Dr. Annie’s Top 10 Health Tips

As a Doctor of Chiropractic and a manual therapy specialist, it’s not only my job but my passion to find the best ways to stay healthy.

Here are my favorite tips for being healthier and more vital every day. I hope you enjoy them.

1. Skin reflects your overall internal health

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have radiant glowing skin? Have you felt they must have makeup talents or know a skincare secret that you don’t?

The secret to healthy skin is really not what you put ON it, according to Neuroscientist Dr. Claudia Aguirre, your skin is a reflection of the health of your brain and your body. She says to truly have glowing skin you must reduce chronic stress, which decreases inflammation, and look after your brain through meditation and getting enough sleep.

For more information about this amazing research, check out her article about the new medical subspecialty of psychodermatology.

2. Sleep well

In our busy lives, it is increasingly difficult to get enough quality sleep. I have struggled with sleep issues my whole life and know that good sleep is key to my health and vitality. Without sleep, we cannot have a healthy brain and body.

Here are my top sleep recommendations that I’ve used to improve my sleep:

  • Keep a regular bedtime and go to bed early (before 10pm).
  • Make sure your blood sugar is balanced.
  • Don’t carb load, drink alcohol, caffeine, or consume sugar before bed. Snack on high protein or fats only.
  • Manage stress and anxiety through meditation and exercise.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get your cortisol levels balanced. (More on this later.)
  • Diffuse or apply essential oils for sleep. I use DoTerra Serenity.
  • Limit screen exposure (TV, phones, computers, etc.).
  • Unclutter and clean your bedroom.
  • Circulate air that is fresh and a cool temperature.
  • Keep your bedroom dark, no nightlights.
  • Make it quiet or use white noise.
  • If you are a clock watcher, turn it over.

4. Maintain your blood sugar

  • Eat healthy fats and protein with every meal.
  • Consume fat first.
  • Eat regular meals.
  • Restrict grain-based carbs. Get them from veggies instead.
  • Don’t eat processed sugar or drink sodas.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.

5. Daily meditation to reduce stress and anxiety

  • Develop a practice of taking 1-5 minutes to breathe every morning.
  • My favorite app for this is called Insight Timer. It is free and awesome for beginners.
  • Don’t make meditation a stressor. Just do what you can.
  • Remember to express gratitude for your life.

5. Dopamine Hugs!

  • Hugs increase the pituitary gland’s production of oxytocin. This reduces our heart rates and our cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
  • Hugs stimulate the brain to release dopamine, the pleasure hormone!
  • Hugs are free, and really fun to give and receive!

6. Turn off your phone

It’s not just your kids that are addicted, you are too! When you are done with your work day, be done. Those little ‘pings’ that notify us when someone likes our post, messages us, etc., increase our cortisol levels every time we hear them. Switch your phone on airplane mode and take a break!

7. Have more FUN!

Having more fun and being silly more often will make you more productive, not less! Research has proven this is true. Take a break, have a blast, and forget about your to-do list.

8. Do not live on bars, smoothies and supplements

Bars, even the healthy ones, are usually high in sugar or fat. Smoothies can be sugar bombs. Supplements can’t make up for a poor diet.

Plus, if you are eating a bar for lunch you are probably doing it in the car, or hunched over your computer, OR in between clients. Your body needs to “rest to digest.” Enjoy real food that fuels your body, and take time for it.

9. Get the right amount of exercise

Research shows 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week will reduce your risk of early death by 31%. And it will help you sleep better, reduce your stress, and make you feel better all over. What else do you need?

10. Create little bits of beauty

Sure, life is crazy, and no one has time to keep their house and office always tidy and fresh. But my mom taught me to add a little bit of beauty to even a small space to calm my mind and increase my productivity.

It works for me and it might work for you too! Today I simply cleaned off my dining room table and put a small vase of garden flowers out, and that helped me to sit down and write this blog for you!

I hope this 10 ten list inspires you with new ideas or reminds you to return to a healthy habit.

Your partner in health,

Dr. Annie

P.S. Next week, keep your eyes peeled for a big announcement…we’re getting ready to release something I’m really excited about…stay tuned! And as always, if there’s anything we can help with, don’t hesitate to call for an appointment.

Why Self Care Matters More Than Ever

October 19, 2020

Hi, it’s Dr. Annie Armstrong here Head 2 Toe Spine and Sports Therapy… So as many of you know, I have two teenage boys and currently with zoom school… They are working me hard. I feel like I don’t have any time and you know what? I’m quite frankly not prepared to be a teacher.…

Read More

How One Workout Can Destroy Your Low Back

October 12, 2020

Join Dr. Lee, Dr. Tim, and our favorite host Barry on the latest episode of the Movement is Medicine Show to learn how a single workout can destroy a low back… And what you can do about it! The crew covers at-home care, how you can tell if you need professional help, how long to…

Read More

The Head 2 Toe Origin Story Episode

September 30, 2020

We just released a new podcast episode that I think you’ll enjoy…It’s the origin story episode where I share all about how I got started, my inspiration for starting Head 2 Toe, and even how I came up with the name.It’s a short, fun episode that I hope will put a smile on your face.You…

Read More

Finding Your Long Term Wellness Plan During the Pandemic

July 29, 2020

New Podcast: What’s your long term wellness plan since the pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon? Join the Head 2 Toe team in discussing powerful ways to stay healthy & happy during the extended crisis.  

Read More

Virtual Running Clinic: Run Pain Free!

June 17, 2020
Read More

Quarantips, Ideas, & Insights To Keep You Healthy During Lockdown

May 8, 2020

Join the Head 2 Toe team for your weekly dose of inspiration, ideas, and insights around how to take care of yourself. This week the team talks about the following: Importance of sunshine Dealing with the loss of graduation Best kitchen gadgets for stay at home cooking Clinic updates & telehealth options The #1 way…

Read More