5 Steps Dr. Pakenham is Taking to Stay Healthy During the Pandemic

Staying Healthy During the PandemicA lot of people have asked me what I have been doing to stay healthy during this pandemic. I firmly believe that optimal health is based on balance of five pillars; 1) A healthy nervous system, 2) Proper nutrition, 3) Consistent exercise, 4) Rest, and 5) Stress Management.

1) Our nervous system controls all the major functions of the body

It does so by sending energy from the brain down the spinal cord through the nerves to all our vital organs. It’s like a river carrying life’s energy. Each and every cell is totally dependent on that energy to stay alive and healthy. Because of different stresses in our life, some sudden and some over time, our spine can distort causing stress to the spinal cord. The energy can not get through and the end organ can start to progressively weaken and degenerate which may cause disease. Keeping your spine properly aligned and healthy promotes overall well-being. I have continued to see MY chiropractor for regular adjustments these last few months!

2) We all have heard “we are what we eat”

Proper nutrition is always critical, but even more so when we are sick. I strongly urged everyone to eat organic foods including grass-fed proteins and fats. Spend some time reading ingredients. There are so many chemicals in food and preservatives that cause inflammation in our bodies, weakening our overall health. Avoid refined carbohydrates and processed foods. No sugar. Take your vitamins, specifically Vitamin A, Liposomal Vitamin C, and Vitamin D. I’ve also been loading up on Odorless garlic capsules, Co-Q10, Echinacea, Goldenseal and drinking plenty of iced green tea. I love making my own green ice tea. I drink it all year long. I know what’s in it and it’s so good for you!!

3) Consistent exercise is essential for optimal health.

Regular exercise helps improve your mental health and mood. During exercise, your body releases chemicals that can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed. This can help you deal with stress and reduce your risk of depression. Exercise stimulates your body to release proteins and other chemicals that improve the structure and function of your brain. Not only does it help you control your weight but consistent exercise helps reduce your risk of heart diseases. It strengthens your heart and improves your circulation.  Regular exercise can also lower your blood pressure and triglyceride levels, while helping your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels. Consistent exercise can lower your blood sugar level and help your insulin work better. This can cut down your risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.  And if you already have one of those diseases, exercise can help you to manage it. Regular exercise can help you quit smoking. Exercise may make it easier to quit smoking by reducing your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It can also help limit the weight you might gain when you stop smoking. Exercise can help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Honestly, I’ve never enjoyed working out, but understand the importance of it. Therefore I’ve made it a priority and have trained my mind and body to just do it! I like exercising on the Power Plate, playing tennis and taking my dog on at least a 30-minute walk every day (weather dependent).

4) Getting enough rest can help boost your immune system

When your body gets the sleep it needs, your immune cells and proteins get the rest they need to fight off whatever comes their way — like colds or the flu. Without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation. Cytokines are both produced and released during sleep. We need anywhere from 7-8 hours of sleep a night to keep our bodies performing at their best. These last few months I have been going to bed earlier than normal and I’m trying to get closer to 8-9 hours of sleep to help keep me rested and healthy so I can serve my patients better.

5) Stress Management/Meditation.

There are three different types of stress: physical, emotional, and chemical. All these different types of stress cause the body to release a stress hormone called cortisol which can lead to weight gain and lower our body’s ability to heal itself. Meditation helps lowers blood pressure, improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves. Tension and tightness leave the muscles as the body receives a quiet message to relax. That said, some form of stress management/meditating is critical for maintaining good health. This aspect of heath works well with regular exercise. I like doing yoga and keeping a positive mental attitude. Being positive doesn’t mean I am happy all the time, it just means I know better days are coming.

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