Day 17- Bringing in Healthy Habits

Welcome to day 17! Today were going to talk about some healthy habits you can bring into your life to prevent further disease, maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall health. Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is a big part of your health. It has a big role on whether or not you feel well. That being said there are other ways you can be healthy like fitness, sleep, stress relief and healthy food. For the most part we all know that we should eat healthy, reduce stress and exercise. How do we actually do it? because as we all know these things are much easier said then done.

Today we'll learn:
How to start a easy chronic illness friendly workout routine
Ways to reduce stress
Simple dietary changes you can implement today

What does having celiac disease or gluten sensitivity have to do with being healthy?
Even though going gluten free is important for your health it doesn't mean you'll be healthy. If you have the bad habits that so many of us have then you could still be susceptible to disease. 

Fitness

When you have 87 things to get done in one day and limited time to do them, trudging to the gym feels about as realistic as a Hallmark movie. When you add the symptoms of recovering from a chronic illness the last thing you may want to do is workout. Before your diagnosis you may have been feeling pretty bad and this probably meant not working out. Who wants to workout when they feel terrible! I know I didn't. When you're on your gluten free diet and starting to feel better try some low impact exercises like swimming and walking.

No time?
There is more and more emerging evidence that short high intensity workouts can have huge benefits. There seems to be an all or nothing mindset when it comes to working out. You don't have to either be working out 1 hour a day or doing nothing at all. You can just walk 15 minutes a day and that's way better then nothing. 

Breaking exercise into small chunks on your overscheduled days can also keep your confidence up, since skipping it altogether can make you feel tired, guilty, or depressed. Keep in mind, though, that short bursts of exercise are meant to supplement, not replace, your regular fitness routine. Try 5 to 10 minutes of jumping jacks. (A 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories in one 10-minute session.) Put on music while you cook dinner and dance. Fitness doesn't have to look like you're preparing for a triathlon. By having a more casual mindset aboutstarting a fitness routine it can make it so much more doable. Whenever you have a spare 5 minutes get your heart rate up.

Bored of your workout?
Same run, same treadmill? Try signing up for a class. It's more social and fun, plus you get to learn a new skill. Try a yoga or barre class. Try zumba or Pilates. Whatever class you want! Having a place you've paid to go and that's scheduled in makes it much easier to go when it's fun.

Fitness and celiac disease
Exercise is an essential component of a balanced lifestyle. Balance is required to maintain the physical well-being needed to heal. We are all in the process of healing. Each time we sleep, the body is repairing and growing. Those with CD need to take special care to heal, some perhaps from a lifetime of foods that have been unhelpful to their being.

In particular, weight training helps achieve a healthy muscle-to-fat ratio. It also helps strengthen bones, which may have been weakened by CD’s effect on calcium levels. Osteoporosis and osteopenia (lower than normal bone density) are frequent secondary outcomes of CD. Weight-bearing exercises can help prevent further weakening of bones and joints. 

Exercise certainly perks up a sour mood, whether caused by ongoing stomach bloat or frustration from life with a chronic condition. You may not truly know deprivation until you’ve had to refuse delectable offerings in an effort to avoid a host of symptoms. Unlike most dieters, the person with CD knows eating gluten isn’t an indulgence for which can be later compensated. A splurge can have long-term consequences.

Commitment to an exercise routine may provide the emotional and physical energy needed to overcome feelings of self-deprivation. When the body is suffering, the mind can easily sink. Life feels fuller when in action, even though you may have foregone the random doughnut or serving of pasta.

Stress Relief

Stress is associated with almost all health conditions. Here's how you can reduce stress:

1. Don't be so hard on yourself.

Self-judgment causes much stress. It's easy for many of us to blame outside situations for our stress, such as others' rude, blaming or angry behavior, or things not going our way. But the truth is that most stress is caused by how we treat ourselves. If you start to notice what stresses you, you'll discover that judging yourself is a major cause of anxiety and stress.

Try practicing being compassionate toward yourself for being human, rather than judging yourself or others for mistakes or failures, or for others' rejecting behavior toward you.

2. Learn to relax using meditation

Meditation is something that anyone can do! It can improve your life, help you focus and reduce stress. Meditation means awareness. Whatever you do with awareness is meditation. "Watching your breath" is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation. As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation. You can do meditation classes or try following guided meditation online on a youtube video.

3. Practice gratitude. What are you grateful for?

Rather than relieving stress, complaining actually creates more stress. Instead of complaining, try focusing on what you are grateful for. You will find that heart-felt gratitude immediately relieves stress. Many of you who are reading this have much to be grateful for. You are likely not starving, not on the streets, not fighting a war. Try being grateful for the everyday things that many people on this planet don't have.

4. Laugh.

Laughter relieves stress. Even in the midst of life's challenges, it's important to find ways to relieve stress with laughter.

Sleep

Sleep couldn't be more important for your overall health. Not getting enough sleep is linked to obesity, disease, depression, and mental health.

Here's 10 ways to get a better sleep tonight.

1. Create a bedroom environment that’s dark, quiet, and cool (between 60 and 67 degrees).

2. Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

3. Don’t charge your phone next to your bed. Even better: Gently escort all devices completely out of your room.

4. Stop drinking caffeine after 2 p.m.

5. Use your bed for sleep and sex only—no work!

6. Keep pets off the bed (sorry, Mr. Snuffles).

7. Take a hot bath with Epsom salts in the evening to help calm your mind and body.

8. Wear pajamas, nightdresses, or even a special T-shirt—it’ll send a sleep-friendly message to your body. If you wore it to the gym, don’t wear it to bed.

9. Do some light stretching, deep breathing, yoga, or meditation to help your body and your mind transition to sleep.

10. Choose a real book or an e-reader that does not emit blue light, if you like to read in bed. And make sure it’s not work-related: novels, poetry, philosophy—anything but work.

11. Sip camomile or lavender tea to ease yourself into sleep mode.

12. Write down a list of what you’re grateful for before bed.