Heart Health Awareness Month is a good time to take a lifestyle inventory and see where you are in terms of stress, fat, and balanced living. This year, over 1.2 million people will suffer a heart attack in the United States with more than 425,000 resulting in death. To put it into perspective, that is like saying the combined populations of Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson will suffer a heart attack this year and about 35% will not make it. These staggering numbers are saying, “make a u-turn, now.” Tune in every week until March, for tips on how to overcome the pitfalls of the 21st Century lifestyle and live a more balanced, juicy life.
How have lost instincts robbed us of health and balance? As a species, we are eating more and moving less than our ancestors ever did. A million years ago, men and women spent much of their daylight hours hunting, gathering, and storing food for survival. An insufficient food supply created an interesting dynamic between the relationship to food and the effort to get it. Today, with a bounty of cheap, assessable food, this dynamic has dramatically shifted. Simple “caveman” instincts may hold the key to the healthier lives we desire.
Tip No. 1: Move. Be like a caveman, rise with sun and get moving first thing in the morning. Just 10 minutes of simple stretching can make a huge difference in mood and appetite. You will derive the maximum benefits from morning movement between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. when the body is heavy and sleepy in its Kapha state. According to Ayurvedic principles, this process mobilizes the lymphatic system and helps to eliminate toxins processed by the liver in the late night hours. You may not notice a huge difference at first but, if you stick with it you will reap the benefits of feeling lighter and more energetic throughout the day.
Stay tuned for Tip No.2 to find out the most overlooked technique for reducing stress.