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What Are The Best Ways To Change My Health Habits?

VegetablesIf you want to make lifestyle changes to improve your health, it can be hard to know where to start. This is especially true if you have not previously paid close attention to your body: it can be overwhelming to feel as if you suddenly need to make a lot of changes all at once.

I have been a chiropractor in the Chesapeake region of Virginia for more than 20 years. In my clinical practice, I have helped many patients address health issues that have contributed to their back pain. I have even written a free ebook, Live Healthy And Thrive, which explains in detail steps you can take to improve your health.

In this article, I will give a brief description of some of the most important changes you can make as you start to change your health habits.

Change Your Outlook From Reactive to Proactive

People often develop unhealthy habits by being reactive to their health instead of proactive. They tell themselves things like “if I feel okay then I must be healthy.” Sometimes they rely on outside sources like medications to fix what is wrong with them: an example is treating pain by masking the symptoms instead of fixing the underlying issue.

By changing your outlook from reactive to proactive, you take the first step into healthy habits. Instead of assuming you are healthy because you feel well, a proactive outlook is to deliberately make choices to enhance your health. For example, choosing to eat more fresh vegetables with a meal, or seeking to treat the underlying cause of your pain instead of taking medications to treat only the symptoms.

Being Proactive And Setting Goals

Setting health goals is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself motivated and on track to making health changes. Some important steps in goal setting include:

  • Targeting specific habits you want to change: This can be as simple as deciding to forgo a morning donut in favor of a morning bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.
  • Making a plan: Making a specific plan for your habit changes, and sticking to it, is key. Many people find that a plan works best if they keep it in writing.
  • Making yourself accountable for changing the habits: You, and only you, are responsible for making the changes you want to make. Taking ownership means giving yourself power over your choices, and not giving your choices power over you instead.
  • Getting rid of triggers: It’s important to get rid of triggers that might lead you into unhealthy habits. For example, if you usually smoke a cigarette with your morning coffee, drinking coffee may trigger a craving for cigarettes. Changing around your morning routine can help you avoid this trigger if you are trying to stop smoking.
  • Expecting setbacks: Nobody is perfect. If your goal is to exercise every day, and you slip up and miss a day or two, then it is important to recognize this as a setback and move on. Giving yourself permission to have the occasional setback, and forgiving yourself for these setbacks, is key to overcoming them and trying again without guilt or shame.

Improve Your Eating Habits

Many people who want to improve their health habits start off with having poor diets. For example, you may eat a lot of high-fat, high-sugar processed foods. A poor diet can negatively impact your energy and stress levels, and can increase your chances of medical problems like obesity and chronic disease, including pain.

By incorporating healthier foods into your diet, you can increase your energy, lose weight, and reduce your risk of pain and disease. Healthy diet choices include:

  • Lean protein like egg whites, fish, chicken, turkey, and lean red meat
  • Whole grains like oatmeal and quinoa
  • Antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables, and salads with dark leafy greens
  • Healthy fats from nuts and olive oils
  • Increased hydration from water intake

Why is Drinking Water Important?

Drinking water is important because water plays a crucial role in maintaining your body’s systems. Water helps to:

  • Build and maintain the cells in your body
  • Regulate body temperature via sweating and breathing
  • Move food and nutrients in the bloodstream, and break them down so your cells can use them as energy
  • Flush waste from the body
  • Protect the brain and spinal cord
  • Lubricate your joints

Improve Your Exercise Habits

Exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your strength, flexibility, and overall health. Before starting any exercise program, you should check with your doctor to make sure your planned exercise regimen is appropriate.

Exercising between 30 and 60 minutes per day, 5 days a week can help you become healthier in many ways. These include:

  • Keeping or achieving a healthy weight
  • Improving mood and energy
  • Promoting sleep
  • Reducing stress

Exercise can look like different things to different people. For example, an appropriate exercise regimen for one person may be walking around the block several times a week, while for another person it might mean hitting the gym for weights and cardio. Your doctor will be able to provide advice on the best type of exercise regimen for you based on your medical history.

Developing Healthy Habits With Precision Spinal Care

As a certified NUCCA chiropractor and spine management physician, I work closely with you to develop a treatment plan that takes into account the root cause of your condition. When your condition may be due to unhealthy habits, I help you make a plan to replace these habits with healthier ones.

To accomplish this, during your first visit, I will do a thorough examination. Afterward, I will go over my evaluation with you in detail. Together, we will set reasonable expectations and milestones for recovery and further evaluation. We will also put together a treatment plan that meets your care needs. I will reevaluate you to make sure you are meeting your goals.

My experience and expertise in spinal biomechanics allow me to competently and safely address your back issues, including those related to poor posture. I am a trauma and hospital-qualified spine management physician. I have credentials in MRI spine interpretation, spinal biomechanical engineering, and orthopedic testing through the Academy of Chiropractic. I am also a fellow in Spinal Biomechanics and Trauma which is recognized through the SUNY Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine.

If we determine that chiropractic is not the best solution for your needs, I will recommend the type of specialist who is most appropriate for you. I may also recommend other specialists that can be used in conjunction with chiropractic care to help you meet your needs.

We understand that you need to explore all your options when you are trying to treat your pain. At Precision Spinal Care, we are happy to help you determine the best way to address your specific needs and discuss all the options with you and your family.

Call our office at (757) 382-5555 to speak to the doctor or set up a consultation. You can also set up an appointment through our webpage.

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