In the fast-paced world that we live in it can be easy to neglect our health and wellness. We’re so busy racing through our day to day lives – family, friends, work, social engagements – that we don’t take the time to look after ourselves. It’s really no wonder that so many of us are tired and run down. What are some simple things that we can do to improve our quality of life?
You’ve heard it a million times and you’ll probably hear it a million more – drink more water!
Think about it: The human body is 72% water. A 5% drop in fluids creates a 25-30% loss in energy. A 15% drop in fluids causes death! At this point in time, 66% of us aren’t drinking enough water, so over half the population isn’t running on all six cylinders, to begin with – before things like bad air, bad food and stress take their toll.
It’s not really a difficult thing to remedy. Just drink one glass of water every half hour or so – or 10-12 glasses of water per day – and you’ll notice a huge jump in your energy levels.
A little known fact is that heating food above 116°F destroys much of the nutrient content. Considering that we already aren’t eating enough veggies, that’s a fairly substantial problem. Nutritionists recommend five serves of fresh vegetables per day. How many of us are actually taking that advice?
A great way to get the nutrients found in fresh veggies without spending all day at the stove or eating raw celery sticks is to juice your veggies. Make sure that you own a good juicer (some juicers expose vegetables to heat created by friction during juicing, which breaks down important enzymes), grab some fresh vegetables and drink your way to good health. It takes a fraction of the time (there’s no cooking involved, for one thing) and it’s convenient. You can take your juice to work and even give some to the littlies for school lunches!
Wheatgrass, in particular, is an excellent source of nutrition. It’s high in chlorophyll (sometimes described as ‘plant blood’ because it closely resembles human red blood cell molecules) and has over 100 elements that the body needs. Fresh grains are another excellent source for vitamins and minerals.
Exercise is another dirty word for most of us. The thing is, exercise doesn’t have to be horribly time-consuming or mind-numbingly boring. There are plenty of options.
Years ago gyms usually offered weight rooms, aerobics classes and maybe a tydro-circuit. Now you can add water aerobics, yoga, pilates, dance-ercise, step classes and a whole range of new workout options.
If you don’t really have the time or money for the gym, or prefer to spend your mornings/nights at home, then try an exercise bike or walker. I’d be lost without my exercise bike – I set it up in front of the television and peddle away merrily during my favourite shows.
If, like me, you suffer from illness or injury or your level of fitness is quite low, you might like to consider some invaluable advice that I got from my doctor:
Once you’re physically unfit, and particularly if you’re also unwell, it can be a mammoth battle to just do the most minimal amount of exercise in a day. The danger is that inactivity leads to further loss of energy, which becomes a self-perpetuating cycle until you can barely get off the couch.
An excellent way to get back into a physical routine is to start slowly. Ridiculously slowly, it may seem. For the first couple of weeks, walk/ride for 5 minutes per day – exactly 5 minutes, no more, even if you think you could continue. When the 2 weeks are up, increase to 7 minutes, then 10 minutes, 12 minutes… continue to gradually increase your activity until you’re at a level that you’re comfortable with.
It may sound a little silly, but it works. In effect, you trick your body into producing more energy. You’re building your exercise time up so slowly that your body doesn’t really realise what’s happening. Follow this method and, before you know it, you’ll be comfortably exercising within your limits every day.
So, folks, that’s the basics. If you can rearrange your life a little to allow for better eating habits and a little exercise, and if you remember to just drink a glass of water every half hour or so, you’ll be well on the way to living a healthy life. On a final note, don’t forget to take some quiet time for yourself. Meditating is an excellent way to minimise stress. You don’t have to sit around for hours, just give yourself 5 minutes of quiet time every day – even in the shower, if that’s the only place where you can get the time out – and have a little catch up with yourself.
And, last but by no means least, laugh! In fact, laugh like a loon – the louder the better! You’ll be amazed at how much such a simple thing can lift your spirits!
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