5 Simple Changes I’m Making for My Health

I’ve always considered myself a fairly healthy person. But, when you have a heart attack at age 42, you realize how fragile your health really is … and how important it is to take care of yourself!

My journey the past ten months has been slow and steady. It has taken a long time to get all the medicines to the right dosages. I think that was the worst part … I was taking so much medicine and it made me feel terrible!!! I’ve seen both my cardiologist and my internist regularly to figure out the best dosages for me. The process hasn’t been as speedy as I would have liked but I’m thankful for the wisdom of my medical team and their willingness to listen to me and take seriously how I was feeling.

In addition to the medications, I’ve also made several other adjustments. Today I want to share 5 simple changes I’m making for my health.  These are small steps toward a healthier me — not just physically but also emotionally and mentally.

5 simple changes I'm making for my health

Stretching

You know those people who groan when they get up in the morning or get off the couch? Yeah, me too. I was one. Long before I had my heart attack I had noticed I the creaking and popping and cracking my body was making.  I chalked it up to being over forty. Then I started researching … and I found article after article about the overall health benefits of daily stretching.  Y’all, I promise, this really works! Think about how a cat looks when it wakes up from a nap … have you ever wished you could stretch your body out like that? Well, we may never be able to arch our backs like a cat does, but simple stretching every day has so many health benefits. This isn’t yoga {though seriously, my friend Stef does yoga every day and she amazes me!}. I use a simple series of stretches I found on RealSimple.com. And I can tell a marked difference on the days I don’t stretch and the days I do!

Walking

For the past several years I have had low good cholesterol. There’s no pill for that … there’s just exercise. Not my favorite. For real. But, my friend Marguerite just retired from her job and she drags me out three or four mornings a week to walk for 30 to 45 minutes. And y’all, my good cholesterol numbers are going up! Yesterday I saw my internist and he was shocked at how much improved all my numbers were.  I haven’t made any diet changes and we are not about to break any world records for walking speed but it is making a difference. {Read this article from the American Heart Association for more on the heart health benefits of walking.}

Detox Baths

I first learned about detox baths when my friend Myra mentioned them on her blog. Then, after my heart attack and the emotional chaos that often follows any major health incident, I researched more about the benefits of regular detox baths. Again, I have to say, I’m hooked.  I don’t take a bath every night but I try to take one at least twice a week. For more information about detox baths, check out this article on Livestrong.

More Water

I’ve always been a water drinker but I’ve never been conscientious about tracking how much water I drink. You’ve probably heard the rule “8 oz of water 8 times a day.” But according to the Mayo Clinic, we really need a little more than that. And, if you are doing strenuous exercise, living in a higher altitude, have been sick, etc., you need even more.  I used this Hydration Calculator to find out how much water I should consume on a regular day. The answer was 74 ounces.  I’ve heard it said {but can’t remember where} that you can figure out how much you need by dividing your weight in half and drinking that many ounces of water daily.

More Sleep

America is sleep deprived! And, many of you reading are thinking, “Duh!” I realize there are seasons when sleep is just an idea you heard about somewhere {hello nursing mommas}. But one of the best things I have done is make getting enough rest a priority. The average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.  I prefer the nine … but I typically get close to eight hours most nights.  Adequate sleep has a direct relationship to our health in countless ways. {Check out this article from Business Insider for 23 Benefits of Getting More Sleep.}

So, there you have a few of the simple steps I am taking to improve my health. Next Tuesday I’ll be sharing a few more ways I’m changing my habits to make a healthier me.

xo,

Teri Lynne

What is something simple you do for your health?

5 Replies to “5 Simple Changes I’m Making for My Health”

  1. Eat a delicious apple everyday. I shop for the best tasting apple!

    1. Ahhh … good one, Jenny! “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I love it!

  2. My husband had a heart attack at 43 so we were quickly aware of how unhealthy we were. We both worked hard to add many of the small steps you listed but unfortunately we have recently become slack in keeping up. Thanks for the reminder that our health is something we need to work on each and everyday.

    1. Amy, it is so easy to let those simple things slide, isn’t it?? Cheering you on, girl!!

  3. […] of heart attack is a reality — especially after witnessing what happened to my fellow writer, Terri Lynne Underwood. Now that is motivation to get moving, isn’t it!  By the grace of God, Terri Lynn has had a […]

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