Let's Get Heart Healthy: Ways to improve the health of the heart (listed in no particular order):
1) Exercise, including muscle strengthening
2) Increase circulation, through massage, exercise, or dry-skin brushing (more on this later)
3) Minimize consumption of animal-derived saturated fats and trans fats
4) Increase hydration
5) Increase consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids
6) Increase consumption of fiber
7) Refrain from smoking
8) Manage stress and think positively :)
I do not often make New Year's Resolutions because I think it is best to act on a poor habit (or lack of a good habit) when it is first noticed, instead of waiting until the "New Year" to make the change. With that being said, I recently made a the resolution to maintain better posture. Since starting at CCNM, I spend far too much time in a chair, usually with slouchy posture. If I am going to survive the next three years of class time, I need to smarten-up and starting taking better care of my poor back! In my Philosophy class last week, we had a guest speaker come in (an ND) to talk to us about her practice, her favorite modalities, her regrets, etc. As she was being interviewed, she was asked the question: what do you do that is not naturopathic? (What a unique and very telling question!). While listening to her answer (which involved a love for French fries), I started reflecting on my own non-naturopathic habits. I must admit I have more than a few (In my defense, I'm new to the field and have much to learn! :P), with poor posture being one. So, with this recent reflection, I am taking charge and hoping to work on my poor posture. Click here for a previous discussion on posture.
Also with regards to goals and resolutions, I remember my TCM prof from last semester discussing how to tackle goals. He said that if the steps required to achieve the goal are very easy, then there should be no problem in completing them and eventually achieving the goal. For example: if your goal was to meditate everyday, setting a goal of 30 minutes of meditation daily is a recipe for disaster, especially if you've never meditated before. Within no time you'll likely find yourself skipping or running-out-of-time for the 30 minute sessions. Instead, set the MUCH easier goal of meditating for 3 minutes a day. At only 3 minutes, this is too easy to not complete! Only when the habit is enlisted, then the minutes of meditation can be increased. What matters in goal-achieving is first creating the good habit.