3 Important Metrics for Health

With the holidays in full swing, you may notice you are gaining weight. But along with eating and baking cookies comes an opportunity to connect with you family. You may be making memories that will last a lifetime, and that is really good for your health!

As you are thinking about your health this holiday season, nutrition is important. But personal relationships and connection are also really important. And so is tradition. And joy and laughter and love. Those are as important, if not more important, to your health as a few extra pounds or a missed trip to the gym.

Without giving you a free pass to sit around all winter consuming more sugar, fat and alcohol than is good for you, we want to take this opportunity to give you 3 other ways to think about health beyond just the number on the scale.

The first comes to us from Isabelle Libman, owner of TruFit personal training gym and IzzyFit personal training. She reminds us that we can tell how healthy we are by how fast we recover from colds and flu. A mentor of hers once said it’s not how often you get sick or injured, it’s how fast you recover. This is excellent advice. Do you notice you are spending more time sick this winter? If so, that is a good indicator you should cut back on sugar, alcohol and grains. Also, increase the amount of sleep you are getting. These steps will improve your immune function. Regular chiropractic care has also been shown to improve immune function.

The second is from Dr. Will Vogds, he says an important metric for health is how adaptable you are to stress. Do you notice you are quick to get angry, sad or frustrated? Do small problems cause you to get upset more than they used to? These can be indications that your neurological, as well as your physical health, may be taxed. Your sympathetic nervous system maybe overloaded and not functioning properly. Anger, sadness and frustration are normal and healthy human emotions. If you never feel them, that is as concerning as if you feel them all the time! But, if you notice they are more frequent, that is a warning flag of Sympathetic Overload. This can lead to a host of physical as well as mental and emotional concerns. Getting easily agitated can be a warning sign that your body is on the verge of getting sick or injured. Take some time for yourself. Get some exercise or get a chiropractic treatment. The holidays are stressful. And not every moment will be full of joy and holiday cheer. But if you find yourself reacting more intensely than you have in years past, honor those feelings. Do not push yourself too hard.

Finally, balance is a great overall indicator of both your physical and neurological health. Adults should be able to stand on one foot for 30 seconds with their arms at their sides. Equally, if not more importantly, adults should be able to stand on one foot with their eyes closed for 20 seconds. If your balance is bad with your eyes open, or if it gets significantly worse with your eyes closed, this indicates problems with your proprioception. Diminished proprioception leads to increased pain levels, increased injuries, more falls and difficulty healing. You can improve your balance by practicing standing on one foot or standing with your eyes closed, or by increasing your overall activity level and by chiropractic care.

This holiday season, take time to enjoy, laugh and love. Pay attention to your health, but be aware there are lots of ways to measure health. In order to serve your last minute mental, emotional and physical health care needs, we are open for a few hours on Christmas Eve. And we are open our normal hours on Thursday, Dec. 27, and Friday, Dec. 28.

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