Robert Odell Jr. enjoys sharing and learning about the old and new wonders of natural remedies.
All that we are and everything we see is only temporary. My mother used to say, "Your best day could be your last." The Bible tells us that life is like "a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14 KJV). However, while we are here, there are things that we can do to make our existence more enjoyable. Here are four things for better health and life.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that almost one-third of American adults don't get the recommended eight to seven hours of sleep per night. Lack of proper sleep causes cardiovascular disease in adults and teens.
Evidence suggests that proper sleep helps to:
- restore damaged tissues
- boost learning and memory
- flush toxins from the brain
In a study involving over 800 adolescents, only 2.2 percent got enough sleep. The teens who slept longer and better had less fat around their waists, lower systolic blood pressure, and higher HDL levels, "good" cholesterol.
What we eat plays a crucial part in our health. A computer science idiom states, "garbage in, garbage out (GIGO)." The idea indicates that flawed or nonsense input data produces flawed or nonsense output or "garbage." The same holds for our bodies. If we always put unhealthy things into our bodies, it stands to reason that the outcome will be health problems. One of the healthiest diets we can give ourselves is a plant-based diet. I am not suggesting that we should all become vegetarians or vegans. However, increasing our consumption of healthy plant-based foods results in tremendous health benefits.
Plant-based eating merely is consuming an abundance of whole, minimally processed foods. The goal is to fill your plate with mostly produce and plant products. The regimen focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts. The diet excludes refined foods such as added sugars, processed oils, and white flour. Along with more energy, better weight management, improved digestion, and a healthier gut microbiome, a plant-based eating plan decreases the risk of health issues such as:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Certain cancers
- Cognitive decline
Exercise helps to stifle serious health problems.
As we get older, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, and balance issues become essential concerns. Resistance exercise training helps to ward off many of these concerns.
Resistance training, aka weight training and strength training, increases muscle mass to improve strength, making it easier to do everyday tasks.
Examples of resistance training include:
- Push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, and squats
- Pulling lightweight resistance bands or lengths of stretchy material that provide different amounts of resistance
- Lifting weights, from empty jugs filled with water or sand to standard barbells and dumbbells
- The use of exercise machines, either at a gym or home
The benefits of resistance training are tremendous and include:
- Increasing the size and strength of muscles
- Strengthening tendons, ligaments, and bones
- Rebuilding and preserving muscles
- Improving balance
- Improving on appearance
Trainers recommend warming up your muscles before resistance training with at least 5-to-10 minutes of light aerobics such as easy walking.
You can also combine strength and aerobic exercises with mini workouts that include squats, push-ups, lunges, planks, or glute bridges.
The Bible is full of verses that help us to maintain a calm mind. One of my favorites is, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV). Not worrying or being anxious about things includes the often difficult task of controlling anger. Research from Johns Hopkins and other health institutions reveals that people who do not adequately deal with anger have heart problems, including heart attacks.
A study cited in a 2014 European Heart Journal showed that heart attacks were five times higher two hours after an angry outburst. The risk of stroke increased three-fold. The risk of a heart attack increased with more intense or frequent blowups. In essence, it is heather to stay calm.
Johns Hopkins recommends the following for healthy anger management:
- Step back. Walk away from the situation or start counting to 10. Stepping back helps you to break a habit of hair-trigger reactions.
- Aim for assertive, not aggressive. Do not make your feelings known by shouting, pointing fingers, making threats, or shaking your fist. Those actions make the other person defensive-or mad too.
- Learn relaxation tools. In the heat of the moment, deep breathing can help. Meditation, yoga, and mindfulness training can also help you relax in general and lower blood pressure.
- Reduce your heart risk factors. Anger can be detrimental to blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Easily angered individuals should work on controlling those factors.
- Talk to your doctor. Your doctor can recommend medication that can help your blood pressure and reduce your risk of a heart attack. Your health provider may also be able to point you toward other constructive ways to react, such as anger management classes or therapy.
While We Are Here
Our time on this earth is temporary. However, while we are here, we can have a better, healthier, and more enjoyable life. We can do our part by getting enough sleep, eating correctly, creating a habit of exercise and activity, and staying calm.
Exercise: Self-Chec. (2018, September 1). Retrieved from https://selfchec.org/healthy-habits/exercise/?gclid=CjwKCAiAqJn9BRB0EiwAJ1SztYKUmmoV4OpqgyibiEuSJL3VHD8aAXTgyN6BTeDJVmDiHmpmfMaR4hoCGpgQAvD_BwE
For Your Heart: Stay Calm and Cool. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/for-your-heart-stay-calm-and-cool
Fuller, J. (2019, August 22). Ways A Plant-Based Diet Can Benefit You. Retrieve, from https://completenutrition.com/blogs/news/ways-a-plant-based-diet-can-benefit-you?tf_source=google
Getting FITT with Strength (or Resistance) Training. (2014, November 04). Retrieved from, http://www.secondscount.org/heart-resources/heart-resources-detail-2/getting-fitt-with-strength-resistance-training#.X6jBQpNKhhE
Richmond, A. (2020, July 1). Bible Gateway passage: Philippians 4:6-7 - New International Version. Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+4%3A6-7
Romine, S. (2020, June 23). 14 Exercises You Probably Didn't Realize Were Aerobics. Retrieved from https://greatist.com/health/aerobic-exercise-examples
Underwood, E. (2018, June 15). In adults, and now in teens, poor sleep is linked to cardiovascular risk. Retrieved from https://knowablemagazine.org/article/health-disease/2018/adults-and-now-teens-poor-sleep-linked-cardiovascular-risk?gclid=CjwKCAiAqJn9BRB0EiwAJ1SztRbqaW4nouHSjCO--MV4sU-Dc8HtgMxCI9O6UtOOKFboX82M_KlCvhoC8gkQAvD_BwE
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Robert Odell Jr
Robert Odell Jr (author) from Memphis, Tennessee on November 10, 2020:
Staying healthy can be easier than some may think. Thank you for reading.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 10, 2020:
Thanks for these necessary reminders. There's nothing better, nothing more important, than good health.
Robert Odell Jr (author) from Memphis, Tennessee on November 09, 2020:
Thank you for your comments. I am glad you enjoyed the article.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 09, 2020:
Well worth the read. I will set my intentions to do better in some areas.
Lakshmi from Chennai on November 09, 2020:
Hi, nice article with great stuff! keep up the good work.