Dr. Bell's Blog

Recharge Your Batteries and Enjoy The Moment

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Exhaustion can sneak up on you. Many of us think we are strong enough to handle virtually anything thrown at us. This may be true to some degree, but that doesn’t mean it will come without consequences. Problems with exhaustion and getting run down have always been around, but it is so much more prevalent today with the advent of smart phones. For some, they are accessible nearly 24 hours a day, This can be great for those that need you, but also very bad for your own mental and physical health. Sometimes we just need to step away for a while. This can be done daily (for minutes or hours) or in the form of a vacation or staycation.

Ways To Recharge Your Batteries Daily:

  1. Daily Tech Detox: Too much screen time has been proven by research to zap our energy and increase our overall stress level. Plan everyday to step away from your phone for an hour or two. Either turn it completely off (to avoid the temptation to check it) or shut off all notifications. The more you do this, the easier it will be, and the more freedom you will feel.

  2. Get Outside: Even if it is just for 20-30 minutes, get outside for some fresh air. Don’t worry if it is cold, those days can be even more refreshing if you dress properly.

  3. Take a 20 minute cat nap: A 20 minute power nap during the day can do wonders to re-energize you during the mid-afternoon. Research says 60 minutes is better, but let’s be honest, most of us don’t have that time luxury.

  4. Exercise: Interesting this comes after the nap right!? Yes, 30 minutes of high intensity exercise can help you boost your energy and re-focus. The hardest part is beginning. Your brain will try and convince you that you are too tired. Don’t listen. :)

When You Need A Longer Break:

Even if we takes regular mental breaks everyday, sometimes we also just need to shut it down for a longer period of time. Don’t have the money to go away on vacation? Don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways, but you will still have to make the time. Take the family camping, go stay with friends/relatives out of town, or just take time off and stay home. You can go for daily hikes, bike rides, etc., but just be sure and disconnect. We all need a break from time to time, no matter how much we love what we do, in order to keep our passion and energy high.

We all can get wrapped up in this society today that praises being busy and accomplishing great things. Just be sure you are not burning too many matches too quickly. You will burn out sooner or later. Life can go buy quickly, but understand that it is also a marathon. Take time and enjoy the moment. So instead of going on Facebook or Instagram one more time today, put the phone away, and recharge your mental, physical, and emotional batteries.

Making the commitment to rest and stay fresh is a key part of enjoying this journey called life and being able to…

Live Well. Be Well.

Could The Way You Breathe Be Impacting Your Health?

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Breathing is one of the few bodily functions that is both voluntary and involuntary. Your body will naturally breathe on its own, but we can also change the rate at which it happens, or the method, voluntarily. That being said, the way we breathe sends messages to our body that can affect our mood, blood pressure, stress level, and even our immune system. Let’s explore a few ways you may be breathing incorrectly, how to correct it, and what impact this can have on your overall health.

Nose Breathing vs. Mouth Breathing….which is best?

The answer is quite simple. Nose breathing. Let’s dive in a little deeper though at some of the reasons why. Breathing is incredibly important as it supplies your body with a vital supply of oxygen and removes carbon dioxide. Nose breathing helps to ensure this process happens with efficiency, where as mouth breathing tends to promote hyperventilation, which actually decreases tissue oxygenation.

How Does This Impact Your Health?

Nose Breathing:

  • Helps in the maintenance of normal body temperature.

  • Aids in the fight against infections.

  • Improves lung volume and provides better blood flow.

  • Improves brain function.

Mouth Breathing:

  • Elevates heart rate and blood pressure.

  • Can cause poor posture.

  • Causes poor oral hygiene.

  • Is associated with bronchial and exercise induced asthma.

The way we breathe can become a habit, and for some that is not a good thing. Research has shown that breathing less is actually a sign of good health. Yes, I said less. Many people over breathe which can lead to a depletion of our CO2 reserves. Breathing less, and more lightly, is the general recommendation. For example, normal breathing volume is between 4-7 liters of air per minute. In asthmatics that number increases to 10-15 liters of air per minute. You will notice that when you make the shift to nose breathing, breathing less will just come automatically.

Seemingly insignificant changes, like in the way we breathe, can actually have a big impact on our health. The main objective is always to make ourselves a little better and a little healthier every day. None of us will ever reach perfection, but we should strive to get closer and closer to that point with the end result being a life where we can all…

LIVE well. BE well.

What Can You Learn From a Spring Flower?

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Nothing represents springtime more than the flower. Tulips, Daffodils, and Pansy’s are some of the most common in this part of the country here in Western New York. Flowers can be beautiful, but they can also teach us a few things about how we live our life.

Let’s look at 5 ways we can “BE well” as we enter this next season of our lives…

  1. Take Your Time: Patience. All good things take time, just like a flower when it blooms. Don’t rush (that doesn’t mean procrastinate), as in due time with the right amount of focused effort, you bloom into what you are supposed to be.

  2. Stand Tall: A flower is not shy about showing us its beauty. Be proud of who you are, what you do, and what you have achieved. Being self aware and self confident are not bad traits, in fact they can be very powerful ones.

  3. Nevermind The Bees: A flower knows that it needs bees to help it flourish, and so do we. Someone that can appear to be a nuisance or a pest in your life, may very well be there to show you an important lesson. Be observant and less judgmental, and they may just surprise you with something you need.

  4. Stay Grounded: A flower can not grow without water getting deep into its roots. This is the perfect metaphor for our lives. Nourish your soul regularly by feeding it healthy doses of much needed nutrients. This can come from many avenues including a quiet walk alone, yoga, meditation, spending time with close friends, or listening to your favorite music.

  5. Embrace Your Season: Every seed has a different timing. In some we’ll see the flower soon after planting. In some it takes almost a couple of years to see them bloom. How does this relate to us? We are all unique people. No two the same. When you see someone near you experiencing something you’ve wanted in your own life…remember…you are different “seeds”. Embrace your seed and the season you are in.

At the end of the day I want to encourage you to be patient yet persistent, stand tall yet be humble, Leverage the lessons from the bees, stay grounded by plugging in to experiences that help you grow, and last but not least, embrace who you are and the time it takes to become the best version of you that you can be.

And in as much as we listed 5 ways we can “BE WELL” as we enter the next season of our lives we know that life rarely is as simple as counting to 5. There will be storms. There will be setbacks. But…there will also be calm after the storm and comebacks. Keep the people around you that will help you be you, and bounce back from adversity when it hits, and you’ll be more than on your way in this journey called life where we want to…

LIVE WELL. BE WELL.

Have a great day, friends.

-Dr. Bell

What Is Your End Game?

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The great Henry Kissinger once said “If you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.” Essentially what he is saying is unless you have a goal, unless you have a specific direction you are going, it is nearly impossible to end up where you want to be in life. This also holds true when it comes to your health. You need to have an end game, a North Star of sorts, not only guide you along the way but also formulate your plan of attack.

I regularly speak about our “LIVE well. BE well.” philosophy when it comes to our life and health. One of the most important aspects of this, and one many people really struggle with, is consistency. You can change for a day, week, or month, but ultimately always go back to the same habits. It’s doing something month after month, year after year, that really makes a dent in your overall quality of life. There is a fine balance, as focusing too much on the long term can be daunting. It’s important to “keep your eye on the prize”, but really stay in the present moment.

Let’s look at 3 ways to help you “LIVE well. BE well” now…but also FEEL well about it for years to come. These are the “roots” (the why), which can help you bear more “fruit” (better lifestyle choices) in the future.

  1. Think about the impact your choices are making on those who we love: Poor lifestyle decisions can have a terrible effect not only on ourselves but those closest to us. If you want to be healthy and well for years to come, use this as part of your daily motivator to make the right decisions.

  2. Write down a few thoughts on how you would like to be remembered when you are gone: What would you like your legacy to be? What will people say about you long after you are gone? We all would like to make an impact on the lives around us. Focus on what decisions you can make daily to solidify your legacy.

  3. Help someone else be healthier: Some of the most rewarding things we can do in life involve helping those around us. Make choices that not only help yourself “LIVE well. BE well”, but also ones that support the goals of others. Be a good role model. Serving from our heart is a healthy choice not to be overlooked. It helps EVERYONE!

Finally…living life with a higher purpose, one that doesn’t just focus solely on yourself, can be one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life. Having your “end game” in mind as you navigate through life can help you, and also those around you to…

LIVE well. BE well.