Top Tips For Looking After Your Body
With all the stressors of modern life, sometimes our bodies can suffer. The hustle and bustle of everyday living gradually takes a toll on our health. The truth is, most of us are so rushed off our feet that we forget to take proper care of ourselves. The body ends up being ignored in favour of any number of vain pursuits. That is why it is so important to remind ourselves, at least occasionally, of how important the body is. After all, it is the vessel which carries us through life. Without it, we wouldn’t have anything. So perhaps it is time to reclaim ownership of our body’s health. Famously, the new year is a time when many people make resolutions regarding their health. But too often we just don’t stick to them. So, instead of a resolution, how about a revolution? A revolution in the way that we treat our bodies. Let’s have a look at some of the simple, yet deceptively powerful, kindnesses we can show our body.
Morning – The Most Important Time of Day
Most of us rush through our mornings. For that, of course, we have our busy lives to blame. But it is entirely possible to wake up slow, take our time, and still be punctual for whatever the day has planned. We have all heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s true – if only because our behaviour in the morning sets a blueprint for the remainder of the day.
Make it a priority to start your day right. Forget about the coffee – caffeine isn’t your friend. Instead, make yourself a cup of warm water, lemon and grated ginger. As well as being genuinely delicious, this treat is fantastic for promoting good digestion for the whole day. Not only that; your liver will be grateful as well.
Follow this with a simple breakfast of muesli or porridge, perhaps with a banana cut up. This is all you need to start your day in the right way. Trust me – try it for a week and you will notice the difference.
Water – another one of those things which are so important that we forget about it entirely. Of course, we all drink water. But do we drink enough? Not only that – is it of sound quality? The water we drink has a tremendous effect on the way our body operates. If you are hoping to give your body a boost this season, you would do well to take an honest look at your water intake. The recommended guideline is four litres a day. Chances are, you don’t get anywhere near that.
Make it second-nature to carry a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. Before long, you will find that you are drinking enough – and you will feel the difference. Increased energy levels, improved mood, clearer complexion. These are just some of the many benefits of drinking plenty of water.
But it’s not just the amount that’s important – it’s about the quality, too. While you should not consider it necessary to purchase bottled water – ever – you might like to consider filtering your water. Tap water has a whole assortment of added chemicals. Exactly what is in your tap water depends hugely on where you live. So, if you like, you might like to filter it for a purer drink. But it’s really up to you – regardless of what some people might say, filtering your water is not essential.
Teeth are so important, yet we abuse them needlessly. Why is that? Much of the time, we turn a blind eye to our dental problems. A lot of people – even fully-grown adults – are terrified of the dentist. But there is no reason to be.
Looking after your teeth is merely an extension of looking after your future self. Think of it kind of like a pension or a retirement plan. As long as you do the right thing today, you will reap the benefits later on in life. For that reason, it is well advisable to get yourself a decent dental plan. You can find a dental plan here.
Let’s play a quick thought experiment. Imagine that you went to visit your doctor. They ask you what it is which is bothering you. In response, you tell them that you feel unhappy, but you’re not sure why. All you know is that it is negatively affecting every aspect of your life, creating a vicious cycle. Imagine, then, if their response was that there was a magic pill which could fix the problem permanently. Would you take the pill?
Meditation is that pill. The only real difference is that meditation requires some effort. But it is an effort that is more than worth it. Meditation has been a popular activity for over two and a half thousand years – and for good reason. More recently, science and religion alike have come to promote meditation more and more as the wonder drug that it is.
Partaking in thirty minutes of meditation every day will produce countless proven benefits. Increased mood and enjoyment of life. Relaxed body and mind. Increased metabolism. Reduced anxiety and depression. Better quality sleep. A kinder, more compassionate outlook which others will find infectious. Truly, if there is one thing you should do to make an enormous positive change to your health, it is meditation.
Another of the many negative effects of our busy lives is the impact it has on our sleep. Sleep is a vital aspect of looking after oneself. Both the amount and the quality are really important. Don’t allow yourself to be drawn in by all those statistics about six hours being all you need. Sure, it may be the case that six hours is enough for most adults to function. But you would do well to consider it a bare minimum. Generally, in fact, the more sleep, the better. I am a keen advocate of the ‘as much as you can get’ philosophy when it comes to sleep.
During sleep is when our body does all of the hard work. If we have an injury to heal – including emotional trauma – it happens primarily during sleep. Our brains need a rest, too. Even the act of dreaming is so important. Many psychologists believe that, without dreams, we would lack an outlet for our unconscious desires and fears. That is why you should get as much as you possibly can.
However, it isn’t just about the amount of hours – the quality of sleep is just as important, if not more so. Ensure that you have a comfortable bed, but not one that is too hard. Too hard, or too soft – either way, your back will suffer. We tend to think of the body as not doing anything during sleep, but of course, that’s nonsense. Look after yourself: invest in a decent bed, and use it as much as possible. The emails, the notifications, the text messages – they can wait.
Food is such a complex issue when it comes to talking about health. There is so much conflicting information out there. Anybody would be excused for not quite knowing what to believe. Every aspect of it seems to have become confused at some point along the way. How much to eat has become a nightmare subject. In one ear, you have a whole host of cultural biases telling you to eat as little as possible in case you can’t fit into your favourite dress. In the other ear, certain famous chefs tell you that you should eat as much as you like. Nutritionists and doctors alike all seem to disagree. What’s the answer?
I believe that, like most things in life, personal choice is the key to success. Essentially, you should experiment and find out what works best for you. Don’t take anything as gospel. If you want to try a juice diet, fine. Try it, see what happens. If you find the results to be poor, try something else.
At the end of the day, it’s your body, and you have the final say. A good rule of thumb might be to eat only when you are hungry. And when you eat, eat a balance of different foods. I think most people would be hard-pushed to find something wrong with that theory. But if it doesn’t seem to work for you, try something else.
Exercise & Relaxation
Finally, we come to the topic of exercise. Every one of us knows that exercise is important. Most of us also feel that we don’t do as much of it as we probably should. The problem is that guilt only creates the conditions which stop us exercising in the future. The fact is: you don’t need a gym to exercise, and the amount of exercise recommended by medical professionals is relatively little. Two forty minute periods of exercise a week is enough to keep the heart pumping healthily. Of course, if you can manage more, then that’s fantastic. But don’t get overly stressed about not doing enough. The stress of guilt is just as bad for you as not exercising enough! This leads us on to our final point.
Relaxation allows the body to repair and renew at its normal, natural rate. We all lead busy, stressful lives – and that’s why it is so important to find the time to relax. By relax here, we mean proper relaxation. Vegging in front of the TV won’t do it – but a soak in a candlelit bath just might! Really, that’s the message here: looking after yourself, when done right, is no chore at all.