Sunday, August 4, 2013

Take Care Of Your Body

I've spent most of my afternoon reading blog after blog on what other people believe are the keys to good health.  The funniest thing I've found is that basically everyone has the same 5 key steps to staying healthy.  Everyone has their own opinion to which degree you must follow these steps, but they basically all agree, and I do too, that these are the TOP 5 things you need to make a priority in your life to be at your optimum health.  Here is MY interpretation of the top 5 things you need to do to stay healthy.


1.  REST.  Get a full 7-8 hours of sleep each night.  If possible make those undisturbed and restful in a comfortable environment.  I can't even tell you how important it is that your bedroom is the most relaxing room of your house.  I am very guilty of paying more attention to the cleanliness and flow or Feng shui of every room in my house aside from my bedroom.  I've lived in our home for 3 years and have not done a single thing to increase the comfort of my room.  Only recently have I decided that the bedroom is the most important room of my home and have made an effort to turn in into my sanctuary, and I'm already sleeping better.  It is the place I rejuvenate and refresh.  It is my healing space.
Sleep is your biggest tool in improving your mental well being.  If you are struggling to fall asleep, then don't just lie there and fret, get up, get out of bed, move your body, or meditate to calm your mind.  If your thoughts are running a mile a minute, or there is something you need to do, get up and do it, or write it down to remember for the next day.  Meditation is a good way to calm your mind before bed too.

2.  EAT. Feed your body, not your mind.  Its a simple concept that very few Americans seem to
understand.  Food is meant to nourish us and help our bodies thrive.  Just by looking at the basic biology of our dental anatomy, its easy to see that our bodies were made to eat specific foods.  We are omnivores.  Our bodies need protein, minimal fats, vitamins and minerals found in fruits and veggies, and hydration.  The beauty of living in the 21st century is also our biggest downfall.  We have access to an amazing array of different foods, with limited preparation, but the foods that are easiest and cheapest
are also the most damaging to your body.  We as people have learned to ignore our health and eat to satisfy our cravings, but by doing that we have become the most obese generation in history.  We need to learn that food is meant to HEAL us, NOURISH us, and give our bodies the most successful chance at a long life.  When we choose crappy foods, we're actually making the choice that our health isn't our top priority.  To take care of your body, you need to care about what you put into it.

3.  MOVE.  Get your body moving.  Exercise seems to be a "fad" that so many people are getting into lately, and personally, I think its the most amazing thing I've experienced.  When I set a goal 5 years ago that I wanted to do a marathon, it was difficult to find a local 5k that I could sign up for.  Then came the mud runs, color runs, princess runs, charity runs, and a million other different reasons to run, but the basic reason always has been TO BE HEALTHY.  It doesn't matter WHAT you do, as long as you do something.  Go for a walk, a swim, a jog.  Go to a yoga class, buy a video, or invite some friends over for a bit of Wii Just Dance 3-4 times a week.  It doesn't matter how you do it, just get your heart rate up and keep it there.  When you get really serious about exercising, you have to keep in mind that there are 3 important factors in a good workout.  A good workout consists of cardio, strength training, and stretching.  From what I've learned, its also best in that order to do the least amount of damage to your body.(If you want to know my choice work out, I prefer the YRG fitness program, and DDP Yoga)

4.  RELAX.  Its a bit funny to follow up exercising with relaxation, but in my life, I've learned how important it is to kick your feet up and relax your body and mind.  When you spend every day on the
move with constant tension, activity, and thoughts, you are bound to get burnt out.  The best way to keep your health, physically and mentally is to recognize when you are over working your body and mind, and slow it down. This helps heal us from illness, and prevents it too.  Always make sure there is a balance with your activities and enough down time to relax your body.  People who work too much are more prone to physical ailments, stress, anxiety, and depression.  People who exercise too much leave themselves open to physical damage to their bodies, and people that think too much.....  Well I'm sure we all know what happens to them, and its not fun.  Relax your body, take a bath, have a picnic, sit on a beach, meditate, or socialize with friends, but always remember to take a moment to chill.  Your body, mind, and soul will thank you for it.

5.  LOVE.  You cannot life a happy healthy life if you do not have enough love in it.  I'm not saying that you need a spouse, partner, or children, but you NEED LOVE.  You need to give love.  This is not optional.  Our beings are meant to love, and without it, we are not whole. Give love to your family, even the ones you don't get along with.  When you walk down the street, smile and say hello.  Send love to every stranger you meet.  Love people despite their flaws.  Love people who have done you wrong.  The best way to keep your mind happy and healthy is to fill it with love, even for those who have "hurt you".  Embrace the fact that people are different with different thoughts, and that its a GOOD THING.  And remember, pain is temporary, and love is the only thing that can heal emotional pain.  The number one thing you need to love?  Yourself.  Love who YOU are.  Accept yourself exactly how you are in this moment, embrace your mistakes, take responsibility for your actions, and own it all.  Love yourself flaws and all.  If you can love yourself completely and unconditionally like you would your child, then you will have one of the healthiest minds on our planet.

Peace, Love, and Health
Lauren
The Happiest Woman Alive