip but a timing program for when you eat. It’s called PFC every 3. Those of you who are my patients, know it’s been my topic the week for the past few weeks to help beat sugar cravings during the holidays. I will suggest you do this throughout the year to help balance blood sugar, keep up your metabolism, and of course help beat sugar cravings. Be sure and have a small meal that includes proteins, fats, and carbohydrates every three hours. This is actually quite easy and not as difficult as it may sound. For instance if you have a slice of cheese, an apple, and some crackers you just did it. Be sure and look at the nutritional information on the back of packaging, or look it up online. You’ll see how many grams of fat, carbohydrates, and protein are in each serving. Just be sure and eat every three hours so you can maintain your metabolism to burn more fat, and keep your blood sugar balanced. Even if you eat the same amount of food each day, but split it up into smaller meals every three hours, you will feel better and become leaner.
My last tip involves stretching. This doesn’t have to involve leaving the house for a special stretch class or yoga. In the meantime, if you just bend one knee as you’re lying in bed before you get up and pull it to your chest. Release it and do the same on the other side. If you did this and held for five seconds each for three times, then you can get up and have your feet hit the floor with some blood flow to your muscles. This will stretch your spine and the muscles surrounding it. Be sure and breathe deeply while you stretch. The muscles need to oxygen exchange to get the maximum benefit. Doing this daily can help prevent muscle strains throughout the day. It will also help maintain adjustments you’re getting from the chiropractor. These also may be done on the floor. Another simple floor exercise is to lie on your back and raise one leg up straight. Very gently, pull the leg in toward your chest, without bending your knee. If you are not quite that limber yet, take a towel or belt and wrap it around your calf and pull gently that way. Hold and breathe for five seconds and then stretch the other side. Do this 3 times. If you’d like to learn more about medical stretching, I can help you with that, as I have a special stretch coach in my office who can customize a program for each individual.
By just practicing these three things can make your life easier this coming year. Huge changes that rarely last, aren’t effective. These small things are quite powerful.
For help with any of these tips or a second opinion on conditions you may have, please call my office for an appointment.
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