Our bene-fit philosophy has a lot to do with total wellness - we believe that individual attention, group motivation, and social support are the keys to starting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, there are different ways to achieve each of those aims depending on who you are and what goals you need to accomplish. In other words, there is no "one size fits all" health and fitness plan that works for everyone - or every body.
That said, Gene Stone's recent best-selling book, The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick, suggests that there is more to staying well than we might think. While the big ones are obvious (eat well, sleep well, exercise), some of his tips are less so - but just as important! We think they're a great guide to staying well and feeling your best - so enjoy this summary of the "top ten" from Gene Stone:
(1) STRESS LESS
Easier said than done, right? Remember, de-stressing doesn't have to mean a day at a spa - just taking 10 minutes to read a blog (hint hint), pet a dog, or close your eyes can help calm you down.
(2) "B" HEALTHY
Lots of folks count calories, fats, and carbs - but who keeps track of Vitamins B6 and B12? You should, if you want a healthy source of natural energy that keeps your immune system thriving. Ask your doctor about B-vitamin supplementation to help get you out of a funk.
(3) EAT LESS
No, we're not asking you to subsist on lettuce and grapefruit juice - but a mild caloric restriction each day can have short and long-term benefits. Make less seem like more by packing up with veggies and fruits!
(4) GET DIRTY
Washing your hands is a great way to beat germs - but embracing "good" bacteria can help improve your metabolism, enhance your immunity, and reduce inflammation. For example, rinse (versus scrub) the skins of organic fruits and vegetables to maintain a bit of healthy soil.
(5) GET THE HERB
The legal ones, that is - plant-based health remedies have been around since ancient times and are often safer and more effective than OTC or prescription medications. From the very basic (green tea!) to the more intense (rhinoceros horn!), finding a good herbalist can give you a natural cure for what ails you.
(6) PRIORITIZE FRIENDS
Always putting off social gatherings for work, exercise, or other non-social commitments? People with strong friendships are less likely to succumb to infectious diseases - and have a lower risk of CVD. Make spending time with the ones you love a top "to-do" on your list.
(7) STAY PH BALANCED
The pH scale runs from alkaline to acidic - and the ideal body is balanced neatly between the two ends. Consider "cooling down" your diet (most American diets tend toward the acidic) with leafy green vegetables, coconut milk, and beans.
(8) ENJOY GARLIC BREATH
Yep, this one's a fun one - eat garlic! Sprinkle it raw on salads, cook it into sauces and soups, or mash it as a spread for bread or pita - and you'll reduce your blood pressure and triglyceride levels along the way.
Again, bene-fit would never recommend an extreme detox diet - we suggest a chemical detox, meaning waning the body off unnatural preservatives, additives, and ingredients. Take a cleansing mineral bath, drink 100 ounces of water daily, or take a Bikram ("hot") yoga class to drive impurities away from the body.
(10) NAP TIME
Sleep deprivation is one of the leading correlates of obesity, stress, and overeating. Take the time to balance out your sleep schedule with a 30-minute midday nap. If you don't have the luxury of an empty midday, try moving your bedtime 1/2 hour earlier. Your body, waistline, and mind will thank you.
So that's it for this week, bene-fit readers - your top 10 tips to resisting that cold that's going around, keeping your energy levels high throughout the dark days, and of course - finding your bene-fit this winter!