These are the 6 things that make the most difference in keeping me healthy so I don’t get bronchitis (which I used to get 1-2 times per year for 2-3 weeks at a time!) If I drop any one of these my allergies start getting worse and drop more than one and I start looking for the tissue box in every room:
- regular exercise : this can be as simple as walking a half an hour 3x per week. Preferably more but it’s better to keep it up and exercise regularly than push too hard a few times and give up.
- raw milk : ( see “more about my cow” ) strike that … I gave up on raw milk after some repeat and unnecessary stress and wasted time created by the farmer in charge of my cow share. Raw milk helped when it wasn’t stressful but adding stress was counterproductive.
- less wheat (and other bad foods) : The typical american diet contains too much wheat. I tried removing it completely once but then I stressed about not eating any (and I’m not celiac.) I notice the most difference when I just reduce my wheat consumption a lot but not panic if I eat a little here and there. Other bad foods include: artificial sweetners, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), hydrogenated oils, and unfermented soy products (tofu isn’t fermented.) This will probably also force you to eat more veggies which is also a good thing.
- less stress : this should be self explanatory but being actively aware of how stressed you are, and finding ways to reduce stress in your life (or even recover from it) will really help your health.
- more sleep : most Americans are not getting enough sleep. Get at least 7 hours … 9 would be even better. Figure out how much you need to feel rested … or ways to get better sleep too (is your bed killing your back?) I like to joke that I might need to hibernate in the winter but it’s probably natural inclination to sleep more when there’s fewer hours of daylight in the day.
- sun : your body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. You need vitamin D to stay healthy. When we spend so much of our lives in front of a computer, inside behind UV coated glass, we aren’t producing enough. Make a point of getting out for walks during sunny hours of the day. I know I’m going to get harassed for this but… if it’s dark and gloomy during the winter, go to a tanning bed. But use moderation! You don’t want to burn (this is bad) and don’t let them pressure you into going too long – remember you’re not there to roast even if other people are! If you’re afraid of this, find a vitamin D3 supplement as this is known to also help (it made me feel weird so I prefer letting my body produce it’s own vitamin D.)
Update: One more thing I didn’t really realize I had changed. This is especially true if you have allergies and your allergies are what lea you to regular bronchitis.
7. Switching from bath product / shampoo & conditioner that have added perfumes to something that is more natural.
I still haven’t found the perfect product and in fact my most recent all natural conditioner purchase caused what I call “hippie hair” and I wanted something to strip it out the buildup better than a natural shampoo. This made me realize that my allergies are a bit worse with the cheap (or actually not so cheap) drugstore products that are perfumed. It’s really hard to find something that isn’t intensely scented from the drugstore. Even the “organic” (not so organic) labeled products seem to have added scents these days. Best bet, try your local co-op or natural food store. If you really miss your other shampoo and conditioner, alternate or use it sparingly. This also goes for any other bath products: shower gel, soap, shave gel, perfume (go without or go with an essential oil based), lotion, body spray.