Foundational Health Building

GM Sky Scrapers

What do I mean by foundational health building?

We build houses.  We build skyscrapers.  We build cars and trains and buses.  We build computers.  We build countless different things in our country.  What do they all have in common?  They have FOUNDATION.  They have a structure that has to be in place before the other stuff can be added.  Health and our lives are no different.  We simply cannot have healthy lives or bodies without having some foundational support first.  Without going into too much detail, what are these foundations?  Let’s take a quick look.

ENVIRONMENT:  This is step number one.  Make sure your living environment and workspace are good.  Clean air, low stress, good lighting, etc.  Hectic, stuffy environments just will not work long-term.  Taking in fresh air, clean water, sunlight, and grounding are great foundations.  These are the basics.  

NUTRITION:  We have physical bodies guys.  We simply need good nutrition for our bodies to perform optimally.  This is like having the right parts and tools to build your house.  The directions may be great, but if the materials are not there it just doesn’t work.  Different people have slightly different “parts required.”  This may be akin to different genetics, and why people tend to do best on different diets.  Focusing on super-foods and fresh local food is best.  Fruits, vegetables, organic animal products are great.  Let your body guide you.  Cutting out the junk, as always, is a good step as well.

GOD/SOURCE:  This is a super-deep topic that is beyond the scope of this post.  Ultimately, you need to personally figure out who or what GOD means to you.  Is he a good guy?  Is he a bad guy with a whip?  Does he owe you something?  Are you thankful for him in your life?  Your view of God is HUGE in your personal life.  This may be one of the most important foundational principles to work on.

FAMILY:  Family is big as well.  Having healthy family relationships is paramount to a healthy life.  When we are running around with conflicted relationships, unresolved issues, and unspoken resentments; things don’t tend to work out too well.  Focusing on fixing these damaged or broken relationships is challenging work.  However, working on family issues is critical if you want to have solid foundations.

MOVEMENT:  Life is movement guys.  We were born to move.  Not to sit at desks all day.  We don’t need much.  Anything helps.  Light cardio, jogging, biking, swimming, kayaking, mini trampoline, strength training, hiking, walking, bodyweight stuff, whatever.  Anything you will stick to is great.

SLEEP/R&R:  Sleep is where we recover.  It is where we integrate our day.  Dreaming is where our unconscious mind comes out to play.  Are you sleeping enough?  Are you relaxing enough?  Sometimes we are relaxed but don’t get enough sleep.  Sometimes we get enough sleep but we can’t relax.  Both are foundational to health and healing.

Those are the big ones guys.  Everything else comes on top of these.  Let’s fix the foundations and build from the ground up.

-JOE

Benefits of Napping.

Is he really writing about how amazing naps are?  I thought that was a given.  Well of course everybody really loves a good nap, but some of us forget that we “have time.”  Maybe we have too much to do and no time to do it.  Maybe our job prevents us from accomplishing this.  I agree that our society isn’t exactly set up for nap-time…yet.  I keep reading more studies about big corporations having paid nap time during work.  They are realizing that the productivity of their employees actually goes up when  they take time off for naps.  Almost as if it gives them a second wind.  So ask take a few z’s at break time.

So let’s define a “nap.”  To me a nap is a rest period during the day.  This could be a “cat-nap” of 10 minutes to a full-scale 2 hour zonked out sleep-time.  There is something about daytime sleep that feels so regenerative.  Is there a proper way to nap?  I think any way is great, but there are a few tips of maximizing your energetic gains from a nap.

1. Nap outside if possible.  If the weather is nice, if the sun is out, if it’s not cold and wet, then try napping outside.  If there is sun, get it on your skin.  Breathe fresh-air.  Ground your feet.  You now have no less than 3 energetic inputs pumping into you while you are asleep.

2. Let yourself mentally let-go for the duration of your nap.  Part of the benefits here mean taking a break, or RELAXING.  So don’t be thinking about what you have to do after you wake up or what is going on in your relationship.  Just drop it all.  If it helps the fears, tell yourself you can pick back up all of your worries and problems after nap-time. =)

3. Use naps as a gauge for how tired you really are.  If you are scared to fall asleep because you know you will be out for hours that may be telling you something.  If you have great energy and feel powered through the day and just want a 10 minute siesta then that is great too.  Listen to your body.  It will let you know.

4. Don’t be afraid of the “non-nap.”  This is literally a 5-10 minute rest period.  Instructions:  Let go of all worries and stress, lay down for 5-10 minutes.  Take a few deep breaths.  It is amazing how much this little period will rejuvenate you.

5. If late napping is interfering with your sleep, then do it earlier.  Perfect napping times will differ for people but usually anywhere between 11 am and 4 pm are good times.

So in all, naps are great.  They are a very useful healing tool.  Use them to rest, repair, relax, and gauge how you are feeling.  I don’t think there are any downsides to napping (unless done really late in the day).  So kick off your shoes, lay out in the sun, on the couch, in your bed, and take a nap.

-Joe