Insight Neuro Chiropractic – April is Earth Month, an annual time to celebrate our planet, raise awareness about environmental issues, and think about the ways our actions can impact mother nature. It is also an important time to consider the close relationship between our health, wellness, and the earth. From water and food to spending time outdoors, nature provides countless benefits to nurture our bodies and improve most aspects of our lives. With Earth Day just around the corner on April 22, here are six simple earth-related steps we can take to improve our chiropractic health while also preserving the planet for future generations.
Think of Nature as Medicine
When we think about medicine, a visit to the pharmacy or pills are probably the first things that come to mind. But did you know that simply spending time outdoors offers many natural health benefits and healing properties? According to recent research from the journal Nature, spending as little as two hours a week outdoors leads to significant improvements in health and well-being. Lowering blood pressure and stress hormone levels, reducing nervous system arousal, enhancing immune system function, improving cognitive performance and memory, and reducing anxiety are just a few of the ways nature can improve our bodies. When spending time outdoors, you will most likely also experience a sense of accomplishment and happiness. This is because outside increasing our levels of vitamin D, an essential nutrient that is responsible for increasing serotonin in our brains and mood improvement.
If you are looking for ways to get outdoors and take advantage of those natural health benefits, the possibilities are almost limitless. As the weather warms, walking, hiking, biking, boating, camping, and yoga are all great ways to interact with nature and improve your physical and mental health. In honor of Earth Month, dedicate a day to walking your neighborhood and picking up litter, consider walking instead of driving to nearby locations, and plant trees or native flowers at your home or in your community. Not only will these activities benefit your health and wellness, they will also leave a lasting impact on the planet.
Improve Immune Function
A common misconception about staying healthy is that people should avoid exposure to all germs and bacteria. But this is not entirely true – especially in children who are still developing their immune systems. Spending time outdoors is one of the best ways to help your immune system function optimally. Time outdoors exposes our bodies to natural environments and microbes, which play a key role in how our immune cells learn to react to certain diseases. Plants discharge a number of substances into the air that promote healthy immune systems, including organic compounds called phytoncides. Plus, in addition to high levels of vitamin D, sunlight also energizes the T cells in our immune systems to help our bodies fight infection.
Drink More Water
Water plays an essential role in the health of our planet and human life. But did you know it also is an important part of your chiropractic health? If you don’t drink enough water before and after a chiropractic adjustment, your body can lose elasticity and strength from dehydration. This can leave you sore and susceptible to further injuries or complications. Water is also essential in carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells, flushing toxins from your bladder, digesting food, and cushioning joints, organs, and tissues. As a general rule, adults should aim for at least four to six eight-ounce cups of water throughout the day. However, people who are physically active, live in hot/humid climates or are pregnant should consume more. For additional information on hydration for your age, weight, and other circumstances, refer to these guidelines from the CDC.
Grow Your Own Vegetables
With warmer weather upon us, April is the perfect time to consider growing your own vegetables. Even if you don’t have a large yard to plant a garden, it is easy to get started. Many veggies and herbs thrive in containers or pots that you can place on a sunny porch or in a small yard. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, and radishes are just a few options that are inexpensive, grow well in containers, and are easy to incorporate into your favorite recipes. Growing your own food is very rewarding, but if you don’t have a green thumb you can also visit your local farmers market or neighborhood garden to find inexpensive locally grown food. This not only benefits you and your health, but it also makes a positive impact in your community.
Choose Natural Products
We all know that “going green” benefits the planet. But choosing natural products also results in many positive benefits for our bodies. Traditional products like chlorine-based cleaners, antibacterial soaps, and haircare products that contain ingredients such as parabens and phthalates are all harmful for the environment and our health. Next time you go to the store, make an effort to review the packaging of products you buy and look for nontoxic and natural labels. You can also make your own cleaning products that are just as effective using ingredients like white vinegar and baking soda.
As we celebrate Earth Month, there is no better time to think about healthy habits to nourish your body and the planet. Even something as small as growing your own food or choosing natural products can have a big impact on your health and the environment. For more information on how chiropractic care can benefit your health and wellness or to schedule an appointment with our team at the Insight Neuro Chiropractic Center, contact us today.
Q: Which outdoor activities are good for the spine?
A: There are many spine-friendly outdoor activities that will help you stay fit without putting unnecessary stress on your back. Walking, swimming/water exercises, biking, and gardening are just a few safe options to be active outdoors without overexerting your body.
Q: Can a chiropractor help me, even if I’m not experiencing pain?
A: Yes. Chiropractic care is an excellent way to identify and prevent problems before they lead to serious issues down the road. Because chiropractors focus on the whole person, they can also work with you to address stress, nutrition, posture correction, and many other areas that can improve your health and well-being.
Q: How do diet and nutrition impact chiropractic care?
A: Diet and nutrition play a key role in good health and a positive chiropractic experience. A healthy diet supports everything from bone health and weight loss to inflammation and the ability to recover from injuries. Your chiropractor will work with you to create a personalized chiropractic and nutritional plan to meet your needs.