Health and Fitness has a lot more to it than eating well and exercising. Those are two important pillars of health, but there are two other pillars that people don’t pay much attention to; Sleep and stress management. Typically your healthy balance of mind, body, and spirit that assists you in your well-being (wellness) relies on taking care of all 4 pillars equally. Have you ever noticed the difference in how you feel when you even focus on just one of them? Right!
There are so many different kinds of exercises that you can do that you’re bound to find something you enjoy! It could be in the form of a recreational sports league, dancing, group classes, and even walking. There are a ton of reasons to exercise that include reducing stress, increasing overall circulation, and improving your overall performance in other areas of your life. It also releases endorphins like serotonin in your body. Physical activity is the only way to release the serotonin neurotransmitter… so get moving! As Elle Woods from Legally Blonde said “Exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy”. In 4-6 weeks, if you’re exercising 2-3 times a week, you can increase the amount of weight you use in your exercises by 5 pounds. If you are sedentary at work, core exercises are strongly recommended to strengthen your core.
In addition to the healthy snacks, find ways to cook with herbs and spices. They carry no calories, taste great and usually provide a lot of benefits. Turmeric for example, is an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect our bodies from many diseases, and the spice itself boosts the activity of the body’s existing antioxidants. So it protects your body and then stimulates more antioxidant mechanisms! Here’s a list of Best Health’s “10 foods you should eat every day”. Keep in mind that certain foods are better for you based on how your body reacts to them. Your body’s pH level (power of hydrogen) measures the concentration of hydrogen in your body. Naturally we have a fairly neutral pH level and it doesn’t fluctuate very much, but you have to be mindful of the different kinds of healthy fats, protein, and carbs you intake and the effect they have on your pH level.
Time to recharge! Winding down, relaxing, and then finally sleeping, is critical. If you have a hard time controlling your thoughts or if you are stressed, do what you need to do to get rid of the thoughts and stress – be it working out, meditating, or learning to control your thoughts. While sleeping your body recovers, but it cannot recover if certain vitamins and minerals are missing in your body to get you through the different stages of your sleep cycle. Sleep believe it or not, requires a proper diet.
When stress is properly taken care of, it helps improve your everyday functioning. There are 3 levels of stress that your body goes through. The first stage is alarm – when your nervous system immediately sends an emergency signal to your brain and your body tries to fight the signals. The second stage is resistance this is where your body tries and to fight the stress even more but at which point your body is already more tired, weary and anxious. As a result your immune system weakens and you become an easy target for the cold or flu. Exhaustion is the last stage where your body has past the point of exhaustion and where you absolutely will get sick. That is probably the best way to describe stage 3 of stress someone can go through. Remember, you can always talk to your doctor and ask them to give you tips on stress management to make it easier to cope with even the little stressors in your life.
Remember, your health is above everything else! By managing these four areas, you will see a huge improvement in the quality of your life.