The three top reasons why you should spend more money on your health than your shoes.

New shoes?

I don’t know about you but I love buying new shoes. I am a sucker for something elegant, but they have to be very wide as I have ridiculously short stubby feet!! (Not helped by three pregnancies!)

However, I could and did wear anything on my feet in my younger days but I do remember the times when I had a mini melt-down at the prices we had to pay for Clark’s or Start-right shoes for the children.

There is still a big part of me that feels guilty if I spend too much on my footwear but if I find something that fits well, I am a happy girl! These are my favourite shoes and they go with everything. They have a good heel height, make me feel confident and are perfect for when I speak on stage for example.

Now why am I waffling on about shoes, you may ask?

Well, whether your passion or weakness is shoes, grooming or beauty therapies, clothes, holidays, cars, exercise, alcohol, dining out, hobbies or fine jewels, I am guessing that you spend more money on them than your health. Am I right?

In these days of uncertainty, confusion and frustration with the political, social and economic situation, it’s tempting to make ourselves feel better with things that we find comforting; a bit like resorting to the biscuit tin or secret chocolate stash, would you agree? This is because our “habits” produce the essential feel-good hormones like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. It is perfectly natural and healthy to seek out pleasurable experiences and feelings, but are they good in the longterm or more of a quick fix?

We are so led by our endocrine system. It is in constant flux; balancing our female and male drivers testosterone and oestrogen, and dealing with the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. Most of the time, our very clever bodies deal with this very efficiently thank you very much. However, our 21st century lifestyles, make this job taxing to say the least.

So, it is my experience that we cannot avoid our life pressures, but we can offset them or counteract them by finding long term solutions, supporting the damage caused by stress, upset or anxiety. In other words, adopting some new habits that create balance and flow in the body and mind, even if this means swapping them for some of the less effective ones; like buying shoes!

Here are my three top tips:

  1. Find time for peace in the day — mindfulness, meditation, switching off, being fully present, whatever suits you best, releases the hormone oxytocin. This is the same one we produce when we give birth, stroke our pet or fall in love. It helps with the production of nitric oxide. known as The Miracle Molecule. This is a chemical reaction, discovered by three scientists who were awarded the Nobel Prize, that opens up the arteries and helps our cardiovascular system keep healthy. 1 in 2.4 people in the western world will die of heart disease, stroke or a heart attack. This habit will stack the odds in your favour.
  2. Eat the best quality food you can access. Avoid processed foods. Organic produce, grass fed beef, locally sourced foods contain many more nutrients than foods on your typical supermarket shelf. If you don’t have time to cook from fresh every day, then find a service or someone that can do it for you. What passion or weakness would you be willing to swap if you knew that this new habit will keep you looking and feeling younger for longer?
  3. Spend your cash on the highest quality supplements you can afford. 75% of us take some form of vitamin or nutrient product on a regular basis, but so much of the stuff on the market is ineffective. There are only guidelines, but no marshalling of rules, standards, or controls over supplement manufacturers. I could make a supplement in my garage and sell it to you!!

I am fortunate to have discovered one of the highest brands of food state supplementation on the market today. Synergy Worldwide are wholly owned by brand leader and Forbes 100 winner Nature’s Sunshine Products who are devoted to quality, potency and efficacy. The best news of all is that their clinically trialled heart health product, Proargi9+ has been developed to stimulate the production of — guess what? — nitric oxide. This means that my own and my husband’s biological age is 8 years younger than our actual age. Better than shoes? Yup I think so.

1 - Too Little, Too Late: Ineffective Regulation of Dietary Supplements in the United States Ranjani.R Starr MPH

Dr. Gill Barham is an international award-winning author, speaker and trainer, broadcast presenter of the podcast Radiant Menopause, and Women’s health expert.

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