The Fundamentals to Health Optimisation
How Healthy Are You?
How to become (and stay) healthy at any age.
Recently I attended the Health Optimisation Summit in London, is a global collective of the most forward-thinking health professionals from the biohacking, nutrition, longevity, fitness, functional and preventative medicine fields.
Biohacking is a term coined by Dave Asprey which is the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you so that you have full control over your own biology. In other terms, understanding the unique way your body works and personalising the best diet and lifestyle for longevity and optimal health.
The HOS is full of incredible speakers showcasing the latest research and technology on all things optimal health related and I wanted to share with you my key takeaway from the weekend that I hope will benefit you as well – that understanding and practising Lifestyle Medicine and Preventative Healthcare are THE ways to improve and optimise your health and longevity and minimise your risk of chronic disease.
You MUST have a strong foundation in place. You cannot out supplement a poor foundation.
Below are the basics that build a strong foundation. It takes daily work and commitment to get them right, but you must do so if your goal is become and stay healthy. So let’s review the steps. I don’t go into detail but have various links to other blog posts or articles for more information about each topic.
10 Steps to Optimal Health
Paleo, gluten free, keto, which diet is best for you? Everyone is different and so here a lot of experimentation is needed, perhaps with genetic testing. I have a lot of information on my blog to start improving your diet, fixing nutritional deficiencies, balancing blood sugar and cutting out the worst offenders – ultra processed foods & seed oils.
Walking has many health and mind benefits – 7-10k steps daily is recommended. In addition, strength training is required to maintain muscle mass and bone density as we age, and cardio such as HIIT to improve oxygenation and cardiovascular health.
As we age, sleep gets harder. So you must work harder to get better sleep. A strong sleep routine to increase deep and REM sleep is necessary.
4. Stress Management
Stress undoubtedly has one of the most detrimental effects on the health of any human being. Stress keeps us in sympathetic nervous system overdrive, meaning you’re not digesting the food you eat and your body isn’t repairing itself to keep from things breaking down inside and aging is accelerated. There are countless ways of reducing and managing stress from yoga to meditation and countless devices to help such as Sensate.
5. Cold Immersion
30 seconds up to 3 minutes depending on your cold of choice (cold plunge less time, cold shower more time). Cold immersion induces a healthy, favourable stress like response in the body called hormesis. It helps your body and mind to become ok with being uncomfortable, which helps you learn and grow stronger.
Wim Hof is well known for his breathwork techniques. Breathwork helps balance the nervous system along with other beneficial effects on the body.
There is a lot of air pollution today, especially in big cities. Even if you don’t live in a big city, I recommend use of a air filtration device in the home or office. Along the lines of clear air, make sure you’re not living in mould. Mould is bad for your health and if you want to learn more, see my various blog posts on Mould Toxicity.
Getting sunrise and sunset light is necessary for a strong circadian rhythm that’s important for hormone health and more. Minimise the use of LED lights and consider the use of biological LED lights instead. Be mindful of artificial light especially in the evening. Use blue light blocking glasses, stay off devices before bed as it blocks melatonin production that makes you sleepy.
9. Relationships & Community
Being in optimal health means nothing if you’re all alone. So spend time and energy nurturing the relationships around you, find your community and your tribe of like-minded individuals to engage with.
10. Spiritual Health
This one is individual and whether it’s the belief in God or not, it’s more generally a belief there is something bigger than us and something that connects us all together.
Small, consistent steps win the race
There is a lot here to dive deep into and most of us will find PLENTY to work on to improve their health. Focus on one area before moving to the next. Small, consistent steps win the race.
These 10 areas are the foundation to Lifestyle Medicine. Nailing all of these areas will dramatically improve your overall health and undoubtedly reduce your risk of chronic, aging diseases.
The Importance of Preventative Medicine
The other key takeaway from the summit was the importance of Preventative Medicine, a medical specialty that focuses on promoting preventive health care to improve individual well-being and prevent disease, disability, and death, and how do we as health professionals articulate this to the general public.
Let’s start by me asking you a question.
What does Healthy mean to you and Are you Healthy?
Most of us believe we are generally healthy, up until one day when we are not healthy. That one day we might have a Doctor’s appointment and be given a diagnosis of a disease or condition. All of the sudden we’re not healthy anymore. But the day before the Doctor’s appointment, we were healthy… or that’s what we thought anyway.
But were we really healthy? What did it take for the body to come to this point where you are now diagnosed with some medical condition or disease? Certainly it didn’t just happen in one day, or one month, or even one year in many cases. It was a buildup of multiple systems and processes working sub optimally in the body and over time those weakening the body to cause dis-ease. The body would have given you signals trying to alert you something wasn’t quite right, but you ignored or brushed them aside. Until one day you stop to find out just what is happening in your body. And at that point you get a label ie diagnosis. And then everything changes. And we’re not healthy. Far from it. And none of us want to get to that point.
This is why preventative medicine is so crucial to living a long, healthy life with plenty of energy and ability to do the things that matter to us most.
It takes commitment and as you age, you’ll have to work harder at staying ‘healthy’. But without your health, what else is there in life?
The current statistics are clear – people are living longer but not better. Many are taking a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs causing side effects that hinder a vibrant, healthy life. If you are over 35 and want to avoid this, at the very minimum, you must get the basics in place as soon as possible. It’s as simple as that. And once you’re onto that, you’ll then move into more personalised preventative medicine. Because no one is looking after you, no one is coming to save you, it’s you and only you understanding your body inside and out and making sure you reach that goal of living your best life at 60, 70 and beyond.
If you are looking for help, guidance and coaching to get the basics in place or help you figure out what your best personalised diet and lifestyle looks like, you can book a discovery call with me here to find out how we can best work together.
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