5 Steps Caregivers Can Use to Care for Themselves
Dr. Robert Zembroski—physician, board-certified chiropractic neurologist, clinical nutritionist, author of the book “REBUILD” and public speaker—wrote the following article for caregivers on how your lifestyle choices have a direct impact on your emotional and physical health. Learn more on how you can be a healthier caregiver.
Caring for our loved ones who may be ill, impaired and/or have a reduced quality of life can take a toll on you as the caregiver, emotionally and physically. Taking care of those who need your help also requires you to be focused, feeling good and on your game. For those age 50 and older, the quality of life and health varies from person to person. Some have maintained a high level of energy and physical activity, while others are struggling with fatigue, poor stamina and chronic health issues. The common factor here is lifestyle choices. By modifying a few behaviors, you can dramatically improve your health.
Here are 5 simple tools you can use to be a healthier caregiver:
1. Eliminate Three and a Half Foods
Some foods have been proven to cause conditions ranging from heart disease, autoimmune diseases, cancer, hormone abnormalities, overweight and obesity, diabetes and more. The three foods are bread (refined grains), dairy and white refined sugar. The “half” is really not food, but is found in many processed foods—hydrogenated oils. Eliminate these food sources, and eat nutrient-dense, whole foods, including plant-based foods, healthful protein sources, unprocessed nuts and nut butters, fats like avocado, and oils including olive, avocado and grapeseed oils.
2. Adopt HIIT
If you could have more energy, better strength, lose fat, regulate your blood sugar and recover from disease by exercising only 20—25 minutes a day, would you be interested? You may be familiar with the term High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). OK, don’t get anxious; it’s easier than it sounds. For most, exercising means wasting 1—2 hours a day at the gym, running on a treadmill to the point of sheer exhaustion. Take a breath. You don’t need to do that. Current exercise and physiology research states that exercising for a short period of time, including short bursts of intensity (your level of intensity) followed by short periods of rest, is the most impactful way to get rid of fat, increase energy and rebuild from a chronic health issue. HIIT can be performed with or without exercise equipment.
3. Rebuild Yourself with 3 Simple Supplements
Nutritional supplements, such as vitamins, minerals, probiotics, herbs and enzymes, provide a portion of the daily nutritional needs—filling in the pot holes—for people who could become ill due to lack of proper nutrition to support toxic and stressful lifestyles. It is well established in the scientific literature that supplements (nutraceuticals) are needed not only to recover from illness but to support and maintain your health. Vitamins and minerals are important ingredients in the cellular and biochemical processes in the body. From energy production to detoxification, vitamins and minerals are needed for normal function. Vitamin C is essential for countless functions, including proper immune function, iron absorption and detoxification. It is also a powerful antioxidant. Once activated through sunlight, vitamin D becomes a hormone that helps to regulate other hormones, maintain strong bones, regulate cell growth; it also acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. Remember, supplements are not a substitute for a healthful, nutrient-dense, whole-food diet. To provide you with the support to get you through the day, consider adding a multivitamin without iron, vitamin C and vitamin D.
4. Take a Breath and De-Stress
Chronic stress is far more hazardous to your health than being stuck in traffic on your way to work. Stress is a perception. The way we think about stressors and how we deal with them control the stress reaction. When prolonged or chronic, the stress reaction has been proven to cause disease. To rebuild your health and reduce the destructive stress reaction, try to take five minutes a day to just relax and breathe. When time allows, do something that clears your head; take a walk or listen to some calming classical jazz or meditation music.
5. Get Restful Shuteye
Sleep not only recharges your batteries, it regulates growth hormone, reduces inflammation and stimulates the immune system. It also regulates your appetite hormones, thus preventing you from going for those refined white carbs. If you are having trouble falling asleep or are waking in the night, consider getting tested for progesterone deficiency and high cortisol.
It is estimated that 50% of the American population suffers from a chronic health issue, and most of those individuals have more than one. Most chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and diabetes, are said to be afflictions of the aging. However, due to poor lifestyle choices, these conditions are developing in the younger population. The research states that eliminating processed unnatural foods and smoking, incorporating some exercise and reducing stress, will dramatically minimize the chance of developing “diseases of the elderly.” As important as it is to take care of your parents and other loved ones, it’s equally important to take care of yourself.
About Dr. Robert Zembroski
These tools can be found in Dr. Zembroski’s book Rebuild—an easy-to-read, research-based guide that provides the right tools for you to create your own personalized plan to rebuild from disease, rebuild to prevent disease, lose toxic fat, and get lean. It is the only program after disease.
Dr. Robert Zembroski is a physician, board-certified chiropractic neurologist, clinical nutritionist, author of the book REBUILD, and public speaker. Twenty-one years in private practice has helped Dr. Zembroski to become an expert in health topics from heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, hormone-related issues, neurological dysfunctions, and more. Currently, Dr. Zembroski is the director of The Darien Center for Functional Medicine, in Darien, Connecticut.
For more information, call 203-655-4494, or visit www.drzembroski.com.
What lifestyle choices do you wish to change after reading this article? Please share with us in the comments below.
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