Health and Wellness

Strike A Balance

Strike A Balance

When it comes to your health there are a lot of factors to weigh. Keeping your physique in tip top shape can mean keeping several balls in the air. However, if you let one aspect fall by the wayside your health could suffer. It’s all about a healthy balance and staying the course. Here are the fundamentals of keeping your body a wonderland:

Eat right
It sounds so simple and yet can sometimes be so difficult.  One of the easiest things you can do to be kind to your body is to not put toxic substances in it. While alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs are the obvious culprits, toxins can also be found hiding in processed foods. Any item that is boxed and packaged and sits on the shelf for a long time can have preservatives that can wreak havoc on your system. Other food has added sugars like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup which your metabolism often can’t handle. Trans fats and man-made fats that come from factories are often lurking in foods if you look at the ingredient label. While you don’t have to cut you’re your favorite unhealthy foods entirely, it is imperative that you limit your intake while you boost your consumption of real foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

While it can be difficult at first, you will soon notice a difference of how your body feels when it is properly nourished. Here are some tips to revamping your eating plan and over hauling your food lifestyle:

  1. Slowly begin cutting sugar and refined starches from your diet.
  2. Choose water over soda and eat fruit for dessert instead of baked goods.
  3. Cook meals at home as opposed to restaurants that use lots of oil and butter.
  4. Learn portion control. Use a guide to know how much of each food group to eat per meal.
  5. Learn how to eat for your body type.

In order to have optimum health, sleep is crucial. In fact, a lack of sleep can cause a host of health issues. According to Web MD, Lack of sleep can be responsible for loss of cognition, risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, and a poor sex drive. On top of all that, it can age you by ruining your skin’s collagen production, so those bags under your eyes aren’t your imagination. If you’re an athlete, the side effect that is possibly scarier than all the above is weight gain. Web MD states that a 2004 study found that people who sleep less than six hours a day were 30% more likely to be obese. This is due to the fact that when you don’t get enough shut eye, it elevates your ghrelin peptides which stimulate hunger and decreases your leptin which tells your brain you are full. If you have trouble falling asleep or are a chronic insomniac, there are a few things you can do to beckon The Sandman:

  1. Make a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  2. Try blackout drapes or a sleep mask that allows you to sleep in complete darkness.
  3. Don’t drink caffeine 6 hours before bedtime.
  4. Try supplements such as melatonin, magnesium, valerian root, or lavender.
  5. No screens. Don’t distract with electronics such as computers, televisions, or smart phones.
  6. Don’t exercise right before bed

Some people love to get up early and get moving. Working out is a pure joy. For others, the idea of pounding the pavement is like pulling teeth. Love it or hate it, exercise is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The U.S. Center for Disease Control states that approximately 25% of men and 17% of women exercise for 2 ½ hours a week, which is a low amount when the benefits are so great. According to Harvard Medical School, exercise can do your body good in a variety of ways. Getting your heart pumping can actually strengthen it and lower the risk of a heart attack and other heart diseases. It can also lower your chances of developing certain cancers and diabetes. Exercise is also good for your mental health. It can lower your stress levels and reduce your chance of developing depression. Plus, it has shown to show a potential slow in cognitive decline.

Cardio is good for your heart, but strength training and building muscle can make you stronger. Harvard Medical School journal states that it is crucial as you age, to preserve muscles keep your body functional. The key to your hard work paying off is remaining consistent. If you are dedicated to a routine, you will notice a change in your strength and ability within four weeks.

All of these powerful benefits from a routine brisk walk, jog or other hearty workout. Seems like there is no reason not to bust a move.

Even eating the most balanced diet can leave room for improvement. Not everyone absorbs all the nutrients they need from the food they eat, or their diet is lacking key ingredients. It can be difficult to eat a well-balanced diet every single day. That’s when supplements come in handy. These aren’t meant to replace food, but supplement your diet, hence the name. If you are wondering what you might need in your diet, a good place to start is to ask your doctor or nutritionist. Factor in any medications you may be taking so you don’t have a negative reaction. A simple physical and blood test may pinpoint what vitamins your body may need. If building muscle mass is what you are after, look to protein, fish oil, and creatine as a jumping off point.

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