It's Halloween is your health and wellness spooky and scary?

With All Hallows’ Eve right around the corner, it’s a good time to look at frightening things…you know, ghouls, goblins, ghosts…and your health and wellness routines.

There really is nothing more important than your health, so here are some tips to keep you feeling BOO-tiful and SPOOK-tacular:

1. You are what you eat – so put down that KitKat!

Sure, Halloween candy may satisfy our sweet tooth cravings, but for long-term health and fitness, it’s best to make smart choices about the food you eat every day. A balanced diet consisting of lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grain and lean protein can provide the nourishment and energy you need to feel your best. Here are some great resources and tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that can help.

2. We all need to move around and walk more – so do go Trick-or-Treating!

We all know it’s true – if you don’t move it, you lose it. This is definitely the case in today’s society when sedentary lifestyles are more prevalent than ever. (Are you sitting down at a desk or on a sofa while reading this?!?) It’s estimated that the average American now spends 15-16 hours each day NOT being active and that sedentary individuals can actually be increasing their chances of dying by 50% when compared to active people. So, get up and get moving – even if it’s walking around your neighborhood for free candy.

3. No pain, no gain – NOT really!

While physical exercise and exertion can be a good thing for your health (see the info above about sedentary lifestyles), chronic pain is not. I see several patients each week for whom chronic pain is, well, a pain. It affects every aspect of their lives, their health and their overall well-being. Today, Oriental Medicine, including acupuncture, is playing an increasingly important role in helping to treat and prevent chronic pain. So, for everything from lower back pain to arthritis, talk to a licensed acupuncture or Oriental Medicine specialist – he or she may be able to help.

4. Sleep is a must – we’re not vampires!

I know that Twilight is all the rage these days, but believe me, no sleep is not good for us mortals. Skimping on even an hour or two of sleep can have a dramatic negative impact on your energy, stress levels, attention span and, importantly, your immune system. So, to stay healthy and energized, be sure to get a full eight hours a night. Here are some guidelines that might help.

5. Balance is essential – so have high standards, but go easy on yourself too!

As a final tip, I encourage you to be your own best health advocate. To do this, it’s good to have high standards and be tough on yourself – are you eating right, getting enough sleep and taking care of yourself as you should? Remember, though, that it’s also good to give yourself some balance, down time and serenity – this can come from meditation, yoga or just slowing down and taking a few minutes for yourself. In today’s modern, hectic world we are set up for imbalance and that can wreak havoc on your body and your health. Symptoms of fatigue, pain or illness can be the first signs that you are off-balance. Take a moment and remember that your health is one of the most important things…but feel free to have one KitKat every once in a while.

Happy Halloween!